100 years of fashion – Then And Now
When the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said, “the only constant in life is change”, we didn’t know he was talking about the consistently evolving fashion industry. Remember why you loved watching Downtown Abbey in the first place?
Yes, what’s a period drama without all the costumes!
We at Untouched, decided to trace the evolution of fashion in the past hundred revolutionary years – from regressive corsets to body positive style statements – and in the process realized that this evolution is CYCLICAL.
Wondering how? Keep reading to find out about all the trends that came back with a bang, leaving us wanting for more.
- CORSETS are back (and it has nothing to do with Bridgerton)
Created to ‘discipline’ women’s bodies in the early 1900s, the corset signified both physical oppression and sexual commodification. So, when designers around the globe brought back the corset as an outerwear, women reclaimed this regressive clothing item as a symbol of empowerment, and brought this MUCH controversial clothing item back in fashion.
- JUMPSUITS tops the list of reinvention! (and we love owning a few)
Jumpsuits might be your new favorite style statement but these weren’t really considered fashionable back in the day before the Second World War. During the 1930s when women started going out for work actively, jumpsuits came into fashion mostly as a consequence of fabric rationing. As the decades moved on, the jumpsuit was reinvented into bolder and brighter statement pieces making it the epitome of cool.
- SILK HEAD SCARVES are having a moment (and we better be a part of this)
Silk scarves first made an appearance in the 50s when it was worn typically around the neck, while in the 90s women began to tie the same scarf around their heads. Recently, all the ‘IT’ girls began to sport silk scarves tied around their heads, and this no-fuss trend was suddenly everywhere, signalling the rebirth of head scarves!
- DROP WAIST DRESSES are back in style (and so is Jazz)
First spotted on the very glamorous flappers of the 1920s (think Daisy Buchanan), the Drop Waist Dress symbolized liberation for the female body post the women’s right to vote movement. Although the dress reappeared in the 1960s and 1980s, it wasn’t really until 2012’s spring/summer collection that the world finally acknowledged its presence in the world of everyday fashion.
- ROUND GLASSES are still trending? ( Thank God for Lennon!)
“Now manifesting as sunglasses and opticals, round glasses had doubly secured their place in pop culture history…”
It might come off as a shock but round glasses originated as early as 1920s and made a stupendous comeback in the 1950s (thanks Lennon!), but what’s unique about this particular trend is, it never really made an exit from the world of fashion in the past 100 years! Fashion trends might change every season but these circular frames were born to stay.
- MINI SKIRTS & youth rebellion of the 60s (that we should never forget)
With the 60’s hedonism at its core, the mini skirt was born out of an young people’s movement protesting against the oppressive post-war 50s fashion. After a controversial beginning in the 1960s, the mini skirt much like the Lennon glasses never really disappeared from fashion, slowly transitioning into a wardrobe staple for women across the globe. (You go girl!)
- CROP TOPS go way way back (more than you imagined)
Our personal favorite, the crop top first appeared in the 1930s largely due to fabric rationing in the 2nd World War. That’s crazy right? Moreover, crop tops were simply confined to swimwear and it wasn’t until the sexually liberating 1960s and 1970s that crop tops were finally globally accepted.
Throughout the next few decades, popular culture made sure that the crop top doesn’t disappear so much so that it was reduced to a wardrobe staple that simply never went out of style.
Fashion might evolve but the evolution is definitely cyclical, and some trends are not just trends but a statement that survives through the many decades – Lennon glasses are one such example – but though the pages of time, one observation is clear: “People have always used style as a weapon in the march against societal taboos – be it miniskirts or corsets, the point is to wear what makes your body happy.”
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