It was barely noticeable at first. Every once in a blue moon someone would dare to be bold and unique, dressing in a manner that suited them and not society. Enter the 60s, a period in which we suddenly decided that the norm is for normal people. Not since the 1920s had there been such an upheaval in style. Women started making fashion statements with designer womens clothes that shocked the rich and well to do. Men began to dress in a more freeing fashion, donning full body gowns and sandals. An entire planet of men silently rejoiced when the mini-skirt caught on in 67.
As the Beatles rose to fame, long hair swept across the world and tattoos began to be popular. Music was a major contributor to the way we decided to grasp our freedom, including the clothing we wore. Men embraced colour while women adopted shifts and both began wearing bell bottom jeans, tie-dyed shirts and headbands.
In the 70s our way of dressing changed again. Disco brought an entirely new look with it. Glam Rock also introduced itself. The transition was startling. Young people went from wearing hippie rags and began dressing in fashionable business wear with a unique flashy twist. Lapels widened, silk popped up in shirts and pants, platform shoes had soles anywhere from one to six inches high.
Elton John wore a pair of lumberjack boots with six foot heels as he stomped his way around a pinball machine. Once again, people began to make new and bold statements in the way they dressed. Three piece suits came in strong and left just as quickly when lawyers started wearing them.
The 1980s could have been one of the most creative eras of fashion as the Valley Girl Look and Miami Vice style began to dominate. Elton came on strong during the first half of the decade while Madonna and Michael Jackson took a page from the Elton John style book (minus the duck). In Soho, London, the popular night club Gossips popularized hip by having weekend David Bowie nights. Doc Martens banished heels from footwear while costume jewellery and eye shadow began to match our fashion apparel.
In America, Urban Fashion, inspired by the music movement called Hip Hop swept the country followed by a wave of sportswear. Soon, the two combined although no name was given to that particular style choice. If it had, it would probably have been called sports hop or hip sports. Urban fashion and the Miami Vice look remained a cult classic for at least another decade.
The 90s rolled in and a lot changed once again. Elton John toned it down to unusual but elegant pants and jacket (accompanied by the inevitable pair of snazzy specs). Together, Elton and Johnny Cash made black the new colour to die for in clothing. Other colours were of neon inspiration while suburban housewives donned leggings and exercise clothes. Animal skins took a beating with the exception of leather, which was more popular than ever before.
Modern preppy and pastels took over the money side of the fashion tracks while Grunge travelled the other side. The 90s may not have been that creative, but fashions came and went as if caught in a revolving door with the Tasmanian devil.
The millennium seemed almost like a demarcation point when it came to fashion. It was as if everyone suddenly became confused and people started mixing and matching the previous decades styles. Some of the worst trends in the history of fashion, aided by celebrities that should have known better, tried and failed to catch on (fortunately). Articles of clothing such as the Trucker caps like Von Doss peaked quickly and went away. Dress shoes with square toes danced themselves off the dance floor and velour jumpsuits leapt off fashion buildings to their death without a single person trying to talk them down from the ledge (if anything, we screamed encouragement).
Gucci and Louis Vuitton made a major mistake with gaudy, over-embossed designer logos. Boot-cut jeans made us nauseous and visors with matching silicone bracelets made us look… well, ridiculous. Only a few of us could pull off the fedora. Justin Timberlake can wear one any time he likes.
We made some unfortunate choices while trying to save these doomed fashion mistakes such as the soul patch. Why in the world anyone thought that spiked hair made a dead outfit hip is beyond the rest of us. While there were some fantastic fashions between 2000 and 2009, the best thing to happen was that it ended.
Thank the Fashion Gods for Gothic Glamour
Here we are in 2014 and something wonderful has happened. Fashion has taken a marvellous turn on a global scale. If you look around as you go through your busy life, you might just catch a glimpse of it here and there and realize that it is not a mistake. People have made a choice, without anyone inspiring them and without the leadership of a trendsetting celebrity; people who have style have begun to turn history into a fashion statement with a new style of designer clothing. Gothic Glamour has begun to emerge and it is growing fast and strong.
Versatile and whimsical, vintage clothing is calling out to us and a revival is in full swing. It is the women who are leading the charge and choosing bits and pieces of fashion from the 20th century, turning it into a modern look that screams individualism, creativity and old school charm. Gothic Glamour is renewing the word sexy. It is chic, glamorous and nostalgic. They have us chomping at the bit for the days gone by when women knew how to dress to kill without showing off skin. Femininity is walking hand in hand with vintage clothing and the world is a better place for it.