20th Century Fashion History: 1990-2000

The time is now, the day is here folks! What am I talking about? Well, I’m a 90s kid, so inevitably have all the posts of the 20th century led up to this very one (definitely). From the streets, the denim, the 1960s touch, the supermodel era to Hollywood and technology. Here’s the fashion history: 1990-2000!

20th Century Fashion History: 1990-2000 | The Fashion Folks

The Society during 1990-2000

To some historians the 1990s are considered to be the beginning of our modern society with the end of the Cold War (amongst other things). It was also a decade for technological innovations with computers and cell phones being common for the everyday person. In retroperspective, the 90s feels like an unpretentious decade with a “chill vibe”. Something that’s reflective in the fashion (what else) with the street style, the mini skirts, dresses and the overdose of denim.

The decade was also the rise of boy bands, popstars, R&B and girlpower. Or how about Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, TLC, Mariah Carey, *NSYNC and Spice Girls? Alongside the music, television and movies were factors of influence. Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Seinfeld, Friends, Buffy The Vampire Slayer to mention some shows. And iconic Hollywood movies like: Clueless, Pulp Fiction, Notting Hill, Titanic, Forrest Gump, 10 Things I Hate About You and The Shawshank Redemption. These artists, shows and movies had a major impact on people’s life with the celebrity focus going strong. Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel in Friends and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character Elaine in Seinfeld were two popular trendsetters. Not to forget Clueless and Cher’s iconic wardrobe.

As for the fashion world, the supermodel era continued with names as Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer and Kate Moss. Moss was perhaps the ultimate it-girl with her boyish body, characteristic eyes and charismatic way. Quite similar to Twiggy’s role of the 1960s. 

Style of the 1990-2000

I often refer to the 90s as a later version of the 1960s, as the early decade had its first revival period during the 90s. Even though the loose and oversized silhouettes of the 80s remained, the 90s also embraced mini skirts, mini-dresses and tight and defined clothes. The 90s also had some touches of space age fashion with a lot of white, 20th Century Fashion History: 1990-2000 | The Fashion Folksmetallic and references to cosmology.

As with all decades, different styles were true to different groups of people. To divide it roughly, the 90s had the elegant minimalistic fashion and the street style fashion. The former was about simplicity with clothes sans details, a colorless palette and silky fabrics but also some velvet and leather. The lines, and if details existed, were straight and geometric. The colors were mainly white, black, beige, grey and some tones of metallic. The clothes were rather defined and followed the silhouette of the body that should be slim and toned (the beauty ideal). Think Calvin Klein in the 90s or Armani. Classic, sophisticate and elegant.

As for the street style fashion it was quite the opposite. It was oversized, it was sporty, had some colors and an attitude above all. The most important material was denim but also leather and fleece. Light pastels were common, but black, white and denim were even bigger. In center of the street style look was t-shirts with prints and oversized sweaters in a bold color. Bomber jackets were a thing and same for the 20th Century Fashion History: 1990-2000 | The Fashion Folksboots. Not to forget, the 90s were the first proper decade where sneakers got a major fashion status.

A third style one can define is the school girl style. Yup, I’m talking plaid, crop tops, high waisted mini skirts, knee socks and blazers. Not to forget turtlenecks and also denim overall if going for the leisure style. The style lands somewhere between elegant (but barely) and street style. A 90s perspective on the 1960s style with short lengths and high socks but without the popping colors and statement prints. Think Clueless (to the right) if you want to get the ultimate idea!

The clothes between 1990-2000

If this post wasn’t marked with “the fashion history of the 90s”, it could more or less be a post on the current clothes that are trending. The 90s have been a major style influence for the later half of the 2010s. So when I say that crop tops, turtlenecks, jeans jackets, slip dresses and mom jeans were some of the most popular clothes of the decade – it could be equally as true for the fashion trends we’re living this moment.

The 1960s part of the 1990s was all about the short mini skirts, dresses, crop tops and high knee socks (much like our 20th Century Fashion History: 1990-2000 | The Fashion FolksOTK boots of today). As talked about earlier, the fashion had a touch of space with white, black, velvet, silver and metallic shades. The chokers were also a major piece to count on and worked for the street style life as well. As for the street style fashion, denim jackets, bomber jackets, animal prints, oversized t-shirts, boots and also a fair share amount of crop tops. A lot of plaid as in plaid shirts and oversized sweaters. With the attitude, you got the grunge fashion. 

As for the more elegant life. Slip dresses, blazers with matching miniskirts, and long coats were common. Often sans prints, but houndstooth, some dots and funky prints were popular too. Even though we already had seen a classic set for office wear as early as in the 1930s, and definitely in the 1980s, the office set of blazer and pencil skirt as we know it today, emerged from this decade. A basic blazer in a neutral shade hitting the hips and a matching pencil skirt hitting the knees and matching 20th Century Fashion History: 1990-2000 | The Fashion Folksshoes. That set up is still a common go-to for women with work in an office environment. The elegant life had a lot in common with the 1980s empowered and elegant women with blazers, turtlenecks, gloves and gold details. Catching a vibe similar to the elegance of Paris’ fashion and Chanel.

Beauty between 1990-2000

Not only have the 90s fashion taken over our lives these past years, the makeup and beauty life have also made their impact. Or how about the mauve, brown, purple lips- and eyeshadows that are trending? All the lipsticks in brown/dark red/mauve shades were major in the 90s. So were also eyeshadows of bright metallic with light blue, lavender and some bright green. Lip liners were major (as today) but often in a shade darker than the rest of the lips. The 1990s were also the years of the bronzer, with sunkissed skin being kind of a big deal. Often in questionable shades, but that’s for another post.

As for the hair, the length hit slight below the shoulders. The voluminous hair from the 1980s partly remained with women’s hair being done as a voluminous bob. It was also common with hairdos, like two buns on top of the head or two high ponytails. The eyebrows were to be thin and heavily defined, often contrasting the bright shades of the eyeshadows.

Spotlight of 1990-2000: Calvin Klein

So Calvin Klein’s breakthrough decade wasn’t the 90s, more the 80s, but his design of the decade reflects the fashion so well. The fashion was the very edge of minimalism with a solid focus on the lines of the clothes rather than details, colors or prints. It was one shade colors all the way with simple and clean necklines, silhouettes and hemlines. A lot of slip dresses, pantsuits, long coats and bright shades as white and beige.  Not to forget the underwear and all the denim. Klein was behind 20th Century Fashion History: 1990-2000 | The Fashion Folksa lot of thought-provoking, sexualising and objectifying commercials for their underwear lines. Campaigns that are questionable in more than one way, but nevertheless effective as Klein’s sporty underwear remains some of the most iconic ones of our time. Kate Moss was the leading model for the company and contributed even further to the brand’s status as well as her own.

Transition to 2000s

Here’s how it goes: one should never say never to anything and especially not within the frames of fashion. But I am going to say never to wearing the fashion of the early 2000s. Never have so many fashion crimes been committed and so many designers having a lot to apologize for. If you’re a fashion stalker though, you know that certain “it-persons”  today are slowly starting to wear more and more fashion of the late 90s and early 00s.

Because here’s how it is: the early 2000s can in many ways be described as 90s fashion but worse. The crop tops even shorter, the waist even lower and the miniskirts even shorter. I call the late 90s/early 00s fashion for Barbie 20th Century Fashion History: 1990-2000 | The Fashion Folksfashion as it was pretty much was it was about. Pink, short skirts, short tops, fishnet, fur clothes, oval shaped sunnies, plastic clothes and overall quite the plastic feeling. But more about that next week, I’ll drag the whole decade then (definitely going for objectivity here, lol).

Thoughts: 1990-2000

As for now though, my 90s heart is grateful for the revival of the 1960s fashion (though 1960s did it better). Love to see different styles being clashed and mixed. Because when it comes down to it, that’s where the 90s lands. The elegant business women meeting the street style fashion going schoolgirl vibe and a touch of grunge. Above all though: attitude. Attitude as in women ending the 20th century with work, independence and major improvements within the fight for equality. More attitude as in fabrics being used in new ways, or being invented to begin with, like leather, denim and plastic. Attitude as in personality, individualism and creativity being defining. Also, attitude as in defying the societal norms of dressing like everyone else, in relation to the homogenous fashion in the beginning of the 20th century. Less refined, but more defined.

Folks! What is the best part of the fashion history: 1990-2000 according to you? The skirts? The 60s vibe? The attitude? Let me know in the comments! Xx

20th Century Fashion History: 1990-2000 | The Fashion Folks

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20th Century Fashion History: 1980-1990

If you’re a fan of #girlboss or anything relating, you ought to love today’s post on the 1980s. Never has a decade felt so career-centered and fashion empowered than the eclectic 80s. Here’s a dose of powersuits, more is more and neon – The fashion history: 1980-1990

20th century fashion history 1980-1990 | The Fashion Folks

The Society during 1980-1990

The 1980s feels in many ways like a decade of eclecticism. Work and lifestyles were reflected in people’s choice of clothes spanning from the business people to youths and rockers. The Yuppies (young urban professional) ruled the finance world with their stylish and perfected lifestyles. The music fans had a golden era of Queen, Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna and so many more. Also, the 1980s had a major focus on health with an upswing of workout videos (just google) and colorful activewear.

The 1980s were also when the supermodel era began with Cindy Crawford, Iman, Brooke Shields, Christie Brinkley and among others. Anna Wintour also began her career on American Vogue (still going strong) and Karl Lagerfeld took Chanel back in the spotlight. A major fashion icon was Princess Diana. Iconic tv-shows and movies from the decade includes Little House on The Prairie, Full House, Baywatch, Breakfast Club, Star Wars and E.T. There are of course, so many more, but as we get closer to present time, Hollywood expanded heavily and more shows and movies made their impact.

Style of the 1980-1990

20th century fashion history 1980-1990 | The Fashion FolksThe style of the 1980s would mainly be about one thing: more is more. No matter which style you preferred, the more is more approach was present. If you went for an office look, your shoulders ought to be heavily oversized and your outfit in strong and contrasting colors. If you went for a funky look, voluminous hair, neon colors and denim on denim. The edgier fashion as in rock went full on with black, leather, animal prints and t-shirts with motives (not to forget the hair for that part too). The decade was voluminous, over the top and went big even when the outfits were rather simple. The inverted triangle was the silhouette to strive for.

The previous decades (actually back to the 1920s) were decades with a distinct use of prints. The 1980s of course used prints, but nowhere near the same amount in the previous decades. Instead it was all about the colors: from pale pastels to neon and primary colors.  The colors were to be paired with one another for a powerful effect. 20th century fashion history 1980-1990 | The Fashion FolksNeutral shades as beige, light grey and white were also common. The prints that would define decades would be animal prints but also funky geometric patterns in energetic shapes.

Something I’ve discussed on countless occasions is the relation between the empowerment of women in society and the tendency of a masculine fashion. And so was the case for the 1980s, women had their own careers and the masculine fashion, and tendency, was present in all the styles. From the edgy fashion (like Madonna) to the casual oversized shirts and blazers that were ultimate. The width of the shoulders made an empowering impression as they took up place literally and metaphorically.

20th century fashion history: 1980-1990 | The Fashion FolksThe clothes between 1980-1990

There are several items that remains clothing pieces of the 1980s. Or how about bodysuits, leg warmers and blazers.? The two former were clothing pieces for workouts, often with matching (or not matching) leggings in a neon shade or any other popping color. The bodysuits had a high cut which made the legs appear longer. Leggings were by the way major for the decade, being important for all styles.

Loose shirts in silk-y materials in combination with high waisted pants and a belt to mark the waist was common. This look was a more sophisticated style of the business woman that went for a statement blazer, a voluminous blouse and matching skirt. Often with elegant earrings and a flowy hair to complete the look. Oversized sweaters were also popular, often in a simple college style but in a statement color or print. For outerwear the coats were often knee-length with an emphasis on the shoulders (what else). The business style of women felt overall really posh and was in line with the elegant style of Princess Diana. A touch of the British 20th century fashion history 1980-1990 | The Fashion Folkscountryside anyone? (Just see above to the left).

For the edgy fashion á la Madonna (see slideshow above). A leather jacket, some lace and high waisted skirts were a must. To go with the look; layers of necklaces, bracelets and lots of hair.  Also some washed out denim would do the look. Animal prints would also help to add to the edgy look, though they were also common for the more elegant life.

Beauty between 1980-1990

The makeup of the decade was either more is more or less is more. On one hand, a lot of questionable colors as hot pink and lilac used in questionable amounts. On the other hand, bushy eyebrows, natural eyes and peachy shades. The most common makeup look for the everyday person landed somewhere in between. With some shadowing for the eyes in a more neutral tone, and 20th century fashion history 1980-1990 | The Fashion Folkscolorful lips in a neon pink or a brown/red-ish shade. Probably always too much blush though in a pink shade being used as both contour and blush.

The hair was all about the flow. A lot of hair going upwards or sideways on the top of the head. Brooke Shields’ hair was ultimate with its thick texture and healthy look. Even if you had short hair, you had to embrace volume. 

Spotlight of 1980-1990: Chanel/Karl Lagerfeld

No one else than the one and only Karl Lagerfeld would take over the legendary fashion brand Chanel (still going strong). Chanel was the perfect fashion label for the 1980s with Coco Chanel that had dressed women for independence since the 1910s. That in combo with the brand’s elegant style, and 20th century fashion history 1980-1990 | The Fashion Folkslove for blazers and pencil skirts, Chanel ought to lead the decade. With Lagerfeld starting in 1983, he would keep the elegance and empowering clothes for women with sets of blazers, pants and skirts. Amongst other looks, he designed a black and white set of a jacket and skirt with gold details, a look that remains iconic to this date. His 1980s style consisted of a lot of classic black and white combos. Also some touches of pink and red.

Transition to the 1990s

The 1990s is similar to the 1980s in many ways. The oversized silhouette is there, if less dominant, also the pastel shades and the use of denim and strong colors. The decade often feels like a less glamorous style of the 80s, with functional clothes as well as street style being more prominent. I like to think of the 90s as a mix of the 80s and the 60s, as mini skirts and short dresses, amongst other features, would be popular again. Clothes of the late 1980s and the early 1990s are quite similar and not that easy to separate, something that indicates 20th century fashion history 1980-1990 | The Fashion Folkson the smooth transition. As the 80s went on, the emphasis on the inverted triangle silhouette would decrease  and a slim and defined fashion would emerge. The supermodels of the 80s continued to dominate the fashion world during the 90s, but with new stars as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer.

1980s  styling edition:

As 1980s is the hottest decade in the fashion world at the moment, I thought I’d add some styling tips on how to pull off the 1980s in a modern day context. There are mainly two things to be aware of:

  1. Pick either colors or style

When going for a 1980s look, pick either the style or the color/prints for an outfit. If you’re going for an oversized blazer in a pastel purple, you risk looking like you belong in a time capsule. If you just go for the pastel purple, choose a blazer that’s more contemporary and defined. In that way you’ll add the vibe of the 80s but you’ll still look trendy. Same goes for the style/silhouette. If you’re heading for the shoulder statement, pick it in a chic color/print that would work today. Perhaps an all white blazer or a blush shade? The key here is to keep a balance between the 1980s and today. There is a difference between dressing like you’re still in the 1980s and dressing like you’re inspired by the 1980s – The difference is centered to mixing the old vibes with contemporary ones.

  1. Balance with a modern touch

Even if you pick a clothing piece that’s a mix of now and then, it’s still important to add modern elements to feel and look new and “fresh”. This is of even bigger importance if you shop vintage, or picks a piece that’s a core reflection of the 80s. Add trendy and modern details to balance the old vibes. Add a pair of skinny leather pants or a blouse with ruffles. Go for a defined leather jacket to the voluminous pants or add distressed denim to your oversized blazer. If you’re going for the 1980s makeup look (are you sure though?) work it with a modern or timeless outfit. If you’re going for 1980s clothes, keep the hair and makeup + accessories as stylish as you can.  It all goes back to finding the perfect mix of old and new, then and now. Though I have to say, the look below is from 1984 (?) and is painfully stylish, would kind of work today. So keeping it to timeless colors is another trick!

3. Look for the right inspiration

Turn to social media or the runway to see how the contemporary 1980s looks like today. Here are some posts featuring 1980s looks/styles as of 2016/2017: 

Folks! Hope you loved the post as much as I loved writing it. I have to say that for each week passing by it gets harder and harder to summarize the fashion as more and more styles and influencers emerged. Gosh. Anyways, if this week was about the empowered business women, next week is all about the 90s kids! Xx

20th century fashion history 1980-1990 | The Fashion Folks

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20th Century Fashion History: 1970-1980

Keeping the swinging vibe from the 1960s and transforming it to the disco life of the 70s is pretty much was this decade was about. From Manhattan and Studio 54 to jumpsuits and the wrap dress of Diane Von Furstenberg. Here’s the fashion history: 1970-1980:

20th century fashion history 1970-1980 | The Fashion Folks

The Society during 1970-1980

As the world kept developing and progressing, the 1970s would become another decade where society would change. The 1970s would be defined by the movements. For women’s rights, equality for people of color as well as justice and acceptance of the LGBT community. Different movements would raise questions of global warming and stress the matter of sustainable development. Other movements in specific brought up questions of gender identity, discussed alternative ways of life and would very much indeed define the style of the decade.

The cultural life bloomed with more and more people of color being included in popular culture. TV-shows such as Charlie’s Angels, All In Family and Hawaii Five – O (only to mention some) would set the tone for Hollywood. Some iconic people from the decade in the cultural context includes icons such as Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Grace Jones, Liza Minnelli, Davie Bowie and more. Studio 54 would be the center of the elite, with a mix of actors, models, designers and artists.

Style of the 1970-1980

As with all decades, different styles would define and separate the fashion. Though to be noted is that the styles shared the same foundation. The overall silhouette was an upside down Y with narrow tops and wide pants, maxi skirts and 70s jeans (yup, you know it). This 20th century fashion history 1970-1980 | The Fashion Folkssilhouette worked for the hippie life as well as the disco of life akaStudio 54. The length of the skirts and dresses also went as short as possible with hotpants, mini skirts and short dresses being popular clothing styles to go with the platform boots.

The liberal style of the hippies would translate into loose clothing pieces such as tunics, maxi dresses, frills and sheer fabrics. The new interest for sustainable development, and caring for earth, was visible in the earthly shades. The hippie life would also promote a rather unisex fashion  with women and men dressing alike in terms of shirts, denim, print, accessories and colors. When we talk about bohemian fashion today, it’s a rather simplified version of the 1970s style with more prints, details, layers and exaggerating styles being the matter of the past.

The opposite of the down to earth hippie life would be the disco life. The disco life was the glam version for the 1970s with sequins, glitter, metallic, white and glamorous jumpsuits being in focus. Alike the hippie style, the silhouette 20th century fashion history 1970-1980 | The Fashion Folkswas an upside down Y, with wide legged pants. Ruffles, flowy shapes and statement boots would be key features. More and more skin was shown, earlier it had been in the context of legs, but crop tops and dresses/jumpsuits with cut out details emerged.

The everyday style of the 1970s also went for the same flowy life as the other styles. The 1970s was the decade where denim would be accepted as an everyday item for both genders. Shirts and a sweater to go with it was common. Printed tops and pants for both men and women were popular. A lot of animal prints but also motifs of nature, paisley and post-modern art patterns.

As mentioned, womenswear and menswear were pretty similar as they more or less shared prints, colors, clothes and silhouettes. This was, of course, a product of the unisex thoughts in society and the fight for equality. Unlike previous decades where women tried to reach the level of men, the 1970s feels like the first time where men met “typical” womenswear and went more feminine with popping colors, prints and flowy garments.

The clothes between 1970-1980

The jumpsuit, the maxi dress and the wrap dress are only some of the iconic pieces of this decade.  All the mentioned clothes underlined a more liberal fashion that was both comfy and a matter of personal preferences rather thansocietal expectations of clothes. The jumpsuit would become a statement of equality with both men and women working the fabric. It worked well for the daily life in fun 20th century fashion history 1970-1980 | The Fashion Folksprints and popping colors but also for the glam disco life with sequins and stylish cuts. The pants of the jumpsuit were wide and needed the platform heels and boots to make them justice.

The maxi dresses (as well as skirts), flowy blouses and vests were all items of the hippie movement. They often came in earthly shades as brown, mustard yellow and faded green, orange and pink. The print was commonly floral (flower power, hello) and also paisley went for the popular market. The accessories were headbands, long necklaces, the peace sign, oversized sunnies and long and thin scarves.

Denim in the version of jeans and in the style of the 1970s was popular if not an it-item. 20th century fashion history 1970-1980 | The Fashion FolksMen and women wore them with shirts in prints and a belt by the hips. The 70s style was heavily flared and it’s no wonder that 70s jeans is the name for it. The shirts were unbuttoned and formed a v-shape. That same v-shape was a popular style for tops ofjumpsuits too, leaving no place for a bra. Speaking of bras, the 1970s were a decade where fashion went braless. A bra didn’t work well with the low neckline of the tops, nor the deep back. Neither was it in line with the movement of the hippies and the ideas of living freely and not under the ruling of clothes.

Beauty between 1970-1980

The beauty of the 70s should be renamed to the lashes of the 70s because this decade was all about the eyes. Longer lasher than ever (for both upper and lower lines) which gave a doll effect. The makeup was in that way similar to the 60s as the eyes were kept in focus. Bright shadows as blue, white, green, purple  and champagne were also trendy to do for an eye look. Unlike today’s eye makeup, the 1970s eyeshadows were mainly about one color and not shadowing the eyes. Just a 20th century fashion history 1970-1980 | The Fashion Folksstroke of purple over the eyelids and up towards the brows + the statement lashes and you were good to go. The eyeliner was for most part kept subtle and sometimes more statement. The lips were bright and peachy, similar to the 60s.

As for the hair, the 1970s would be the decade of more or less natural hair. Women should have their hair in midpart and let it grow long and freely. Often done in loosewaves or with curls á la Farrah Fawcett. Natural curls as in afro hair was also popular to embrace (like hello Diana Ross). Showing one’s natural hair was a reflection of the earthly and free vibes that defined society and fashion.

Spotlight of 1970-1980: Diane Von Furstenberg

Diane Von Furstenberg might not have been the first with a wrap dress but she was surely the one that would take it to new heights. She made the wrap dress a matter of comfort, function and style. The wrap dress fitted the liberal fashion perfectly as it shaped itself after the body and didn’t defy body limits as in previous decades. It was flattering 20th century fashion history 1970-1980 | The Fashion Folkswith the slight enhancement of the waist and it was easy to wear as it only required a knot/bow. The dresses often came in vibrant colors and prints. As I’ve stated in earlier posts, a wrap dress being produced in the 1970s and forward is often hard to date as the dress has more or less remained intact since. It’s a true wardrobe staple!

Transition to the 1980s

The 1970s had already played with oversized dimension (as in wide legged pants) so the transition to the 1980s would come natural. As the decade went on, the silhouette slightly turned from an upside down Y to an accurate Y. The shoulders would grow in size, the pants would go more narrow. Even though the hippie style wouldn’t continue in the same way to the 1980s, the disco life would do so. Or at least parts of it as the 1980s remains the nr one decade of animal prints, something that began in the 70s.

The pantsuit and powersuit would elevate in the later decade and steady its position as a clothing piece of and for equality. And who would define the position if not Chanel and the legend himself, Karl Lagerfeld, leading the brand? The powerful statement would be nothing though without the unisex fashion the 1970s promoted. The unisex fashion that developed alongside the fight for equality and justice for women, people of color and the LGBT community. If the people of the 70s only knew that we are still marching globally to protest against the injustice. This time around not in similar outfits but in pink hats, because pink is power you know.

 

Folks! This was the fashion history: 1970-1980. From Studio 54 and pop culture this week to animal prints, powersuits, rock and the oversized life of the 1980s next week. As the 1980s is the trend of the year, I’m sure that post will be a blast to do! Xx

20th century fashion history 1970-1980 | The Fashion Folks

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20th Century Fashion History: 1960-1970

The 1960s often feels like a counterpart to what the 1920s were to the first 20 years of the 20th century. Corsets, body defying clothes and heavy fabrics were changed in favor of simple silhouettes, functional clothes and a fashion that eased the position of women. The past sentence is as applicable for the 1920s as it is for the 1960s. 40 years later and the liberation of women through clothes happened – again. Here’s the fashion history: 1960-1970.

20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folks

The Society during 1960 – 1970

In a lot of ways, the society of the 1960s continued on the same path of the 1950s. The technology kept on improving, so did the Civil Rights Movement and the life of adults and teenagers became more distinct. The 1960s were in many ways a decade of fear of WWIII but also 10 years of growing culture and major improvements for mankind. The obsession with space influenced the fashion heavily. So did also London, the music scene and icons such as Twiggy, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin.

As the decade moved along, the focus on war would shift to politics in matter of equality as well as the environment. The hippie movement would emerged from the 1960s with the music festival in Woodstock 69’ being a major influence. 

Style of the 1960 – 1970

If there’s only one thing to thank the 1960s for – it’s the length of the skirts and dresses. Never in history had the length of women’s skirts been shorter. Women were not only allowed to show their calves but also their thighs during the decade. The miniskirt would be an important style feature for women’s liberalisation as they could move freely in the clothing piece and also show skin without being sexualized. The short length, in combination with the 20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folksvibrant prints and colors, created a youthful and optimistic style vibe. The short skirts, tight tops and makeup of Twiggy was mainly a style for the young adults and the liberated fashion would indicate of the more progressive views of the new generation. Twiggy in specific would be a leading style icon as she embraced a boyish silhouette which contrasted the heavy curves of the 1950s. Some people blame the skinny ideal of the 1960s for starting “the skinny model” debate.

As for the adults, the style remained quite ladylike with sets of pencil skirts and blazers being a look for the office. The silhouette shifted from A-line to body defined with a small belt marking the waist. The colors and prints differed somewhat depending on what style you embraced. The ladylike office style (think Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, Mad Men) was kind of colorful but remained refined in the style and heavily elegant. The youthful A-line style was both colorful and energetic with a lot of vibrant prints being 20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folksmatched. This style was connected to Carnaby Street and London, which put London in center as the fashion capital. It was all about the Mod style.

Another fashion that was embraced was the one of the Space Age. The clothes were minimalistic, functional and were often white or silver metallic. The fashion, led by André Courrèges, was inspired by space and looked quite futuristic and emotionless. 

The clothes between 1960 – 1970

Which designer that should have the cred for the invention of the miniskirt? Some say it’s Mary Quant and others that its André Courrèges: I say it’s both. Nevertheless would the clothing piece be an important symbol for feminism and women’s rights with its short length and liberal style. The skirt would be embraced by Twiggy and become a popular go-to piece for teenagers. Another important piece, the shift dress, would grow into becoming a defining piece of the decade. No wonder as they were comfortable, existed in different colors and prints, and left room for food babies!

The miniskirts were worn with sweaters, cardigans or matching tops. Especially the long sleeved sweaters (sometimes with a turtleneck) would be a popular piece to wear under dresses and cardigans. Often in a contrasting 20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folkscolor or print of the dress. The prints were often stripes, floral, geometric or optic print. Black and white became a popular color combination to work in prints and worked excellently with the bright orange, pink and pea green shades that were trending.

As for the lady style, Chanel influenced the fashion. Her tweed jackets and matching skirts would define the decade and were loved by the ultimate style icon, Jackie O. The lady style mainly consisted of knee long dresses and coats that often were matching. The details were often buttons and the main focus remained on the shape of the coats. The coats were a brilliant extension of the early coats of the 1950s (last pic in this post). They were one of the most important pieces of the decade and worked for both the youths and adults. Also sweet pastels and bright colors (see left) were popular.

Beauty between 1960 – 1970

The beauty of the 1960s is still beloved today. The decade was kind of the first decade where people experimented with makeup, but still kept it wearable. Even though the makeup of the 18th century was more extravagant, it’s not something we can relate to today. However, the 1960s makeup is relatable in terms of heavy eyeliner, big lashes and a 20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folksplay of bright eyeshadows and lines. Twiggy’s iconic makeup look was leading with the doe eyes and heavy eyemakeup. The lips were often peachy in the shade and white, bright blue and other pastels were popular as eyeshadows. Heavy lashes and eyeliner(s) remained in focus though.

As for the hair, well, similar to the 1920s when women cut the hair short: some women embraced a pixie cut during this decade (like Twiggy, again). The pixie cut worked well with the masculine ideal that grew popular (sans curves, straight silhouette etc). If you didn’t work the pixie style, your hair should only have one focus: be voluminous. Brigitte Bardot was leading in this hairdo with her iconic beauty look (see slideshow below). The fringe would be framing the face while the rest of the hair would be voluminous and bun-shaped. The name of a popular hairstyle? Bouffant. Another popular hairstyle? Beehive. We obviously need these names back in style (hairstyles too, lol).

Spotlight of 1960 – 1970: YSL

As talked about in last week’s 1950s post, YSL would define this decade through his powerful position in the fashion world. When he had conquered and convinced the fashion people with his designs at Dior, he moved on to have his own brand. Through his own-named label he would create iconic looks such as The Mondrian Dress (see left) and Le Smoking (a female version of a tuxedo). YSL kept on playing with the classic definition of womenswear and menswear by exceeding the previous lines. He gave women a simple silhouette, translated men’s clothes to women’s bodies and would continue on to set the tone for the decade. He mixed elegance with energy and wearability.

Transition to the 1970s

The later years of the 1960s would raise awareness of the gender gaps and injustice of the world. This would reflect the clothes as women’s fashion and men’s fashion would grow closer than before (naah, they were pretty similar during the 17th century tbh). But a unisex fashion would emerge, where women and men would wear the same, if not similar clothes. Both regarding style, colors and prints. The overall would be an important piece and the fashion of the bohemians was more or less same for women and men. As the 1970s arrived, the fashion had gone from strict, geometric and straight silhouettes to flowy fabrics, flower power, and a reflection of nature and earth. Pucci was an important designer for the transition, so was also YSL, Mary Quant and Guy Laroche.

And that’s a wrap on the fashion history: 1960-1970. Next week I’ll go powerful as in flower power, more unisex fashion and a mix of nature and disco! Oh btw, if anyone is wondering (giving the image below), I’m still madly obsessed with the coats of the late 1950s and 1960s. Like hello, give me them puhlease.

20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folks

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20th Century Fashion History: 1950-1960

I don’t get to use the term swinging 60s until next week really, but I’m pretty sure the swinging life started in the 1950s. Youth culture, housewives, Hollywood icons and a fashion balancing between elegance and energy. Here’s the fashion history: 1950-1960:

20th century fashion history 1950-1960

 

The Society during 1950-1960

I often think of the 1950s as a doll house. Where the focus is centered to having the perfect home and a happy family. Where the interior is matching the clothes of the family, the furnitures of the house are all the latest trends and the surface is polished to perfection. You know?

The 1950s were a decade of youths against adults.The growing youth culture would become the first distinct decade where teenagers differed from their parents in the way they dressed but also lived. During the 1950s the teenage culture would be inspired by Hollywood stars and their work: music or movies. School cliques as in gresaers, jocks and preppy are strongly associated with the decade. Including teenage things like high school prom, drive in restaurants and the American high school dream. (Think Grease).

The decade would also be a development for technology, iconify the idea of a housewife and embed every person’s (man’s) possibility to self-actualization. The car industry bloomed and technology peaked with television for the home. Even though the 1950s, with a retroperspective, feels like quite the youthful and joyful decade – the years were defined by the Cold War as well as reconstruction after WWII and also the Civil Rights Movements. Topics that contrasted the handbooks in how to be a perfect housewife (yup, those existed).

Style of the 1950-1960

The differing of youths and adults would reflect in how people dresses. The core would be the same however, but with youths going for simpler details and more functioanl. The so called greasers would approach a more edgy style with denim, leather jackets and – of course – greasy hair. Style icons were Elvis Presley and James Dean. The people that still kept it more or less conservative 20th century fashion history 1950-1960would have Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn as style icons. If one went for a more pinup style, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor would be more defining.

The hourglass silhouette was defined by Dior and The New Look. The bust was pointy, the waist tiny and the hips large. This was often enhanced with a corset or clothes that defined and hid the body in the right places. The illusion of  large hips was, of course, helped by the voluminous skirts and dresses that gave the effect of an even thinner waist. This iconic and lively look of the 1950s has it similarities to the mid part of the 19th century, where women looked like porcelain dolls. The latter is partly relating to the women of the 1950s where they looked polished and perfected. – just like how their homes should be. A matching doll house that is.

Parallelly to the feminine style, a more boyish look was developed with Audrey Hepburn being a popular icon. The look mainly consisted of cigarette/capri pants with a neat jumper and a pair of flats. Functional and minimalistic.20th century fashion history 1950-1960

The color scale for women was bright, sweet and sugary. Pastels in all shades possible, a lot of gingham and floral patterns. Pearls for the neck, gloves for the hands and scarves for the hair. Denim became an everyday item and red was a common statement for makeup as well as clothes (especially for the pinups). For the boyish look, the colors were similar to men’s with brown, camel, grey and black.

The clothes between 1950-1960

Several looks of the 1950s remains characteristic to this day. The tight cigarette pants paired with a sleeveless blouse is one iconic outfit. The twin sets with same colored top and cardigan (often with a pearl necklace) would be a popular go to (see below by Beauty). The skirts were fluffy and matched with a blouse or 20th century fashion history 1950-1960jumper. The collars and necklines of the blouses and dresses were a cute detail (see here). Bows were a popular choice of detail, often added to necklines.

Sunnies were an accessory that grew in popularity, often with pointy frames and matching to the rest of the outfit. The skirt length was right below the knee which was a favorable length for the effect of the skirt. The jackets and coats of the 1950s were important to the fashion, an importance that remains today. Or how about leather jackets and college jackets? The coats of the decade are insanely pretty with sack coats (with a silhouette like an oval shape). Even more popular were the sack dresses by Hubert de Givenchy that became more popular towards the end of the decade.

Beauty between 1950-1960

The beauty of the 1950s is more or less a more natural version of the 1940s beauty. The eyebrows were naturally thick with an arch in the center. The winged eyeliner got its full love in the decade, often done with the classic red lip. Eyeshadow could be white or bright blue.  I often think of apples (lol) whenever I see a makeup look from the 1950s. The skin is porcelain, the cheeks perfectly blushy, the lips are the 20th century fashion history 1950-1960perfect shade of red and the overall makeup look is polished to its core. 

The hair was wavy and curly, often framing the face hanging down from the sides. Another hair look was curly with the curls brushed away from the face, giving the face its full spotlight and an ladylike appearance. Ribbons were also popular to tie ponytails and braids.

Spotlight of 1950-1960: Givenchy

Even though the queen of fashion, Mademoiselle Chanel, made her big comeback during this decade (she despised Dior’s silhouette and clothes that stopped women from mobility and a functional life), this decade belongs to Hubert de Givenchy. The french designer got his big breakthrough during the 1950s with his new silhouettes, design and simplified glamour. He launched the sack dress, which was a major success, and stood behind several of Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic looks (Roman Holiday, Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the 60s). The two of them were close friends and Hepburn was his muse. Givenchy’s style was simple but glamorous with a focus on the fabric/silhouette rather than details, which was a nice contrast to the current trends.

Transition to 1960s

The years after the mid 1950s, fashion began to go more functional. Chanel was back in fashion and embraced a more straight silhouette. So did Pierre Cardin (as seen below, just look at the coats – hello gorgeous!). Christian Dior passed away in 1957 and his successor, YSL, launched the trapeze silhouette (A-line) in 1958 with his Trapeze Line for Dior. The A-silhouette would define and enable a lot of the fashion in the 1960s, from the mini skirts to the iconic shift dresses. The fashion of the late 50s went more simplified and functional but still kept the core of fun colors and patterns. The latter would be intensified and underlined in the 1960s – and with its full force be a part of the swinging 60s.

And that’s a wrap on the fashion history: 1950-1960. Next week will be about London, the final liberalisation for womenswear and space!

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