Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Approximately 100 Years

This is just a quick post, I wanted to share an article I wrote for my School's newspaper about how fashion has changed/stayed the same over the last century
From 1912-2012, Fashionably of Course
Time sure flys! I thought it would interesting to take a look at the way fashion has changed, and stayed the same, in the past 100 years. Undoubtedly, everything comes back; no trends ever die. On to the turn of the century.
            Fashion in 1912 was in no way thrilling. Fashion was in a weird growing stage, like when a girl with bangs has to continually clip them up with barrettes and other crap when they’re just too long to wear down. Fashion was in a stage of removing feminine bondage fashion and entering a time of leisure. For the past four hundred years or so, women wore corsets and cumbersome undergarments. Around this time in history, women started taking off corsets and embracing easier styles with an eye towards exercise and menswear.
            Right at the turn of the century, fashion was at a high point. The Triangle Shirtwaist factory, yes the unfortunate one that burned down and killed many, created disgustingly beautiful blouses; fitted in the back and bloused in the front. These were paired with long hip skimming skirts, ending in a full bottom. This style of look, done in many variations, including suits, separates, and dresses, is the most popular and well-known silhouette of the time. In these years, corsets were still worn, but the shape was different than before; they were slightly longer to accommodate ensembles that showed off the hips. This silhouette was often referred to as the S-bend. This type of corset made the bust and torso flat; the bum and busts then created an “S” when the wearer stood in profile. These styles of dress are very, very relevant now. With high-end lingerie brands like Agent Provocateur and Kiki de Montparnasse, corsetry has started to come back. These extravagantly expensive corsets aren’t just for the bedroom; many are suitable for wear in real life. Corsets can now be styled tucked into skirts, or layered under a menswear inspired blazer. As for fit and flare skirts? They happen to be one of the most popular cuts for wedding dresses. Designers like Lanvin, Erdem, and Jason Wu have just released floor length ballroom skirts. These are now being styled with button down wovens; many very similar to those made by the Triangle Shirtwaist factory. As for shoes, forget about it. Victorian shoes often featured a heel around 2 inches. Wanna wear those? We just may start to have friendship problems. Just kidding…but not.
            As for right when the school opened? Some were still wearing styles like those discussed above, but those more fashionably-with-the-times adopted a more relaxed style. As a reference point, think of the movie Titanic. The costuming was very well done; the looks that the female cast wore are awesome visual aids for the type of clothing worn around 1912. Fashion revolved around suits. The typical style included a straight skirt, around calf length, and a slightly longer jacket with a bit of tailoring. Corsets were much softer, or not worn at all. The skirt style can be worn today, it is less attractive and sexy than the aforementioned style, but for those who enjoy the art of fashionable “Man-Repelling”, this skirt is great. For those not so interested, this midi-style skirt can be sex’d up with a crop top, fitted jacket, and sky-high sandals. I would say to stay away, but if you have a great desire, go for a very strappy, open shoe. The goal is to show skin, foot skin counts and frankly, a bit of toe cleavage is always welcome in my book. The other route is to go covered sexy; a leather jacket and high-heeled leather boots. Essentially what I am saying is that when faced with a hyper conservative skirt, there are two routes; show everything (think bandeau and…gloves} or super covered up to leave the lovely body underneath to the imagination. Men love to dream. Carven and Hussein Chalayan put out some great skirts, if you're up for the challenge. Go ahead, I dare you.
            Fashion is continuously circular. Just think, one day, our clothes will be vintages and designers will say how much they were inspired by out decade. Crazy, huh? Allez Viens! Experimentation is always a plus; I can’t wait to hear the results. Ill be the control, run free my independent variables, you have my blessing!

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