Fashion over the years
Fashion can be described as an expression of society and reflects the values of the youth of that decade. The fashion capital - Paris and other major cities Milan, New York and London have defined the trends for us. The millennium saw sustainable fashion and the concept of recycling being adopted by present day fashion designers who are aware of the need for conserving the environment. Today, fashion could be interpreted differently by every individual. Skinny jeans, the ripped variety or faded denims - people are comfortable in sporting whichever decade style they favour. You can couple a modern cocktail dress with retro oversized sunglasses; choose lace or a swirling chiffon or satin silk skirt for occasion wear and the sleek pantsuits for office. You can also go gothic or grunge style with darker blacks and browns. What were the dominant trends over the decades?
The fifties was the era of elegance with full chiffon or taffeta dresses with floral prints. The dresses were fluffed out with petticoats or crinolines worn underneath. It was the era of the red lipstick, solid one colour shoes, usually high heels and simple makeup. India was newly independent and "khadi" or hand-spun cotton was the fabric mostly used. Sarees and short hair was the look donned by most actresses.
The 1960s was the wild and crazy decade, the start of the hippie era. Bright funky patterns and dresses made of silk and linen turned in. The dresses were never made to fit your shape and were box-shaped i.e. going down straight. Shoes were never of a single colour. The biggest trend of the 60s was the mini-skirt, reflective of the liberal mind-sets of the youth towards sex. Bollywood brought in extremely tight kurta and churidar and bell bottoms, tight pants and psychedelic colours.
The 1970s was more of wearing whatever you thought was cool so individuality fashion led to trends like platform heels, ripped jeans, embroidered peasant tops, bell-bottoms and flared trousers. Fabric was acrylic or polyster. The disco era was also marked by garish eye make-up for girls from pink, green, blue and orange coloured mascara and more simple gloss on lips. Amitabh Bachchan and his flared trousers gave rise to a cult following in India. Zeenat Aman’s look in Hare Rama Hare Krishna became a trend setter.
The 1980s was the era of rebellion. Skin-tight acid-washed jeans, converse shoes and fingerless gloves marked this decade. Designer jeans were ‘Destoyed’ denims or acid washed. Make up was most outrageous- huge volumes of eyeshadow, lipstick colour could be brown, green or red, anything that makes your elders cringe. The fabric was shiny lycra or acrylic in neon, gold and silver colours. India saw off the shoulder tops sometimes oversized, leggings and large hoop earrings look from most actresses and the disco movies from Disco Dancer and Om Shanti Om defined style as bold and flashy.
Work-men jeans and overalls became the new fashion trend in the 1990s. Low rise jeans and black leather jackets surfaced. Some other trends of the 1990s were super mini-skirts made of leather, super-skinny or baggy jeans, military or androgynous clothes, subdued minimalism or maximizing in clashing colours.
Fashion is constantly changing and evolving and it seems every day brings a new look. So what’s your style today?