In 1945 up to 1960, the couturiers ruled. Dior introduced the New Look. Balenciaga presented the high-waisted dresses. Givenchy made mix and matched separates. Balmain cornered the market for luxurious clothes, while Chanel invented the braided suit with gold chains and shiny costume jewelry.
In 1964, Mary Quant invented the mini-skirt and shocked the world. Hemlines kept on rising with micro-minis. Hippies took the scene with bell-bottom jeans and tie-dye shirts. Women loved Jackie Kennedy’s signature pillbox hats.
In the 70s, bell-bottoms still ruled. There were additions, however. Polyester, rayon and jersey dresses and shirts became popular. There were now three different skirt lengths to choose from: maxis (ankle-length) midis (mid-calf) and the original minis. Then, there were the hot pants, a shorter version of regular shorts.
The 80s had Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein in the scene. The street urchin look was popularized by Madonna. Leg warmers seen in “Flash Dance” became the rage even for non-dancers.
Shoulder pads made a splashing comeback courtesy of the TV shows “Dallas” and “Dynasty”. Tattooing and body-piercing began. Men and women wanted acid-washed jeans as well as Michael Jackson jackets.
When the 90s came around, retro clothing took off. It was the decade of supermodels. Whatever Kate or Naomi or Cindy wore, the women wanted them. Princess Diana, not a model, also inspired many with her dresses.
When 2000 rolled in, it was the turn of the music scene “look”. Heavy metal, hip hop, low-rise jeans, spiked hair - these fashion markers were most popular.
Fashion trends are like seasons, leaving and returning in cycles. Only that they go away when no one is looking and come back when least expected. There are no formulas, nothing cast in stone as far as fashion is concerned.
For fashionistas, don’t throw out your old clothes. They may look funny now, but you’ll definitely strut in them sometime in the future when they are back in fashion.
On second thought, you can do the strutting right now. Somebody has got to jump-start things.