Friday, July 25, 2014

A History Lesson

We all had our favorite subjects in school, right? Or at least that one class that we kind of looked forward to and did pretty well in? Throughout my high school career, I only truly loved three subjects: English Literature, Spanish, and History. When I went off to college, I figured out ways to keep studying these subjects even though I was trying to achieve my general education credits. For instance, I opted for French instead of Spanish because I wanted to be multilingual or something. I just needed a new language to figure out. I decided to add another minor in Creative Writing halfway through my college career because I began to feel hollowed out with the amount of business classes I was taking. When I was finally able to take a lot more courses for my major, which was Apparel Merchandising, I took a course in Apparel History. This is still one of my favorite courses that I ever participated in.

Now, some people might not understand why I was so crazy about this subject, but it all makes sense if you know how I spend my free time. I'm a history nerd. Fact. For as long as I can remember, I have gone to antique and thrift stores to sift through vintage pieces. I would admire their longevity and wonder about their unique story before they ended up being sold. Fashion trends have always been greatly affected by the current affairs of the time. Hemlines changed due to social unrest, color palettes changed with the economic status, and so on. Why is it that you can easily spot a hippie costume or a 50s style skirt? Because the fashion was affected by the times and in turn became iconic. See, I told you... a total nerd. 

Understanding the change in silhouettes, color palettes, etc. and how these correlate to what was going on in the world was something that fascinated me to no end. Of course, I have my favorite fashion eras as I have mentioned before. Coco Chanel, being the fashionable Leo she was, helped pave the way for the 20s silhouette of slim and almost boyish. We all know the 1920s were a time of revolution and women were getting pretty wild. Or so they say. This relaxed silhouette was the opposite of it's predecessor which involved a lot of constricting undergarments that I would seriously never wear. It makes me feel claustrophobic just thinking about it. 

The drop waist silhouette may not be the most "figure flattering", but that was kind of the point. 
And it looks so damn comfortable.

Another favorite era is of mine is the 1960s. I've already raved about how much I love this particular decade and it's also interesting to see what people were wearing because it was a time of rebellion against the 1950s. Love a good rebellion. I am just so smitten with this decade. Marilyn Monroe was the icon of the luscious hourglass figure that was wildly idolized at the time. And then walks in the gamine Audrey Hepburn. And thus began two different body types being deemed as equally sexy and appealing wearing the fabulous trends of the time.

So what am I getting at here? Why on earth am I going on and on about this? Well, I love being able to tell what may or may not have been happening in the world based on the way people look in an old photograph. I love the humanity of the people I see in these old photographs. It's easy to distance yourself from people then because they are maybe no longer living, but they were real people with real lives inside the times we hear about in history classes. Also, it proves that there is an entire reasoning behind why people behave, talk, and dress in certain ways depending on the time they live in. There is an entire pattern to all of this.

It truly makes me wonder what kind of clothing will define the decades we are living in right now. I mean, think about what people were wearing in the early 2000s. It frightens me. Just something to think about.

Until next time,

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