The Past is oh so Very Now

ShoppingFashion / Style

  • Author Davinia Vitrac
  • Published April 16, 2011
  • Word count 591

You know where I am going with this one... This is not a new craze that has taken the nation unrepentantly by surprise, it has been more of a slow and steady walk in the park that stepped itself up into a gentle jog, then became a sprint and now it has become a tidal wave, a marathon of serious proportions and it is roaring ‘retro revival’!

It is fair to say that the first phenomenon of fashion happened in the 15th Century, prior to this, for ten centuries or so clothing in the western world could not be called ‘fashion’. Men and women dressed alike, it was a very stable style with its routes in the roman emperor, a simple style of togas and draping.

In the 15th Century clothing came to symbolise power, it began to represent social status and economic power. During the renaissance movement clothing became the biggest distinction between social classes and fashion was restricted solely for the rich, the aristocrats.

From the 15th Century onwards fashion evolved but it also ‘revolved’ around the chosen attire of royalty. In the 17th Century France became the fashion capital of Europe. During the reign of monarchy whatever the King and his mistresses would wear to court, quickly became the most sought after style and colour of the season, everyone, who was anyone would have to have it.

If we skip a few centuries and land in the 1940s-50s a new influence emerged in style and fashion and it came directly from the streets, young peoples groups became popular at this time, these groups contested society and its values. A new culture emerged and it wanted a new way of life, it began with the beatniks, then the hippies, the punks, rock and roll, grunge, hip hop and electronic music. These groups dressed in a rebellious, unique style yet they all dressed very much alike.

We can conclude that in the past, fashion has been greatly influenced by movements, from the aristocrats wanting to demonstrate their social power and recognise each other to the hip hop and drum and bass movements, who, influenced by their music also dress alike.

Today, we have turned a corner, fashion is less about following a trend and conforming to a group mentality, it is more unique than ever before. Today we strive for individuality and uniqueness. Fashion today means breaking away from the norm, it is no longer important to simply fit-in, we want to dare to be different!

With our new quest to express our individuality it is no surprise that vintage clothing and retro styles are becoming more and more popular today. The best and easiest way to express our uniqueness is by creating our own styles. By taking influences from the past and mixing and matching vintage classic pieces with more modern accents, this way we are able to ensure that no two outfits will ever look the same.

Only 10 years ago most of us would have been too embarrassed to be spotted walking into the local charity store by our friends, however, today it is considered the very cool thing to do. Vintage clothing is becoming increasingly easy to find, it guarantees a unique look and it is affordable but to top of all of these great reasons to go vintage is the possibility of changing your look whilst also supporting some great causes. We encourage you to check out your local charity store, you will be surprised by some of the great gems that you can discover.

Davinia Vitrac is the owner of http://www.thedressinggown.com, an online boutique that specialises exclusively in ladies dressing gowns. Inspired by the 1950s screen sirens of yesteryear, TheDressingGown.com has one single mission - to bring the essence of femininity back into the world of ladies dressing gowns.

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