ITS BEEN REAL – Fashion Through The Decades

We were given the assignment of ‘Fashion Through The Decades’, to be exact 110 years of fashion which we are going to eventually put into a book. For each decade we have to explore and research the fashions trends and what fashion was essentially reacting too and how it kept on evolving.

The concept myself and Skye De Chazal are exploring is how major art and design movements throughout the decades influenced fashion. The title of the book being ‘ART BEFORE FASHION, FASHION AFTER ART‘.

In this term we either had to do half of the pictures or half of the writing. Myself and Skye felt it was best to do the writing first so that we could really understand each decade and how we were going to tie in the art movements. Come the first day of next term, we hand in our book. Each decade requires a 500 word abstract and a photograph of our own styling and choices relating to that decade. Below are the 500 word abstracts I wrote for each decade, unfortunately they don’t come with the photographs in those post, but soon enough it is all going to come together. It might sound a bit strange reading the essays, especially when we refer to the styling choices for you to look at as a point of reference and there aren’t any to actually visually look at right now, so please use your imagination for now to fill in the gaps. Through writing these essays we were able to plan, envision and conceptualize our styling choices and design for each decades fashion. Even though these essays brought about stress for days and required endless amounts of time for researching, I really enjoyed writing about something that I have such a love for. So please  – ENJOY

The first decade of the 1900’s was known as the turn of the century, the end to the Victorian era and the start to the Edwardian era. It was an era of beginnings and endings. Technology was advancing, resulting in the 1900’s bringing about many useful inventions which could be used in day to day life such as the automobile, even inventions within fashion such as the electric sewing machine which reduced manufacturing time drastically. Although many within the Edwardian era clung onto the Victorian style of fashion with tight, impractical corsets and the presentation of misshaped bodies for a long while, the industrial revolution took that Edwardian style of fashion and made it more practical as people were working in factory’s and being more proactive. Industries were developing and increasing, along with that came new transport systems, fashion was becoming trendier and readily available to consumers, thus bringing the first decade of materialism and consumerism. There were many inspirations that influenced this decade of fashion such as art movements, as well as people’s attitudes towards clothing and how they believed it portrayed their status and personal image. In terms of art, the Edwardian era was a much more peaceful living experience then the Victorian era as there were no more wars to fight, this allowed artists and designers to flourish. Fashion in the later part of the 1900’s was starting to draw inspiration and influence from an art movement which peaked in popularity at the turn of the twentieth century, Art Nouveau.
Similarly to the Edwardian era, the Art Nouveau movement was a reaction “against the cluttered designs and compositions of Victorian-era decorative art.” (Wolf, 2012). Art Nouveau aimed to create styles of design more fitting to the modern age, breaking away from the historical styles that had recently just been the new fad. The styling choices within our 1900’s fashion model drew inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement, portraying many similar characteristics. Art Nouveau drew inspiration from natural forms, the movement often being characterized by organic, flowing lines with forms resembling nature and naturalness, as well as geometric lines with forms resembling sharp shapes. As seen in the fashion design of our 1900’s model, curvilinear lines and natural forms can be found in the pattern of the skirt, as well as lace and embroidery on the long sleeved blouse. Bodices and skirts were often combined to create one-piece dresses. Although this decade was known as the time of the hourglass and corsets were still being used, the principle of ‘form follows function’ within the Art Nouveau movement allowed fashion to become more practical and the silhouette of a woman to become a lot softer. This can be seen in the styling design of our 1900’s model where the high waist skirt still allows for a soft feminine shape, ‘fashion follows function’. In keeping up with the popular fashion trends came the 1900’s hair style known as the cottage loaf hair do and along with that a big, bouncy hat.

• Taylorlovesfashion, Blog Spot. 2012. Fashion history 1900-1910. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Fashionhistorymapnco, Blog Spot. 2012. Fashion in 1900s to 1910. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Wolf, Justin. 2012. Art Nouveau. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]

The 1910’s was divided between an exotic opulence in the first half of the decade to a somber formal utilitarian style of fashion leading up to and during World War 1, which began in 1914 and ended in 1918. The 1910’s brought about many different trends; thriving fashion in the early 1910’s consisting of oriental opulence and the birth of the movie star, to fashion taking flight with the first woman being a part of aviation, to the utilitarian style brought on by the World War, as well as in the late 1910’s when women were becoming more empowered and both their fashion and their lifestyle was changing. Even though fashion changed drastically during the second half of the decade to obtain the utmost practicality in garments during the Great War, fashion was thriving and evolving in the early 1910’s. The fashion silhouette became even softer as fashion aimed to support the shape of a woman’s body as opposed to changing it. Fashion designer Paul Poiret eventually put an end to the corset and encouraged woman to wear bras. Fashion was changing and there was a sense of rebellion happening amongst all the new fads, woman were getting their hair cut and styled into bobs and skirt hems rose to the ankle. The Edwardian style leading on from the first decade of the 1900’s became a lot more playful, innovative and vibrant in colour. This was largely influenced by the performance, and costume design, of the Imperial Russian Ballet which caused a cultural sensation, resulting in the fixation for Orientalism.
Fashion was soon drawing inspiration from Orientalist Art which was basically art depicting aspects of Eastern Cultures, which included exotic fashion items like jeweled clothing, turbans, harem pants, tunics, robes, head wraps, and lavish layers. The Middle East was a place of mystery, intrigue and glamour to the Western world, deeply romanticized in art, film, music, performance and literature. Paul Poiret was inspired by the exotic costume design of the Imperial Russian Ballet as well as Orientalism as an art movement, and so he started creating fashion drawing direct influences from both. In relation to our choice of styling for the 1910’s, we have styled our model in a hobble skirt styled dress. A hobble skirt is a skirt that is so tightly fitted by the ankles that woman would hobble when they walked, hence the name. Paul Poiret created this orientalist inspired skirt with the intention of making women imitate the way the Geisha girls walk. The style was ethnic, exotic and comfortable. As seen in our styling choices for the 1910’s, orange beads overlay layers of a creamy lavish silk, as well as the popular hairstyle of the decade, the Edwardian ‘pompadour’ hair style. The dresses belonging to this decade that were influenced by the Orientalism movement consisted of bright colors and pastels. It was thought that color was the very definition of “liberation.” (Poiret, n.d.).
• Admin, Vintage Fashion Guild. 2010. 1910 – 1920. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Cassidy K, Prezi. 2013. 1910-1920’s Fashion. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Weston, Pauline. 2014. Orientalism in Dress Edwardian Fashion/Titanic Era 4 1910s Fashion History. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]

The 1920’s was a decade born of sadness and confusion as everybody was trying to piece their lives back together after World War 1. Although, with that being said, it was also a profound decade for woman in the world as equality between genders was being properly considered and for the first time in history, woman had the freedom and right to vote. With all this new found independence, fashion for woman was running off in many different directions. For some women fashion became more masculine after the World War as women were stepping into career paths which were considered to be only fit for the male figure. Fashion was reacting and adapting to what was going on in the world. The 1920’s hosted numerous amounts of wild parties and was also known as the Jazz Age or the ‘Roaring Twenties’, as it was in the early 1920’s the Charleston dance became popular, along with flapper girls and flapper fashion. Women were allowed to embrace their sexuality and show their legs, going against conventional fashion. Many people think that the Flapper look consisting of the bobbed hair, long necklaces and cloche hats dominated the 1920’s but there was an explosion of inventiveness, individuality and imagination in innovative styles within women’s fashion. 1920’s fashion was heavily influenced by the Art Deco movement, steering fashion away from conventional and traditional fashion trends, and towards expressionistic colors accompanying flowing, elegant, elongated and graceful lines. It was a time when everybody wanted to forget the traumas of World War 1 and look to the future; “speed, travel, leisure and modernity were what this fashion conscious culture craved, and Art Deco gave them the images and objects that reflected their desires.” (Huxley, 1930).
The newly established and fashionable shape of a woman could be similarly linked to the characteristics of the Art Deco movement which emerged in 1925; sleek, elegant, industrial stylization and a streamlined design. Art Deco influenced fashion with simplicity of line, geometric and angular shapes; it was a modernist movement which allowed fashion to find new styles, ideas and inspirations. As you can see in our choice of styling for the 1920’s decade, this style of fashion portrayed elegant and straighter silhouettes, with an almost boyish-like figure. Dresses hung loosely with a dropped waist, almost creating a tubular frame around a woman’s body, it created a sense of youthfulness and glamour. The hem on dresses shortened rapidly and so stockings became a huge fashion fad. Our styling design for the 1920’s was aimed at resembling the ‘Flapper’ look; these were woman on a mission to break away from societal norms and expectations. Accessories were extravagant in the 1920’s, luxurious and grand. If you look at our 1920’s model you will see all the flapper fashion signifiers; a short shapeless shift dress, provocative make up, a long string of pearls, feathers, sequins, head band, cigarette holder and along with that, a conventional 1920’s bobbed hairstyle known as the finger wave pin curl.

• Cassidy K, Prezi. 2013. Fashion of 1910’s and 1920’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Moffat, Charles. 2008. The Art History Archive – Art Deco. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Dudbridge, Saxony. 2013. 1920’s to 1930’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]

The Wall Street crash occurred in the late 1920’s which resulted in the great depression. Although this depressing stock market crash encapsulated the 1930’s, this decade was also known as the ‘Flirty Thirties’. It was the decade of elegant escapism where people wanted to escape into glamour and keep themselves distracted and focused on the finer things in life, especially fashion, art and culture. Luxury became a fashion fantasy, but with that being said, it was only a small portion of society known as the ‘Café Society’ who lived wealthily. Dance competitions became increasingly popular where whoever danced with their partner the longest without stopping would win a small sum of money. For the poorer part of society who was heavily impacted by the Wall Street crash, this is where they found there escape. In comparison to the previous decade of extravagance, rebellion and living beyond ones needs, there was a fundamental change to how people lived there lives. Fashion became much more modest and feminine. The style became a lot more formal, making use of elegant gloves and hats, and along with the stock market, hem lines dropped back down to the ankles. Unemployment was high and with no money to spend, companies had to start replacing their decadent fabrics for more affordable, cheaper fabrics, as well as finding new and cost efficient methods of manufacturing clothes. As film grew increasingly popular, movies and social status began to influence fashion. It was during this time that the art movement Surrealism influenced fashion design.
Although a dour time for most, artistic expression found its way into fashion through the likings of fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli. Schiaparelli drew multiple influences from the Surrealist art movement, as well as received surrealist designs from none other than Salvador Dali himself, and incorporated them into her 1930’s fashion designs. Schiaparelli’s involvement in the Surrealist art movement and her contributions towards fashion in the 1930’s helped elevate fashion as being defined as an art form. Surrealism aimed to bring inner reality and outer reality together, it was a world where dreams came to life. Surrealist artists relied on dreams, nightmares and images from the subconscious to create bizarre subject matter, and there was always complex symbolism within their works. As seen in our choice of styling for the 1930’s, hemlines went back down to the ankles and waistlines went back to their natural positions, which molded to the body’s natural form whilst creating an elegant and elongated effect to the bottom half of the body. Styled in a long black velvet evening dress, with gold embroidery on the front of the chest, the gold embroidery follows the shoulders down the spine creating an elegant yet bizarre subject matter/design on the back and front of the dress. Suntans were still considered and closely related to belonging to a lower class, and so majority of woman had pale faces, which was accentuated with make up like rouge and lipsticks to lighten their already pale faces more. The aim was to create a pinkish ivory complexion that appeared flawless. By the end of the 1930’s all the trends which emerged during the decade cracked under the pressure of the approaching World War 2, and a whole new fashion style began in its place, reacting and adapting to a new world trauma.

• Hemline Quarterly, Word Press. 2011. A Brief History of Women’s Fashion Pt. 2: The Depression, The Bias & Return of the Waistline, 1930’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Admin, Vintage Fashion Guild. 2010. 1930 to 1940. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Dudbridge, Saxony. 2014. 1930’s to 1940’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]

The 1940’s was heavily dominated by World War II and along with that, the occurrence or aftermath of the great depression. Men had gone off to war which resulted in women having to fill and replace the role of, at the time, jobs that were only seen to be suited to male figures. This further resulted in the first major change from women at home to women in the workplace. Fashion reacted and clothing became much more practical and functional, and without choice – rationed, with a huge exception to accessories. Patriotism was glamorized and the utilitarian style was soon the new trend. It was a very masculine time for women’s clothing and so when the men returned home from war, there was a deep need to feel feminine again. The war was over and a “new look” was created for female fashion by Christian Dior taking the strong utilitarian style and giving it a new sense of glamour, femininity and elegance. Fashion during this decade struggled to keep flame but shared a similar concept with the new American art style, Abstract Expressionism, which emerged in the 1940’s. It was an expressionistic painting style which evoked a deep sense of emotion whilst only dealing with the formal qualities (color, shape, line, texture and tone), it had no reference to the visual world or subject matter similarly to how Christian Dior didn’t have much reference to the human body, but rather the overall fashion piece he aimed to create.
1940’s decade make up generally required a lot of foundation, light brown eye shadow in the socket of the eye, the highbrow left untouched, a dark brown liquid eyeliner on top of the eye and layers of mascara. After World War II, a traditional 1940’s Victory Roll styled haircut, gloves and many accessories was seen as the trend amongst women, mainly because there was no restrictions on them. There was a huge shortage in fashion clothing though and everything had to be rationed, woman felt they were at a loss of luxury and so with what they could experiment with to create some sense of glamour, they did. “As long as there is a desire for change and sense of fantasy – there will be fashion.”(Vogue, 1940). Restrictions became less restricted when the war was over and thus a new, elegant, feminine, graceful and in some senses independent style of clothing came about for what was to be known, as mentioned above, the “new look”. Although not being so easily or closely linked as other art movements are to fashion decades, I still feel it possible to link the attitude of Abstract Expressionism to this “new look” by Christian Dior in the 1940’s. What was once said by Harold Rosenberg with regards to Abstract Expressionism is that, “What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event” similarly to how Christian Dior once said regarding his aims in fashion, “Clothes are no longer merely practical garments with vague trends attached but masterpieces in themselves”. I personally feel as though there is a shared overall attitude which has similar attributions and an emotional relevance.

• Lady JoJo’s Boutique, WordPress. 2011. Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ of the 1940’s and 1950’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Hammerstingl, Werner. 1998. Abstract Expressionism. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Dudbridge, Saxony. 2013. 1940’s and 1950’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]

The 1950’s are often referred to as the ‘fabulous fifties’. There was a new energy in the air after World War II that people had never experienced before, many soldiers returned back home to pick up where they had left off, start new families and live in new homes, with new jobs, and women were encouraged to be housewives. Goods and products which were not available during the war were being made available, creating corporate expansion and jobs, people were encouraged to spend their money freely. Consumerism and culture was peaking, there was a sense of peace, excitement and renewal in the air. Housing, music, education, television, film, radio, cars, jobs, families; technology was advancing and there was growth everywhere. Soon after the security of the world war being over had settled in, Pop art emerged in the mid 1950’s, thriving on vibrancies, beauty and everyday living. It is considered to be the most important movement of the 20th century as it challenged the status quo present in the art world. This movement began with the fascination of popular culture and its images created by mass media, the advertising world and the fashion industry reflecting the opulence and prosperity that followed the post-war society. Similarly, the same motives behind this movement were coming into play in people’s daily lives as societal norms and expectations were being challenged too. After the World War woman’s fashion in the 1950’s reflected a combination of conservatism and glamour; alluring femininity or the ‘girl-next-door’ freshness. Woman embraced the new styles which came with a wide variety of woman fashion to choose from.
In Pop art, a vivid manifestation of pop culture reflects in vibrant colors and busy, sometimes hardly recognizable approaches. Pop artists used bright colors to glorify common objects, people, design symbols (fashionable or trendy things), icons and motifs. This can also be seen in our styling for the 1950’s through the use of a bright purple blazer, accompanied by a checkered slender high waist pencil skirt which was commonly worn in this decade. Along with that is a white blouse which accentuates the breasts. There was a massive breast fixation in the 1950’s, breasts were now the new sexy, along with an hour-glass figure which predominated the look of the 50’s. Andy Warhol was a famous Pop Artist who glorified the iconic figure, Marilyn Monroe, in his artworks. The nature of Marilyn Monroe, her sense of style and her body was hugely influential in the late 1950’s fashion scene, we used the iconic red lips, short bobbed-like blonde curly hair and dark ‘puppy doe’ eyes to recreate the 50’s look and used a bright purple blazer to enhance the pop art influences that were making its way into everyday fashionable influences amongst the less conservative part of society. The styling of our 1950’s model shared three major influences, Pop Art, the 1950’s and the iconic figure of Marilyn Monroe, who can be closely related to the Pop Art movement.

• Admin, Vintage Fashion Guild. 2012. 1950 to 1960. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Monet, Dolores. 2014. Fashion History – Women’s Clothing of the 1950’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Gersh-Nesic, Beth. 2012. Pop Art – Art History 101 Basics. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]

The 1960’s, also known as the ‘Swinging Sixties’, was a cultural decade which revolutionized societal norms and expectations regarding fashion, music, entertainment, experimentation with drugs, sexuality, equality, lifestyles, laws, values and education. It was a transitional and youth orientated decade infused with fashion, music and social change. Within this decade, the 70 million ‘baby boomers’ birthed after World War II were coming of age and “for the first time ever in any fashion era, the young became the leaders of fashion” (Thomas, 2001). Although the 1960’s began with a continuation of the conservative 1950’s style and silhouette, fashion had totally transformed by the end of the decade, resulting in many different styles belonging to different social groups; it became youthful, modern, colourful and vibrant. Traditional conventions were either completely abandoned or challenged leading to new and profound innovative fashion styles. As the 1960’s progressed, social unrest was stirring and as a result the ‘hippie’ generation emerged; becoming one of the iconic images of people, and social groups, in the 1960’s. By spreading peace, love and social awareness through peaceful protests, music concerts and literature, the hippie movement went global, having a strong influence on fashion during the late 1960’s. Hippie fashion wasn’t so much a statement but rather a form of expression, rebelling against the displeasing appearance of post war and embracing natural beauty. Both emerging in the latter half of the 1960’s, the Op Art movement and the Psychedelic Art movement influenced this style of fashion.
Op Art can be described as art that creates an optical illusion; this art movement’s primary goal is to fool the eye. Op Art generally consists of optically distorted geometric patterns, arranged in a way to create the illusion of movement on the surface. Psychedelic Art can be described as any art inspired by psychedelic experiences induced by substances such as LSD and mescaline. The Psychedelic Art movement explored altered states and aimed towards achieving a new level of consciousness. This movement commonly featured elements of contrasting and vibrant colours, kaleidoscope swirls, and repetition of motifs or symbols. The 1960’s addressed many controversial issues, and so a large portion of “youth sought spiritual experiences through Eastern Mysticism and psychedelic drugs” (Tafoya, 2012). Artists wanted to inspire viewers to leap into the unknown and experience art in their own way without a subject matter which was representational to the real world, similarly to how the hippie movement explored the unknown of their minds and experienced their own beliefs and imaginings in an altered state to reach a new level of consciousness. These art movements inspired a new style and outlook on fashion. Focusing on vibrancy and colour; bell-bottom jeans, tie-dye and batik fabrics, paisley prints, geometric or abstract shapes, medallions, bandanas, ribbons and flower patches were commonly worn. Through the styling choices of our 1960’s model, there is a clear connection between the inner and outer world within the clothing, both of which the art movements and the hippie movement aimed to collaborate. Styling choices consist of bell-bottom jeans and a tie dye top which has kaleidoscope-like patterns on it, hair is down and effortlessly straight with plaits and flowers in it.

• Dudbridge, Saxony. 2014. 1960’s to 1970’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Fierro, Pamela. 2008. 1960’s Op Art, Pop Art and fashion. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Thomas, Pauline. 2001. The 60s Mini Skirt – 1960s Fashion History. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Tafoya, Renee. 2012. Psychedelic 60’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]

Although being riddled with political and social disasters, the 1970s embodied a “decade of great political, economic, social and technological change worldwide.” (H&MUA Team, 2013). Although gender inequality was extremely prevalent during this decade, women’s liberation groups and feminists worldwide were finally making huge advancements towards gender equality. Equality in every sense of the word was being fought for. There was a tremendous shift between the 1960s social activism and the 1970s social activities, also known as the ‘Funky Seventies’, people were able to go out at their own desire to all night discos and partake in drug use. Music exerted a powerful force over fashion during the 1970s, Rock ‘n Roll broadened into a multitude of rock styles and Disco became the dance craze. The dawn of the disco was short lived though, as people soon realized the silliness and commercialism that came with the disco scene. What was once seen as counterculture influence during the end of the 1960s became mainstream fashion in the 1970s. This was one of many reasons a profound and youthful cultural movement emerged halfway through the decade – Punk. The punk movement drew heavy influence from Rock ‘n Roll music and soon after the movement found its feet, it evolved from being considered not just a sound, but a lifestyle. Punk was often defined as an anarchist and aggressive movement of designers, artists, musicians and young people. Punk subculture began as a reaction against the boredom of mainstream culture, and is often distinguished by its anti-establishment views and the promotion of individual freedom.
Punk Art is a good example of the art industry having a cultural influence within a decade. Punk Art developed its own sub-culture around the art movement influencing fashion, ideology, dance, film, visual art, literature and of course, punk rock. The style of punk suited its followers; each person involved in the movement interpreted the style personally. Fashion followed the art, only for the art to follow the fashion back again. After doing research regarding Punk subcultures it is clear to see that this cycle repeated itself while the punk fad was being wildly lived. Both Punk Visual Art and Punk Fashion were able to draw inspiration from each other’s creations time and time again, influencing a further exploration into the Punk subculture. In the late 1970’s Punk Visual Art and Punk Fashion were almost always surrounded by controversy as they deliberately rejected accepted norms of aesthetic beauty and purposefully idealized ugliness. They were nihilists, who aimed to influence and offend. Punk art and fashion was always a statement in some way or another. The style was unpredictable, at times disloyal and almost always critical over society. For our 1970s model we have made use of the punk fashion style called Glam Punk, originating from the styles of garage bands in the earlier half of the decade. Our styling choices can be closely linked to the characteristics of Glam Punk fashion; glitter, androgynous make-up, brightly dyed hair, ripped drainpipe jeans, small gold chains which hang around the waist, leopard print leotard, black platform boots and an oversized denim and leather jersey.
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• H&MUA Team. 2013. Women’s 1970s Makeup: An Overview. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
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The 1980’s, also known as the ‘Affluent Eighties’, was a decade where many changes were taking place in society and within technology. A decade heavily influenced by the invention of new technologies, computer aided designs and mass media. The 1980’s are remembered predominantly for its materialism and consumerism. Youth culture slowly but surely lost interest in leading the fashion scene, and so the dominant market became older and along with, more financially secure. The spirit of 1980s was associated with extravagance, luxury, glamour, money, consumerism, music, films and technology. The decade glorified glamour and Hollywood, resulting in an emphasis on costly dressing and fashion accessories with a lavish use of costume jewelry, pearls, earrings, diamante and sequins. Fashion started to move back towards being an expression of wealth and success. Popular television shows also played a large influence in the power dressing style of fashion making use of increasingly oversized shoulder pads to create a sense of dominance and power, as well as sparkling clothing and luxurious jewelry to portray wealth. MTV had also just been released on television during the early 1980s, music was everywhere and music videos were increasing in popularity; it was the decade of music meeting fashion. The 1980s, although being known for its tailored look throughout the decade, was also known for its wide variety of creativity and wild ideas revolving around fashion. People were having fun with their choice of styling and women especially felt that they could finally choose how to express themselves through fashion, as there was such a wide and contrasting variety to choose from.
Formed out of London nightclubs where attendants were required to dress as outrageously as possible, New Romanticism was a British art movement which emerged in the early 1980s as a reaction against the 1970s punk austerity. “New Romantics conjured up vivid images of soft, extravagant fabrics, elegance and finery. And whether they were Ziggy Stardust-inspired futurists in silver lame’ or 1930s nostalgia-inspired sophisticates in white tuxedos and evening gowns, what the New Romantics had in common and what separated them from the punks was an addiction to the glamorous.” (Live Journal, 2007). The art movement glorified glamour, flamboyant clothing and self-indulgence. It aimed at creating a sense of individuality as opposed to punk which created a sense of uniformity. Typical romantic glamour utilized the style of pirates, buccaneers or estranged Queens similar to that of the queen in Alice in Wonderland (2010) directed by Tim Burton. As seen in our styling for the 1980s, we used the dress up role of the estranged queen-like-princess. Her hair is big, curly, bouffant and heavily styled. Her face has been made to look all of the same white pale tone with a bold lipstick colour and streaks along her cheek bones to create some definition. Her eye makeup consists of deep maroons circling the eyes structure, matched with gold pearls under her eyelids. Her clothing is made up of layers of expensive cream fabrics which make use of embroidery, lace and frills, as well as a large ribbon around her waist.
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• Dudbridge, Saxony. 2014. 1980’s to 1990’s. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]

The 1990s, also known as the ‘Neo News Nineties’, was referred to as the age of electronics, technology and the internet. In terms of the political culture, the Soviet Union fell apart resulting in major political upset, established leaders were thrown, old leaders disappeared, new alliances were forged, and newer technologies were being developed. As a result, fashion was influenced by a means of people dressing more casually. This meant that people could not distinguish the rich from the poor as easily as what they might have before. One of the main influences belonging to the 1990’s decade was music, fans began to dress and copy the styles of the artists they listened to. This allowed artists to become easy fashion icons. There are four main styles which came from this decade; grunge, hip-hop, alternative and boy bands. Instead of extravagance, many people started to dress down in order save money. A combination of fashion styles from the 1960s and 1970s influenced fashion in the 1990s which resulted in a new retro and laidback style to materialize. A minimal style of hair and jewelry totally opposed the 1980s style, as well as the predominant use of pastels and neutral colours. Woman’s fashion became a lot softer, simpler and far more comfortable. The art movement which influenced this style of fashion is called Minimalism. The 1990s welcomed and embraced minimalism in a way that had not been done in decades, resulting in a radical change of fashion style.
The Minimalism art movement emerged in the 1950s but only took effect on fashion in the 1990s when dressing down became the fad of the decade. Minimalism is a term used to describe art that is simplistic and minimalistic in both content and form, removing any sign or indication of personal expression. This allows the viewer to have an immediate and purely visual response. Minimal Art aimed at allowing the viewer to experience their work on a deeper level “without the distractions of composition, theme and so on.” (ArtMovement, 2014). Similarly to how the art movement adopted the attitude that the work of art should have no reference to anything other than itself, the Minimalism art movement rejected the cluttered and extravagant glamour of the 1980s for simple and subtle clothing. Neutral colour palettes became trendy throughout the 1990s decade consisting of greys, browns, olive greens and beiges. The glamorously wide shouldered, colourful and frilly fashion of the 1980s became comfortable, neat, slim fitting and relaxing. Less became more; make-up became far more natural and toned down, as well as accessories. Everything became very minimalistic in opposition to the chunky, loud and flamboyant accessories of the 1980s. Seen in our 1990s styling choices we have utilized a very simplistic and minimalistic style of fashion. Natural make up, hair effortlessly down, a plain white strappy dress with a wide floppy brimmed hat and simple brown gladiator shoes. These clothing trends helped woman stand out more, whilst still allowing them to dress up and down as they please.

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• Anonymous, Art Movements. 2014. Minimalism. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• The Editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica. 2014. Minimalism. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Price, Shannon. 2006. Grunges’ Influences on fashion. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]

The year 2000 marked the beginning of the 21st century and the third millennium. The 2000s are often referred to as the ‘mash up’ decade, due to the fact that there were so many different styles of fashion. Trends were a result of previous styles, global and ethnic clothing, as well as the fashion styles of many music based subcultures ‘mashed up’ together. The first decade of the new millennium held no space age vision as one would have imagined, but rather revived fashion primarily from the 1960s, 1970s and the 1980s. Globalization had a major influence on fashion trends in the 2000s, incorporating Middle Eastern and Asian clothing into mainstream European and American fashion. It was a momentous decade, sadness and happiness was felt all year ‘round. The development of green initiatives, eco-friendly and ethical clothing (recyclable and reusable materials, as well as fake fur) were prominent in the decade. A spotlight trend during the 2000s was the ‘Boho-Chic’ style; part bohemian and part chic, the style could range from being artsy to exquisite. “Bohemian style evolved into a cult of the individual, a person whose very appearance became a work of art with carefully planned outfits and accessories.”(Dolores, 2013). Although the more ‘modern boho-chic’ style was popularized by Mary Kate and Ashley Olson because of its emphasis on creating a personalized, unique and eclectic look, actress, Sienna Miller and model, Kate Moss were definitely the trendsetters of this boho-chic style in the 2000’s.
The beginning of the boho-chic style was emerging from as far back as the 1830’s. “The French Bohemian art crowd and the Romantics embraced medieval and oriental clothing styles. With their colorful fabrics, long flowing hair, and wide brimmed hats, the artistic culture did come to resemble Gypsies.” (Dolores, 2013). The boho-chic style which became a fashion fad throughout the first decade of 21st century could be described as a combination of nontraditional, eclectic styles which were influenced by gypsies, hippies, and artistic fashion of the 1960s and the 1970s. Whilst achieving a sense of individuality and uniqueness, the boho-chick style still creates a balanced image of femininity and messiness, an alluring and beautiful style for woman. The style aimed to bring back vintage trends to the modern era; combining natural, vibrant, intricate, and folk-inspired pieces with simplistic and modern pieces. With regards to our styling choices reflecting the boho-chic style of the decade, we made use of loose, colourful and rich, though threadbare fabrics to portray “colorful counterculture based on creativity, poverty, and an indifference to social structures and traditions.” (Dolores, 2013). Having derived from the traditional gypsy and bohemian styles of India and Pakistan, we incorporated some of the original clothing which would have been worn by the gypsies or bohemians into the styling of our 2000s model, a modern over throw kaftan with additional elements of beadwork. To further enhance the boho-chic style a loose, natural and wavy hairstyle, as well as neutral and natural makeup.
• Walford, Jonathan. 2009. 2000-2009 – So What Was Fashion?. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Devani, Reeya. 2013. Music, Fashion and Fads 2000 – 2009. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Couch, William. 2009. Looking back at the past 10 years. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Monet, Dolores. 2013. Boho – The Fashion History of Bohemian Style. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]
• Anonymous, Wiki How. 2014. How to Look Boho Chic. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 7 August 2014]


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