The retro fashion style may be defined as a refresh of the previous trends. The past is the favourite subject of all fashion designers for the last few years. In fact, it’s safe to say, it always has been.
Almost every season, we can see on international runways at least a major trend from an early age, refreshed with a modern vibe. And that’s called retro.
Obviously, a specific trend never comes alone and it’s not a specific designer who started it all, but it sort of happened. It all became a modern retro vibe in every other outfit.
We can also remind you of the TV Series Mad Men which started a real passion for the amateurs of the ultra-feminine fashion style of the 1960. This draw the attention of many fashion designers. For example, in 2008, Michael Kors displayed a whole collection inspired from Mad Men – A drama about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s. The TV Series focuses on one of the firm’s most mysterious ad executives, Donald Draper.
But there’s something more. The contemporary subculture of the hipsters (which became popular in the early 1940s) highlights the retro vibe even more. Their so-called uniform include skinny jeans, plaid shirts, asymmetric hairstyles and RayBan Wayfarer sunglasses. The retro vibe made quite an impression even in sales, due to the auction websites that sell different clothing items or objects of interest.
The flapper is representative for that period of time, describing a cylindrical silhouette through the midi dresses that didn’t mark the waist. Short haircuts and cloche hats were every girl’s favourite. Also, the androgine fashion style of Coco Chanel was a real success back then, and, for the first time in history, women started to wear pants.
This fashion style was strongly influenced by the economic recession and the tension before the second world war. In fashion, this meant rigid military inspired looks. Back then, the clothing items were both functional and utilitary and had the sole role to cover the body.
Elsa Schiaparelli introduces for the first time the zipper (used before that only for manufacturing shoes) and masculine suits with oversized shoulders (also seen in 1980s at Marlene Dietrich).
In the mid ’40s, fashion was under austerity, but, in the end, there was the comeback of the haute couture houses. Therefore, with the new collection of Christian Dior called New Look, the feminine clothes were back. There were short jackets with false shoulders, meant to higlight the waist, the pencil skirt for the hourglass silhouettes, gloves, pearls and hats.
After the rationalization of the materials after the world wars, this was the time for the actual design and innovation in fashion. Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy and Coco Chanel were the first to show this.
Christian Dior had the structural jackets along with the wide midi skirts. The evening dresses were simple in the upper side and complicated in the bottom.
Hubert Givency invented the A line dresses and the famous LBD – little black dress – wore by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanny’s.
Coco Chanel predicted the fall of the haute couture houses and the future of the series in fashion clothing and invented the tweed jackets without collar with fine cuts. It’s a must have ever since.
For the first time in history, young people would set the trend. Although there’s a feminine line in every clothing item, this was the time to make some changes. The mini skirt becomes a must have item and A-line dresses and geometric cuts become popular. This is the time to experiment new fabrics like spandex, polyester or polyamide.
During the 1970s, there were lots of fashion styles to try on. Women everywhere wore mini, midi or maxi skirts. Everyhing was allowed. This was the specific time when the punk fashion style first appeared. Ripped shirts and strong messages on clothing items made room in everyone’s wardrobe.
This is the time for power dressing with oversized shirts, vibrant colors tht would attract the attention, big jewelry that would mock the kitch, teased hair, strong make-up. The movies and TV Series made quite a statement in this area, so, the suits from Dinasty or Dallas were copied by everyone and the Ray Ban Aviator or Wayfarer sunglasses first worn by Tom Cruise became a huge hit ever since.
So, if you truly want to dress retro, you should be responsible with it because putting together some old clothing items isn’t the way to go. You have to do it with style, choose the simple instead of complicated and make sure you keep the misterious and elegant vibe everywhere.
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