19 December 2013

Does fashion need to move on from '60s nostalgia?

 photo 0b811af8-db49-4a02-abcf-072a454d83e3_zpsdc635c54.jpg

As the decade that brought us the Beatles, the hippy and the mini skirt, it's no surprise that the notoriously risqué fashion word is reluctant to let the wild and wacky sixties go. Designs inspired by this era were all over the catwalk this year, from monochrome shift dresses to sparkly sunglasses and pretty pastels. It's not the first time the swinging sixties have made a notorious return, but they are still in style or does fashion need to move into the 21st century?

Glamorous, fun and daring, sixties fashion was all about making a statement. Whether you longed for the effortless poise of Jackie O, complete with pillar box hat and satin gloves, went after the bold and shocking styles of the Swinging London set or preferred the laid back bohemian look, there was something new that everyone could aspire to.

However, fast-forward 50 years and the once daring designs are now common place, If anything, a mini skirt might be considered dowdy in a world where skin-tight leggings now count as trousers! Having survived the eighties revival of the early noughts, when neon leg warmers and oversize slogan t-shirts made an unfortunate return, we're now looking at an autumn/winter dominated by sixties pastels, seventies punk and nineties dungarees.

Yes, it's official, dungarees are back. Rather than recycling these tired old trends, wouldn't it be better to break the mould and invent a new garment to shock and inspire this season? While lady Gaga's flying dress might be going a bit too far in the wrong direction (that is, up), at least she's thinking outside of the box ... or possibly the planet.

However, although it's probably best to leave style muses like Alexa Chung to wiggle into overalls in the name of fashion, there's a good reason many sixties styles have remained popular. They first came back with a bang this century after everyone got hooked on slick sixties drama Mad Men. Viewers came for the tantalising plots and schemes, but stayed for the elegant look. The sight of men in sharp suits and polo necks and ladies in chic pencil skirts and stylish court shoes, with no hair out of place or toothpaste stains in sight felt new and refreshing in an age when people wear onuses to buy milk and hoodies are considered office appropriate.

Just as the daring sixties styles were a rebuke to restrictive fifties fashions, modern trends have got even more casual and lost a bit of their sparkle in the process. The current sixties-inspired designs are a moderate compromise, offering the glamour without the girdles. Feminine, flattering and definitely modern, these elegant and colourful touches are not a throwback to an old-fashioned era but a way to make getting dressed fun again, Of course we will always want new fashions, but the free spirit and bold message of sixties trends mean they'll probably continue to find their way into our wardrobes for another 50 years.

No comments: