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Decades of British Fashion

British Fashion Throughout the Decades:

Changes From the 1960’s

London vintage grunge fashionWhile there were many changes before the 1960’s, some of the more extravagant and notable changes have happened since. There is even a view that fashion is doing a full circle, with styles from the 1940’s and 1950’s being incorporated into modern day styles.

The Swinging 60’s

The 1960’s saw more of a mixture of colors in clothes, many of which were introduced by one of the world’s first supermodels as well as the face of London’s “mod” scene, Twiggy. Twiggy, who’s real name is Lesley Lawson was initially known for her thin physique (hence the nickname) and her androgynous look consisting of big eyes, long eyelashes, and short boyish hair. Twiggy was a fashion icon during the 60’s who went on to grace the covers of several international VOGUE magazines as well as Tatler and was soon seen in all the leading fashion magazines. In 1967 Twiggy introduced “Twiggy Dresses” her own fashion line which was hugely successful!  Today, when dressing as someone from the Swinging 60s, many people choose the sleeveless mini dresses with multicoloured squared or circled patterns. Bright coloured shirts and worn denim were popular for men, especially towards the late 60’s.

The Rocking 70’s – D.I.S.C.O

Bellbottoms were extremely popular for men and women in the 1970s. Along with that, cat suits were selected, especially with scarves and belts. Platform shoes were also popular with the bellbottom trousers, with men and women opting for these shoes. Women also tended to opt for hot pants; a style that moved into the 1980s and 1990’s.

1980’s Punk Fashion Punk Rocker sporting a Mohawk

Punk fashion came out towards the late 1970’s and into the 80’s. Punk was an extension of the hard core crass music scene/culture led by bands such as The Sex Pistols and the Clash in the UK. Punk fashion was largely created by fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and notably her lover at the time Malcolm Mclaren, manager to the Sex Pistols. Mclaren opened a store down the famed Kings Road in Chelsea, London which was a notorious hang out and shopping district for punk rockers. The bigger punk became, the more commercialized its clothing became in order to cater to the trend. Carnaby Street in London which was initially famed for Mod attire during the swinging 60’s outsourced itself to the punk rock era. Camden High Street in North London was also a place to see and be seen!

An extension of punk resulted in “New Wave” with bands like Duran Duran, A Flock of Seagulls, Heaven 17 Depeche Mode, Human League. Who can forget those huge Puffed shoulders and dramatic hair? Curly hair was also popular during the 80’s, thanks to the likes of Cindy Crawford and Madonna. Bell bottoms disappeared for the men, who started to wear tighter clothes. Leather became more fashionable; something that continued into the 1990’s.

The Grunge Years of the 1990’s

The 1990’s had a mixture of fashions throughout the decade. The start saw the disappearance of puffy clothes, and a move to neon fashionable sportswear, with shell suits and leggings becoming popular. As the years moved on, the Spice Girls and Clueless helped to introduced miniskirts and crop tops. Platforms became a thing for women once more.

Fashion has constantly changed throughout the decades. The miniskirts and dresses of the 1960’s disappeared in the 1970’s but came back with a bang towards the end of the 1980’s. It just shows fashion goes around in a circle.

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