Fashion is influenced by events, economies, and attitudes. Each decade reflects a different emphasis on hair and clothes, masculinity and femininity. For example, Japanese motifs greatly influenced the first two decades of the 20th century. In the 1920s, Coco Chanel’s garçonne look was all the rage. WWII led to fabric rationing, which meant straighter skirts and dresses, but after the war, Christian Dior’s “New Look” with its full skirts and full busts sandwiching a small waist brought femininity to the forefront in the 1950s.
This delightful 100 second video of 100 years of style shows what I’m talking about.
Despite science fiction’s attempts to convince us the future of fashion is outrageous or androgynous, we can expect to see the same trends re-imagined for the next generation. The important thing to remember is expressing your personal style in the most flattering, feminine way—which never goes out of style.
Fashion occurs in cycles. Have you ever heard of Laver’s Law? It sums up the fashion life cycle:
Indecent = 10 years before its time
Shameless = 5 years before its time
Outré (Daring) = 1 year before its time
Smart = Current Fashion
Dowdy = 1 year after its time
Hideous = 10 years after its time
Ridiculous = 20 years after its time
Amusing = 30 years after its time
Quaint =50 years after its time
Charming = 70 years after its time
Romantic = 100 years after its time
Beautiful = 150 years after its time
Laver’s Law was created by James Laver, Keeper of Prints, Drawings and Paintings at the Victoria & Albert Museum (1938-1959), and isn’t he right? A garment which at one time is considered scandalous is later thought stylish, out of date, and amazing – depending on how old it is according to the fashion life cycle.
The Vintage Fashion Guild has put together a Fashion Timeline showing 200 years of fashion history and the changes from decade to decade starting in 1800. It’s amazing. So which decade attracts you? Take a look at the 10 most inspirational eras and see if you agree.
I drove by a hair salon the other day which had this saying painted on its window: “Style is not a display of wealth, but an expression of imagination.” Well said! The 20th century – and the first fourteen years of the 21st century – is a marvelous example of imagination expressed through fashion style.
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of old clothes you love or ways of dressing you’ve done for years. What may have looked great on you ten years ago may not be the best choice today due to body changes (gain/lose weight, aging) and fashion changes. Laver’s Law and Your Private Stylist helps you recognize when it’s time to move from Hideous and Dowdy or Shameless and Outré to Smart.