Life Cycle of Fashion
Today, as I was struggling to complete some college applications, I looked up at my mom's wedding picture to see alternating bright pink and greenish-blue bridesmaids in white stockings and, yes, the shoes matched the dresses perfectly. The puffy sleeves completely tied the picture together. I am in no way saying that my mom had bad taste, in fact she looked beautiful. She was twenty-four years old and it was the dawning of the 90s. She didn't know any better. Then I began thinking how quickly styles change. As a toddler, my mother had bleach blonde hair and floral dresses, often times with a mammoth bow in the back. I had the no-heeled leggings with identical leotards pulled over them, my favorite was the turquoise. By the first grade, I was sporting striped dresses, with big red bows at the top of my head. Each year, I thought I had finally had my style down. I went through the jeans and a t-shirt stage, the preppy stage, and finally....I think I have given up. But looking around me, I have noticed that the great 80s style is beginning to emerge in our high school. So, does that mean I will recycle my mom's bridesmaids' dresses? Will my kids be sporting aerobics outfits at the age of three? Will history of style continue to repeat itself? Why does style change so much? Is it because, going back to my post earlier this month, "True Beauty", the media that dictates who wears what and when? Like Audrey Hepburn who started the super-skinny look in boyish clothing. What will we be wearing next year?
But what was unimaginable just a few years ago has now happened - shoulder pads are back in the shops and back in our wardrobes, for the first or second time round.
Be it music, food or cars, all trends have a life cycle and none more so than fashion trends. One of the first people to try and pin down our adjustable attitude to what's hot and what's not was the highly-respected fashion historian James Laver. In 1937 he drew up a timeline of how a style is viewed over the years, which became known as Laver's Law.
This states that a trend does not start to look appealing until 50 years after its time. If you wear something 10 years after it was in fashion, you look "hideous", 20 years after you look "ridiculous" and so on. Only when you hit 50 years do things start tipping towards the positive and you look "quaint".