It seems every couple of years we’re growing out our bangs, flaring out our jeans and widening our lenses for the umpteenth time because the fashion world, much like our collective conscious, seems to crave the wildness of the seventies.
Image Credit: Marie Claire UK.
It’s a given by now.
Sure, in contrast to the prim and proper sixties, the seventies bewildered our sights and senses with new sounds, new wars and new drugs.
And this brave new world, that spewed forth more trends than iTunes has remastered versions of Pagan Baby, was experienced by those who grew up in the post-WWII era – the baby boomer.
They didn’t know of the Great War but they sure as hell had plenty of other stimuli to shape their aspirational minds and fashion sense.
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During their coming of age they experienced the achievements and assassinations of Kings and Kennedy’s past. Troops were sent off to Vietnam and Korea to fight a war that directly/indirectly had something to do with those protesting it on the grounds of Capitol Hill. Civil rights, Rosa Parks and second-wave feminism all conducted under the nuclear glow of a homo-erotic Cold War.
There was also the love. The love for one another and everyone else in between and it was for free. At least at Woodstock and at Manson doomsday cult meetings, apparently.
This, the entire kaleidoscope of protest and frivolity, created a powerful amalgamate from which their fashion was born. A fashion that, for some reason or other, we can’t seem to get enough of.
But do the baby boomers, in all their groovy acid tab glory, deserve us to pay homage to their contribution to society in way of strapping their style to our backs like a crucifix time and time and time again?
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Not so much.
The baby boomer grew up, got off the drugs and realized they weren’t so in love with those around them any more. They divorced. They divorced so much that rates trebled. Soon, roughly fifty per cent of couples were consciously and unconsciously uncoupling.
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And what did that leave the rest of us with?
Apathy, anger and a very cautious stance towards coupling of any kind. So much so that divorce rates have decreased over the years by 10 per cent. No, we’re not getting better at marriage. We’re just choosing not to couple/uncouple as much.
Then there was their economic influence. Borne out of the prosperity of the new world order, the baby boomer enjoyed the luxury of economic security and the resurgence of the middle class. However, when it was their turn to don a suit and take charge, the economy became prone to the greed of spoilt investors and economic downturns, crashes and collisions.
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Today, we live in a world where many a real estate bubble has burst and job security is a thing of the past. Thanks, Boomers.
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Lastly, in a signature nod to their reluctance to grow up, they used their new found position to tell you what was cool. Record companies, Rolling Stone, mainstream radio all churned out the “classic” hits and emulated their fetish for cock rock.
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There was no place for the wailing vocals of Cobain, or the fast and furious verse-chorus-verse of punk until labels such as Sub Pop decided to pledge for the underground. It wasn’t easy. You may not have heard of the Melvins, Dinosaur Jr or even Nirvana if the bands weren’t initially willing to ride around to their gigs in their mum’s beat-up Volvo and eat corn dogs three times a day.
Image Credit: Rolling Stone.
All the while, White Snake just had to don a pair of tights and grab their crotch a few times to make decent bank.
But fine. Go ahead, Let’s create a second skin out of the whims of the boomer. Though, if you’re going to do it, do it right. Do it in spite of the boomer that destroyed you. Grab the best of what they had to offer and leave the rest in the nuclear scrap heap where it belongs.
DO NOT BUY VINTAGE
I don’t care how cool you think you look strutting around town in your corduroy threads. Who’s side are you on? Get thee to stores that are currently stocking up on the trend and give the money to designers are ripping off the old baby boomer fad. Hey, don’t feel bad. They’ve done it enough times to you!
WHILE ON THE SUBJECT OF CORDUROY…
It is never acceptable. Vintage or otherwise. Denim is the only flare you’re toting this time round. Let the baby boomer seethe with venom over the fact that you’re selling out to major corporations. Corporations they probably own but that’s beside the point. The point is that they weren’t allowed to sell out. They’d be thrown into the next naked dance bonfire.
PEONY WREATHES YES, DAISY CHAINS NO
Even if you’re not going to San Fran, flowers in your hair are a must. Just leave the chains of weed from your back garden to your five year-old cousin, ok?
EMBRACE OLD IDEAS WITH NEW FABRIC
Image Credit: trendspotter.net
You’ll never see your grandmother’s cardigan strutting the runways of Milan. I can vouch for it but you will see the shape of a pullover adorned with the soft feel of buttery leather, luxurious and sheer fabric, breathable cotton….
WHEN THEY’RE RIGHT…
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It’s in the geometric and floral print. It’s still hot. I hate them for it but I’ll let them have this one for at least having to put up with Nixon.