In the start of the 90’s or before no one would have thought that black women or brown could be on the cover of a magazine like Vogue or a plus size woman would be a leading role model or on the cover of 100’s of billboard but in today’s world it is quite common to have a beautiful black lady gracing the cover of huge magazines or a plus size woman on the billboards of Times Square. When someone like Beverly Johnson, the first Black model to come out on the cover of Vogue in the 1970’s, made it, it was a big deal for everyone. When Ashley Graham, the first plus size model, came on the cover of Vogue in 2015, it took the industry by storm. From then till now the fashion industry has been evolving and changing for the better, it has started to be more inclusive of all, be it different races, sizes, genders or people with skin disorders.
The barriers of Fashion have been changing since the humans learnt what Fashion is. In Greece and Rome, plus sized women were termed as goddesses in the 18th Century which later changed to slim and fit women termed as gorgeous. From the corseted waists and large ball gowns of the European Empire to the loose and free flowing bohemian fashion of the 1960’s, all were significant landmarks in the fashion Industry.
The 1940’s was the era when World War II was at its peak, men were at the War Zone while women were at work. This era was the era of women wearing boxer pants with buttoned up shirts and padded shoulder blazers. This fashion statement was because women wanted to get into the working arena and they wore more male oriented clothes to show it.
The 1950’s ended the world war with all men back into the workforce and women being oppressed back into housework. The fashion of the era was ultra-feminine with a lot of fit and flare which was the brainchild of Christian Dior who introduced fit and flare, slim shoulders unlike the 1940’s, narrow waist and full skirt which was inspired by the Victorian era.
The 1960’s was a combined era of Hippie and Bohemian fashion with Spacy and futuristic fashion going neck to neck. The 1960’s was the start of the Northern Cali Hippie Movement with freedom to the extreme. This era had narcotics, drugs, alcohol and prostitution at its peak and it showed in their fashion with free-flowing dresses and bright colours. This era also gave birth to the famous singer and fashion icon Bob Marley.
The 1970’s was the era of futuristic fashion which was due to NASA and its moon launch. This era introduced latex to the fashion industry and the fashion here was tight latex skirts or fitted bodycons with a futuristic vibe. It was also the era of Rock and Roll which gave birth to famous bands like Sex Pistols, The Ramous and the Clash and stars like Jimmy Hendrix. This era was also the Disco era which had vibrant and glittery colours contrasting to the Dark colours of the Rock and Roll.
The 1980’s was the era of female empowerment and women getting into the workforce, the change in workforce demographics was huge as it showed the significant change and increase of women into various male dominated work fields. The working women of the era wore well fitted pants or pencil skirts with blazers and shirts. This era also gave birth to acid washed and ripped denim.
The 1990’s was the era of sports wear like track pants, tank tops, platform sneakers and sporty tops which were rocked by famous people like Sporty Spice of the Spice Girls and Britney Spears.
The 2000’s or our era is the era of amalgamation of all fashion from fit and flare of the 50’s to the funky fashion of the 70’s we have it all. We also are creating our own fashion like using matte colours in fashion with no makeup drives.
Fashion is a reflection of society, it is not just merely looking pretty, it is much more than that. It is our history and our reflection as beings. From long leaves used as clothing by our early ancestors to the matte fashion of today it is all a part of our history and life.