Today, fashion is a part of our daily lives. We use fashion as a means of expression – showcasing our personalities and identities through the clothes we wear. The art of fashion is a revolutionary one and constantly evolves through time. From the ‘power dressing’ of the 1980s to the futuristic styles of the 2000s, there is no doubt about it that each decade over the past 50 years has produced iconic and diverse definitions of fashion.
The 1980s was a moment when people were finally beginning to use fashion to create their sense of identity
The 1980s were arguably a golden age for the realm of fashion. 80s fashion was a time when iconic figures, like Michael Jackson and Madonna, all inspired what fashion meant for the people. The ‘King of fashion’, Michael Jackson, shared a love for high-end designers, rocking a pagoda-shouldered jacket by Balmain whilst filming ‘This is it.’ Jackson’s love for sequinned gloves would later inspire other famous figures such as Lady Gaga and Madonna. Not forgetting Jackson’s red leather jackets, which was of no surprise during the 80s, a time when leather jackets were gaining more popularity thanks to a rise in heavy metal and punk. Our ‘queen of pop,’ Madonna,’ also enjoyed the punk fashion that rose during the 80s, as seen through the mesh and leather tops she wore. Madonna was also known for the colourful and provocative nature of her outfits, which were of no surprise during the 80s when fashion found inspiration from the sexual revolution of the 70s. And we cannot forget Madonna’s white lace dress and long gloves, paired with pearls, her ‘toy boy’ belt buckle and her iconic cross necklace at the 1984 MTV VMA’s. The 1980s was a moment when people were finally beginning to use fashion to create their sense of identity. 80s fashion also found influences from the sexual revolution of the 70s, therefore people were, becoming more experimental when it came to what they should wear. Some may even say that we have the 80s to thank for the importance fashion plays in the lives of many of us today.
With the rise in supermodels, came the emergence of fashion that was feminine, causing popularity around high-shine fabrics and slip dresses
The 1990s did follow the 80s with the continuation of the baggy fits, but it became an era where fashion inspired by grunge was born. How can we mention Grunge and not speak about the 90s fashion icon, Courtney Love, who bought Mary Janes and silk slip dresses into the fashion spotlight. Love was all about embracing femininity but with an edge. The 90s was also a time of supermodel domination, with the likes of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell making their mark. With the rise in supermodels, came the emergence of fashion that was feminine, causing popularity around high-shine fabrics and slip dresses. With the 90s came 90s hip-hop too would undoubtedly influence the fashion world. Hip Hop culture brought in oversized baseball jackets, and Baja jackets.The 90s was certainly a return to minimalism in comparison with the boldness of fashion in the 80s, but was an age of fashion that was still iconic and supported the saying ‘less is more.’
Fashion in the 2000s certainly reflected a movement to today’s modern world and one that served us with iconic fashion moments.
We can say that fashion reflects its times, and this is something that happens in the 2000s. As societies began to advance into modern technology, fashion became futuristic, reflecting the emerging advanced world we were moving into. The 2000s brought the colour grey into popularity, with metallic detailing, many in the form of buckles and straps. All this famously was defined as the fashion aesthetic Y2K. We cannot mention Y2K, without talking about Paris Hilton. Paris was known for her velour tracksuits, her love for low-rise bottoms, and micro-skirts. We must not forget Paris’s iconic Julien Macdonald chainmail dress she wore for her 21st birthday party. Paris was the 2000s queen and embodied all that was iconic for fashion in the early 2000s. For men, the 2000s saw denim as a staple, as well as cargo pants, tracksuits, aviator sunglasses, and trucker hats. Brands like Adidas and Nike running popular among men. We cannot forget to mention Justin Timberlake’s double denim look alongside Britney Spears at the American music awards. Fashion in the 2000s certainly reflected a movement to today’s modern world and one that served us with iconic fashion moments.
The beauty of fashion is in the fact that it continuously reaches different people at different times, sparking creativity and inspiration for the next age of fashionistas.
When we look at fashion in recent years, it has become harder to define our fashion aesthetic. Today, we have a clearer idea about the relationship between fashion and the future of our planet. People, now, are inspired by vintage and second-hand fashion stores, as we begin to create this ‘global mash-up,’ giving new lives to pre-loved fashion items from the 1990s to even the 1950s. But it also shows how clothing trends in the past never really die. Such trends are resurfaced and been embraced by a new generation of individuals. The beauty of fashion is in the fact that it continuously reaches different people at different times, sparking creativity and inspiration for the next age of fashionistas.