Macys Makes by leader6

VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 12

									Macy’s Makes
Fashion
history!
there’s no denying the
profound influence that
Macy’s, fashion and our
distinctly american culture
have had on each other.
Fashion is a mirror of our
times, and has been since
r.h. Macy first procured
and presented the latest
looks to customers in 1858.
a variety of feature articles
take a deeper look at
some of these defining
styles and events.
ContEnts
Feathered and Tethered:
Thanksgiving on Parade.............................................        4
From Betty Boop to Audrey Hepburn:
The Little Black Dress .................................................   6
Life-Sized Barbie® Dolls ..............................................    7
From Bonnets to Bed Head ........................................          8
Jeans: A Quest for Individuality ..............................      10
The Enduring Style of Cufflinks ...............................      11
The Intriguing Ups and Downs of Skirts
and the Economy ..................................................   12
Feathered and Tethered: Thanksgiving on Parade
Thanksgiving inevitably brings to mind distinct   included such familiar subjects as Little Red        returned a balloon to the store. But that
images, words and phrases. Pilgrims. Native       Riding Hood, the Old Woman Who Lived in a            practice was discontinued in 1932 after an
Americans. Family. Turkey and stuffing.           Shoe and Little Miss Muffet.                         airplane pilot nearly crashed while trying to
Gratitude. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.                                                             retrieve the balloons in mid-air.
                                                  Santa Claus, the parade’s most prominent
This national holiday is a decidedly                        dignitary, has been honored since          Over the decades, dozens of new balloons
American tradition, with a                                       the beginning. In the first Macy’s    have premiered at the Macy’s Thanksgiving
history nearly as long and                                          Thanksgiving Day Parade,           Day Parade. Characters have reflected themes
illustrious as the United                                             Santa was crowned “King          of pop culture (such as Mickey Mouse in 1934,
States itself. In 1789,                                                of the Kiddies” on a gold       Underdog in 1965, and Shrek in 2007), history
George Washington                                                       throne perched on the          (Astronaut Snoopy in 1969, saluting Apollo 11)
created the first                                                        marquee above the             and diversity (Little Bill in 2002, the parade’s first
Thanksgiving Day                                                         entrance to Macy’s new        African-American balloon character, and Dora
officially decreed by the                                                addition on Seventh           the Explorer in 2005, the parade’s first balloon
U.S. government, with                                                   Avenue at the flagship         character of Latino descent).
the celebration slated for                                             Herald Square store.
                                                                                                       Balloons are constructed in a special
November 26th. Abraham                                                Santa himself capped off
                                                                                                       parade studio, a converted former Tootsie
Lincoln moved the date in                                           his coronation by sounding
                                                                                                       Roll factory, near the parade route. The night
1863 to the last Thursday in                                     a trumpet, which signaled the
                                                                                                       before Thanksgiving, spectators can watch
November. And in 1939 Franklin                               unveiling of the new addition’s
                                                                                                       the balloons get inflated with helium – an
Roosevelt switched Thanksgiving to the                decorated store window.
                                                                                                       attraction almost as popular as the parade
fourth Thursday in November – whether it’s the
last one or not – where the holiday remains on    Those incredible balloons                            itself. Each balloon is tethered to two
                                                                                                       800-pound utility vehicles and depending
the modern calendar.                              In 1927, balloon animals started to replace live     on its size requires 50 to 70 volunteer handlers,
But almost a full generation before FDR           animals in the parade. Felix the Cat, a popular      who must be at least 120 pounds and in good
cemented the national day of thanks, another      cartoon character, was the first balloon to          health to qualify for the job.
beloved Thanksgiving tradition began. In          debut in the festivities. Goodyear Tire &
1924, Macy’s department store hosted its          Rubber Company made the giant                                   Who’s watching?
first Thanksgiving Day Parade.                    creation, as well as other animal-
                                                                                                                       Each year, 2 to 3.5 million
                                                  shaped balloons, which were
Many of Macy’s employees in the 1920s were                                                                              spectators line the two-mile
                                                  filled with air. In 1928, a switch
first-generation immigrants. They wanted to                                                                              route from 77th Street
                                                  was made to helium for filling
celebrate their new heritage on the American                                                                             and Central Park West to
                                                  the expanding line-up of
holiday of Thanksgiving with a festival similar                                                                          Columbus Circle to Herald
                                                  balloon creatures. Because
to those their parents and grandparents                                                                                  Square at Broadway and
                                                  of the balloons’ new helium-
enjoyed in Europe.                                                                                                       34th Street.
                                                  fueled power to float, they
The early versions of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day     were released into the sky after                                     Millions more make watching
Parade showcased floats, live animals and         the 1928 parade, where they burst                                  the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day
military bands, following a route of nearly six   unexpectedly due to atmospheric                                 Parade on TV part of their holiday
miles (as opposed to the current two-mile         pressure changes.                                        morning tradition. NBC began broadcasting
route) starting at Convent Avenue and 145th                                                            the event nationally in 1948 and became the
                                                  So safety valves were added in 1929, allowing
Street. Early floats reflected themes of fairy                                                         official broadcaster in 1955.
                                                  the balloons to float for several days after their
tales, nursery rhymes and folklore, some of       release. Address labels were sewn in, offering a
which dated back to the Old Country. Themes       $50 reward from Macy’s to whoever found and
                                                                                                                                   Continued on next page.




PAGE   4
For many years, the parade broadcast has been        An expanding number of popular characters have appeared as featured
hosted mainly by cast members of NBC’s The           balloons in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Take a stroll through the years
Today Show. Typically, more than 44 million
people tune in to see the festivities.
                                                     of their premiers to see who Americans looked to as their favorite heroes,
                                                     entertainers and sources of inspiration:
A mirror of America                                  2007: Shrek, Hello Kitty, Abby Cadabby
From its origins in the 1920s, the Macy’s            2006: Pikachu with Poké Ball (2nd version, first balloon with built-in electric power to
Thanksgiving Day Parade has reflected or reacted           light up cheeks), Flying Ace Snoopy, 80th Anniversary Hot Air Balloon Replica
to the mood, the pulse and the soul of the nation.   2005: Dora the Explorer (first character of Latino descent to appear in parade),
The pride of New York immigrants, in both their            Scooby-Doo, Healthy Mr. Potato Head, JoJo
respective family heritage and their new country,
                                                     2004: SpongeBob SquarePants, Disney’s Chicken Little, M&Ms
played a major role in shaping the inaugural
event. In addition, the United States was enjoying   2003: Barney (2nd version), Super Grover, Garfield (2nd version)
a strong economy and the parade’s festivities        2002: Kermit the Frog (2nd version), Little Bill (First African-American character in
mirrored the nation’s celebratory atmosphere.              parade history), Mr. Monopoly, Rich Uncle Pennybags, Charlie Brown
                                                     2001: Curious George, Big Bird (2nd version), Jimmy Neutron, Pikachu, Cheesasaurus Rex
After the stock market crash at the end of the
decade and subsequent Great Depression,              2000: Band Leader Mickey, Ronald McDonald, Dragon Tales Cassie, Jeeves
the parade helped lift the morale of people          1999: Millennium Snoopy (5th version), Honey Nut Cheerios Bee, Blue’s Clues
struggling to make ends meet. As the economy         1998: Babe the Pig, Wild Thing, Dexter
began to recover, the ties to Macy’s also helped     1997: Arthur, Rugrats, Bumpé
provide a catalyst to re-engage consumer             1996: Rocky and Bullwinkle (2nd version), Peter Rabbit
spending and confidence.
                                                     1995: Dudley the Dragon, SkyDancer, Eben Bear; Izzy (1996 Summer Olympics mascot)
As the United States joined its allies in fighting   1994: Barney the Dinosaur (1st version), The Cat in the Hat
World War II, the parade was suspended from
                                                     1993: Beethoven (dog), Sonic the Hedgehog (first video game character in parade history)
1942 through 1944. A major incentive for the
                                                     1992: Goofy
hiatus is that the nation needed rubber and
helium for its war efforts. The parade returned      1990: Clifford the Big Red Dog, Bart Simpson
to the streets of New York in 1945. Following        1989: Bugs Bunny
the war, a trend of military bands in the parade     1988: Nestlé Nesquik Bunny, Big Bird, Pink Panther, Snoopy (4th version) with Woodstock.
started to be replaced by marching bands from        1987: Spider-Man, Ronald McDonald, Snuggle Bear, Skating Snoopy
high schools and colleges.                           1986: Baby Shamu, Humpty Dumpty
When the 1963 assassination of John F.               1985: Betty Boop
Kennedy plunged the nation into grief less           1984: Garfield, Raggedy Ann
than a week before Thanksgiving, Macy’s
                                                     1983: Yogi Bear
strongly considered cancelling the parade that
year. But the final decision allowed the parade      1982: Olive Oyl, Woody Woodpecker
to continue, helping lift spirits and restore a      1977: Kermit the Frog
semblance of normalcy.                               1975: Weeble
In 2001, the parade was again a vehicle for          1972: Smile (Happy Face), Mickey Mouse (2nd version; this balloon was to have debuted in
national healing, sporting many patriotic themes           1971, but high winds cancelled the balloon’s participation)
following the attacks of September 11th in the       1968: Aviator Snoopy (1st version; was redesigned the following year as “Astronaut Snoopy”
event’s own home town.                                     in tribute to Apollo 11 thus becoming second version)
                                                     1966: Smokey Bear, Superman (2nd version; largest balloon ever used in the parade)
From feathered floats of Tom Turkey to
tethers of gigantic cartoon balloons to the very     1965: Underdog
heartstrings of America, Macy’s Thanksgiving         1964: Linus the Lionhearted
Day Parade has become engrained in the               1963: Dino the Dinosaur, Elsie the Cow
nation’s holiday traditions, jump-starting the day   1951: Lucky Pup
when America pauses to reflect on its blessings,     1934: Mickey Mouse
gather with family and welcome the year’s first
                                                     1927: Felix the Cat (First balloon used in parade)
visit from Santa.



                                                                                                                                        PAGE   5
From Betty Boop to Audrey Hepburn
It hangs quietly in the closet waiting for the        so scandalous that she later fell victim to         The Preppy Handbook, published in 1980,
perfect occasion or night when nothing else           censorship laws!                                    dictated that no one should ever wear black
will do. It jumps off the hanger in the retail shop                                                       with the exception of evening clothes and little
                                                      The arrival of World War II in the 1940s
saying, “Buy me, buy me.” It sits alongside other                                                         black dresses. The LBD came busting back on
                                                      brought a shortage of wool and silk, forcing
timeless classics like Monopoly®, a Chevy                                                                 the scene with the emergence of punk rock.
                                                      designers to rely on other fabrics like velvet
Corvette and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home                                                                  A societal divide was created when socialites
                                                      and satin for their dresses. Remaining simple
Alabama. It’s a woman’s best friend and safest                                                            were wearing Oscar de la Renta and Yves St.
                                                      and frugal throughout the war, the sleeveless
bet. It’s the little black dress – also known                                                             Laurent, while rockers sported their own ripped
                                                      or short sleeved little black dress remained a
as the “LBD.”                                                                                             and torn take on the LBD often decked out
                                                      fashion staple.
                                                                                                          with handcuffs and safety pins and made from
Since its inception in 1926, thanks to French
                                                      Partially responsible for the modernization of      leather, Lycra and even garbage bags.
designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the little black
                                                      the little black dress, Christian Dior introduced
dress has been much more of a statement                                                                   The influence of the punk rock movement
                                                      a new chic and extravagant line of LBDs in the
than an article of clothing. It has stood the test                                                        on the little black dress blended well into
                                                      1950s which marked the end of the war and
of time, evolving with each passing decade,                                                               the fashion of the nineties when skin – a lot
                                                      scarce fabrics. The emergence of the “cocktail
always remaining in the fashion spotlight.                                                                of it – was in and the “little” part of the LBD
                                                      hour” and its necessary attire required the
                                                                                                          outweighed the importance of the “black dress”
Prior to the 1920s, black was reserved for            not-too-formal, not-too-casual style of the
                                                                                                          part of the equation. Some say, the little black
mourning and many times was considered                little black dress.
                                                                                                          dress ruled the ’90s.
indecent when worn out of the home. Social
                                                      Undoubtedly made most famous by Audrey
norms dictated that a widowed woman was                                                                   Coming into the first part of the new
                                                      Hepburn in 1961, the little black dress she wore
expected to wear mourning attire – all black –                                                            millennium was a challenge for the little black
                                                      in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” became the
for at least two years.                                                                                        dress, often seen as “safe” as opposed
                                                      most iconic LBD of all time.
                                                                                                                    to fashionable. Some mainstream
Due, in large part, to the number of deaths in        With a chunky pearl
                                                                                                                        designers were tired of using
World War I in addition to the fatalities during      necklace and oversized
                                                                                                                          black and considered it boring.
the Spanish Flu epidemic, it became more and          sunglasses, every
                                                                                                                            The LBD was starting to lose
more commonplace for women to be seen in              woman wanted to
                                                                                                                              the cutting-edge appeal it
public wearing black.                                 be her and have
                                                                                                                               once had.
                                                      her style.
Growing out of the desire for comfort and
                                                                                                                                 Although it seems as
sophistication in a woman’s wardrobe, Chanel’s        Despite the
                                                                                                                                 the little black dress may
concept for the little black dress took the world     iconic status of
                                                                                                                                 be moving into the
by storm. Originally known as the “Ford” dress,       the little black
                                                                                                                                 background for a short
it got its name from Henry Ford’s automobiles         dress produced
                                                                                                                                while, one truth remains
that were an instant craze, widely available and,     by Hepburn in
                                                                                                                              the same – the little black
like the Model T, only came in black.                 the early sixties,
                                                                                                                             dress is brilliant. It comes in
                                                      the remainder of the
With the rise of the Prohibition Era in the                                                                               42 different shades. It’s offered
                                                      decade as well as
1930s, when clothing was becoming less                                                                                 in a variety of shapes and designs.
                                                      almost all of 1970s brought
modest and a little more risky, it was more                                                                       It never looks out of place. It can cost
                                                      a downward spiral for the little
socially acceptable for women to bare slightly                                                            you $20 or $2,000. It looks good at any age. It
                                                      black dress. Times were rapidly changing along
more skin. Even cartoons were airing a sign of                                                            can be elegant, chic, sexy, formal, relaxed
                                                      with politics, societal norms and fashion trends.
the more provocative times when Betty Boop                                                                or reserved.
                                                      The focus shifted from elegance, grace and
appeared on screen wearing a little black dress
                                                      sophistication to youthful looks, bright colors,    Own it, and you’ll never go out of style.
so short that her garter was visible – a scene
                                                      bell-bottoms and flower dresses.




PAGE   6
Life-Sized Barbie Dolls                             ®




One of the truest reflections of current fashion    things in their own image. Using paper-mache,      expression. Pain, worry, happiness and stress
trends in any given time period can almost          mannequin makers shed 100 pounds off of the        were depicted in their body attitudes.
always be seen through a retail window front.       former wax model and made it heat resistant.
                                                                                                       Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical” was
Fashion and mannequins have long been linked
                                                    The Depression of the 1930s brought back the       the overarching theme for mannequin creation
with each other, shedding a certain light on the
                                                    woman’s more “rounded” Rubenesque shape.           in the 1980s. Sports mannequins were seen in
“ideal beauty” of the time it was designed.
                                                    It was during this time that manufacturers         running poses and were even painted in bright,
“Fashion dolls” ranging from 12 inches to life      developed their identity under the hallmark of     bold colors.
size date back to the 1300s and were often          realism, creating more detailed and sculpted
                                                                                                       It seems an odd transition, but the physical
collected and traded among royalty. But the         mannequins.
                                                                                                       fitness craze of the ’80s led to the ’90s where
full-figured life-size mannequins didn’t hit
                                                    With the United States entering World War II,      plus-size, juniors and maternity mannequins
mainstream America until the Industrial
                                                    mannequins morphed into somber and                 were starting to emerge. Although the ideal
Revolution in the early 1800s.
                                                    concerned women waiting for the return of          beauty of the time was still considered an
Other innovations of the age – manufacturing        their husbands from the war. In order to ration,   unlikely size 4, other body types and sizes
of plate-glass windows, the invention of the        mannequins were shorter and the clothes they       were starting to gain attention in the
sewing machine, and the electrification of cities   wore did not have a lot of trimmings.                mannequin world.
– also created the ideal showcase for fashion       Display windows during this period were
                                                                                                            Just when it seemed that they had
mannequins: the store window display. (From         a reflection of the times and not the
                                                                                                             thought of everything, manufacturers
“Mannequins: Fantasy Figures of High Fashion,”      beauty ideal.
                                                                                                              in the new millennium featured an
Smithsonian Magazine.)
                                                    The macho-man mannequin appeared in                        even broader range of choices –
Coming in at 300 pounds, equipped with full         the 1950s, sporting his bare chest, scruffy                     including headless mannequins,
bosoms and costing a hefty sum of $15 a piece,      look, dark tan and broad shoulders. With rock                      ones with different ethnic back-
the first wax mannequins were born. Left foot       ‘n’ roll, bikinis and technology moving                             grounds and even mannequin
forward, right food forward or both feet            their way into culture, there seemed                                twins! Equipped with real hair,
together were the options for “variety” that        to be a disconnect between the                                      makeup, dimples, moles and
could be seen in mannequins at this time.           realism of mannequins and the                                          anatomical correct parts,
                                                    true signs of the fashion times.                                         mannequins are now
Awkward in their early years, these
                                                                                                                               becoming more real than
mannequins were clumsy, hard to maintain            The 1960s gave birth to the
                                                                                                                                ever.
and move around. And even worse, they               Twiggy mannequin, which
would melt under heat of the sun or light.          appeared mirroring her small                                                Claudia Kidwell, head
Nonetheless, the store window front was a           dose of awkwardness and                                                     of the costume division
world of make-believe and fantasy for women         teenage shyness. Females                                                    at the Smithsonian’s
everywhere and so started a craze known             were starting to find their                                                 National Museum of
today as “window shopping.”                         own individual identities –                                                American History said,
                                                    some choosing a somewhat free,                                           “The idea of having
When women were left to fill the traditional
                                                    braless look and others choosing                                       idealized three-dimensional
man’s role at home during World War I, Coco
                                                    a “ditzy” female look (with overly                                  forms of the human body
Chanel began reflecting these changes in
                                                    sprayed hair), waiting for Mr.                                     from different time periods is
her “liberated” clothing lines. As children of
                                                    Right to come along and marry                                     fascinating.”
fashion, mannequins reflected this change
                                                    her. Mannequins followed suit,
of the contemporary woman and were made                                                                           Much more than a display for clothes,
                                                    with collections that seemed to
tall and skinny with a lively and somewhat                                                                        mannequins have depicted the
                                                    accommodate a variety of the different
frisky attitude.                                                                                                  political and socio-economic
                                                    fashions that were emerging.
                                                                                                                  situation of the times. Looking
Before the rise of the 1920s, mannequins
                                                    Mannequins began to tell a story in the                       through the glass of a store window
had blank, “wooden” expressions and had a
                                                    1970s. They were seen “communicating”                          is more than seeing clothes
never-ending look of boredom on their faces.
                                                    and touching and engaging in everyday                            perfectly draped on a still life-like
The need to make them more realistic looking
                                                    activities. Mannequins started to show                           figure – it is a small, but quiet,
stemmed from the fact that humans like to see
                                                    emotion in their faces and through body                           reflection of humanity.




                                                                                                                                               PAGE      7
From Bonnets to Bed Head:
How 150 Years of Hats and Hair Have Gone to Our Heads
Throughout history, how we dress our heads         At the turn of the century, artist C. D. Gibson         bell-shaped cloches. To signal their relationship
has signaled everything from social position       popularized an image of a modern, liberated             status, young women created a code with
and propriety to hobbies and personal style.       woman. The “Gibson Girl,” as she was called,            the band on their hats. An arrow-like ribbon
While hats and hairstyles have played this part    influenced style with her soft romantic                 indicated a girl was single but taken, a firm
in fashion for decades – even centuries, their     pompadour, which provided the perfect base              knot signaled marriage and a flamboyant
job is never quite as simple as topping off a      for the large bows and wide hats adorned                bow announced the wearer was single and
great outfit. Even in the past 150 years, the      with flowers, wildlife, feathers and more that          interested in mingling.
reasons and methods for head adornment             were paired with early Edwardian and Belle
                                                                                                           Hair and hemlines reached their apex in about
have steadily evolved.                             Epoque dress. A prevalent style called “curtain
                                                                                                           1926 and began falling as fast as the stock
                                                                  hair” fit with the Aesthetic Dress
During the Victorian Era, which started in the                                                             market at the end of the decade. Yet as average
                                                                        movement and featured
late 1830s with the coronation of Queen                                                                    individuals and families struggled to stay afloat,
                                                                            center-parted hair that fell
Victoria, fashion underwent serious                                                                        Hollywood glamour was on the rise, and the
                                                                             across a headband worn
changes. Whereas men’s style had                                                                           flapper fad gave way to more womanly styles.
                                                                               just behind the ears.
often taken the forefront in previous                                                                      Soon women were emulating their favorite
                                                                                Also popular were
eras, this powerful female monarch                                                                         screen stars by showing more skin and setting
                                                                                jeweled hairpins
left an indelible impression on female                                                                     their hair into finger curls. While working many
                                                                                adorning elaborate
fashion and truly began the next                                                                           women contained their waves with practical
                                                                                updos for dressier
century-and-a-half of imitating                                                                            snoods worn at the back of the head; and when
                                                                              occasions.
contemporary fashion icons.                                                                                going out, accented them with small, jaunty
                                                                          It was during this time          hats often of an Austrian or Cossack style.
Early in Victoria’s 60-plus-year reign
                                                                       that women began entering
the clothing, including hairstyles and                                                                     Romantic styles and silver screen idolization
                                                                  the workplace in earnest, and by
embellishments, was fairly simple. Through                                                                                  continued to influence hair
                                                   the onset of The Great War, a trend toward
the 1860s, hair was often pulled back into                                                                                      and headwear into the
                                                   saving materials for the war effort forced
smooth arrangements at the back of the                                                                                            1940s, even as women
                                                   fashion economies. As hemlines inched
head, and ringlets were a fashionable way to                                                                                        were forced to get their
                                                   up, so did hair length. Shorter styles
frame the face. To adorn the low chignons                                                                                           hands dirty for wartime
                                                   gained momentum as the age of the
and curls, women wore all types of bonnets,                                                                                          efforts. To keep their
                                                   flapper took root.
and as parasols became a haute couture                                                                                               curl, women started
accessory, bonnets shrunk in size. By the mid      Modern Millies bobbed                                                            setting their hair with
1860s, “fanchon bonnets” – little more than a      their hair into Eton                                                           plastic rollers and styling
triangle of fabric or straw tied with ribbons to   crops and “shingles”                                                         lotions. While women
frame the wearer’s face – were common.             to fit the boyish,                                                       working in factories often
                                                   youthful fads of the                                              chose sensible styles – like rolling
As the century progressed and mass
                                                   1920s. Whether set                                          their hair neatly against the napes of their
production blossomed, styles became more
                                                   into “Marcel” waves                                         necks and tucking it under a headscarf –
elaborate. Hair arrangements moved further
                                                   or kept straight,                                          there was also a desire to look alluring. Thus,
up on the head, leaving little room for a hat,
                                                   the haircuts stayed                                       women started wearing their hair in long,
thus fueling the popularity of smaller hats,
                                                   close to the head to                                    luxurious waves a la Bette Davis, Vivien Leigh
feathers, jewels, flowers and more that
                                                   accommodate the popular                                 and Veronica Lake.
perched upon high-piled hair.
                                                   hats of the day – from beaded headbands to
                                                                                                                                     Continued on next page




PAGE   8
After the war, women continued to wear more          Women’s hectic social and work calendars            craved easy, stylish looks and took inspiration
practical styles as they adjusted to post-war        required precise control, and their hair followed   from actresses like Meg Ryan’s cropped bed
life. Whether seeking domestic goddess status        suit. Big aspirations equaled big shoulder pads,    head or Jennifer Aniston’s layered “Rachel” look.
or staying in the workforce, women chose             and big shoulder pads were balanced with big        The ’90s were also a decade of revivals – goth,
easy yet feminine hairstyles. Movie stars still      hair. Additionally, glam rock, pop and hair bands   punk, hippie and more – and with each style
guided fashion, but other figures like the stately   influenced the youth with their wild styles. As a   revival came a follicle flashback.
Jackie Kennedy and glorious hat styles she           result, a wide range of heavily moussed, sprayed
                                                                                                         As the millennium turned, hair slimmed
popularized became the norm. One au courant          and otherwise fixated hair came into fashion.
                                                                                                               and a more natural look stepped into the
hat style was rounded – almost ball-shaped –         Women also flirted with headgear
                                                                                                                    spotlight. Instead of fighting nature,
and covered with flower petals. Another that         inspired by everything from workout
                                                                                                                      a tendency to amp up native hair
gained favor was the pillbox, a small hat with       wear, like sweatbands, to more
                                                                                                                        qualities was born. The straight
a flat crown and straight, upright sides.            masculine staples, like fedoras.
                                                                                                                          became straighter, the wavy
As more and more women began working                 The ’80s ended, but the desire                                       was defined and scrunched,
outside the home, simpler daytime hairdos            for choice did not. As it became                                     the curly was de-frizzed and
were adopted. Short, backcombed hair and             increasingly easy for women                                          embraced. Hair became not a
soft girly fringe became all the rage. It wasn’t     to change their hair color and                                      tool to try to look like someone
until the ’60s that hats began to fall from favor;   texture, they did. And nothing                                    else, but an extension of one’s
before this time, it was often seen as socially      was hotter than extreme highlights                              own personality and individuality.
improper to be seen in public without a hat.         or going blonde. And as the prevalence
                                                                                                                 Like with all fashion fads and foibles,
This preference to go hatless grew as the                            of new media grew, so did the
                                                                                                         our head dressings came full circle. Celebrities
youth of the time adopted what is now                                     obsession with copying the
                                                                                                         still influence trends, but the focus has moved
known as the “hippie look.”                                                  next hot look. Women
                                                                                                         to giving any look your own personal twist.
By the ’70s, hats were out, and hair                                                                     Simpler styles and showing one’s personality
grew longer again. From the free-flowing                                                                       rule, and headgear and accessories are
Bohemian looks to the feathered, full                                                                              no exception. Today, what’s atop
Charlie’s Angels style, long manes and                                                                               your head is your individual style’s
feminine individuality were en vogue. By                                                                               finishing touch – the icing on the
the time the decade wrapped up and the                                                                                   cake, as it were.
age of excess of the 1980s began, women
had fully embraced the freedom of choice.
While feathering and frosting were still very
trendy, diversity of cuts and styles expanded.




                                                                                                                                                 PAGE   9
Jeans: A Quest for Individuality
In the ever-changing world of fashion one thing     and created a new icon of cool. Teenagers who         tapered. The use of zippers at the bottom of
remains constant – the desire to express one’s      wanted to rebel took a step behind this symbol        pants became popular in order to fit the legs
individuality. Through the years, one wardrobe      of radical behavior and began to wear jeans as        through the extremely tight bottoms. It was not
item has exhibited the verve and versatility to     well. The cuffs were often turned up, matching        uncommon to bring out your individuality by
achieve this goal more than any other               a rolled up T-shirt sleeve that carried a pack of     bejeweling your favorite pair! Toward the end
garment: Jeans.                                              smokes. Some schools in the United           of the 1980s, the younger generation started
                                                                   States went as far as banning          tight-rolling their pant cuffs to differentiate their
Born out of necessity, jeans had
                                                                        blue jeans.                       style from their older counterparts.
a humble beginning. Denim’s
existence is recorded as far                                             In the mid 1950s, the            In the 1990s, jeans were a staple for many occa-
back as the 1600s in England.                                             industry was revolution-        sions. One could find jeans on country-western
Worn strictly for outdoor                                                 ized by the stone-washing       dance floors to alternative rock concerts to hip
labor, denim with indigo dye                                            technique. The new look           hop shows. Variations existed that were unique
was the material of choice for                                        of jeans appealed to a wide         to each group. Many of the younger genera-
its durability and dirt-hiding properties.          and diverse audience. By the time the 1960s           tion wore torn, baggy jeans or new cuts such
It wasn’t until the California Gold Rush in the     rolled around, jeans were more socially accept-       as flared, bootcut, carpenter and wide legged
1850s, however, that jeans started to gain high     able in the United States. So as not to look like     in order to not look like their parents. Other
demand. The official birthday of the “blue jean”    everyone else, people started customizing their       groups, especially young girls, discovered a new
is May 20, 1873, when Levi Strauss and Jacob        blue jeans as a way of making individual                           way to roll their jeans – unbuttoned
Davis received the U.S. Patent and Trademark for    statements by drawing, painting,                                       and flipped down an inch or so
placing rivets on the jean pockets to keep them     cutting and embroidering their                                             at the waist.
from tearing. The act of placing the rivet on the   favorite pair.
                                                                                                                                  The new millennium
pocket corners created what we now call “jeans.”
                                                    In the 1970s, with the help of                                                 brought new heights
Since their inception, jeans have                   Sonny and Cher and the rock                                                     to the favored pair of
had a tumultuous ride.                              ‘n’ roll culture, a wide range of                                               pants. Jeans, still being
                                                    bell bottoms became all the                                                     worn for comfort and
For many years, jeans remained an article of        rage. “Elephant bells” stated                                                   self expression, have
clothing for hard labor. But then in the 1930s,     that bigger was better – with                                                  now also become a
Western movies ruled the box office, and the        flairs so large that bigger bells                                             status symbol. Styles by
preferred clothing of cowboys happened to be        could be found only in church                                               brand-name designers sell
jeans. A novelty item was created! Vacationing      towers. Different variations of bell                                     for thousands of dollars a pair.
Easterners went out west to experience the life     bottoms gained popularity as well, such
of cowboys on dude ranches and would often                                                                            Different cuts continue to phase
                                                    as loon pants (very hip to wear with a Led
bring home a pair of their very own denim                                                                 in and out of popularity. During the current
                                                    Zeppelin t-shirt and Jesus sandals) and hip hug-
“waist overalls.”                                                                                         decade, low-rise jeans made a splash in helping
                                                    gers. Wearing jeans became in vogue and sexy.
                                                                                                          showcase thong tops, tattoos and piercings.
During the 1940s, fewer jeans were made             Yet during the same decade, other cultural            “Skinny jeans,” a.k.a. “pencil pants” and “slimjims”
due to the war and the shortage of materials.       influencers found ways to assert individuality by     among other names, have helped define cool
However, American soldiers wore jeans when          taking jeans in the opposite direction. Garage        among indie rock bands like the Strokes and
they were off duty, and thus introduced these       bands such as The Ramones made black jeans            Babyshambles.
rugged pants to the world. After the war,           that looked like they’d been slept in part of their
demand increased; Wrangler and Lee began                                                                  Who knows what the future holds for fashion
                                                    trademark look. Punk rockers including the Sex
to compete with Levi Strauss for share in the                                                             and world culture? Whatever tomorrow brings,
                                                    Pistols wore jeans that were ripped, slashed
international market.                                                                                     people will undoubtedly still seek ways to
                                                    or sported holes in the knees.
                                                                                                          express their individuality. And jeans – already
The fashions of the 1950s were proper and           As the 1980s progressed, jeans became a               in our hearts and in our closets – will surely help
clean cut. So when James Dean wore jeans in         high fashion item. They went from the convex          us dress for the quest.
“Rebel Without a Cause,” he made a statement        curves of bell bottoms to being tight-fitted and




PAGE   10
The Enduring Style of Cufflinks
Silver screen icon and cufflink wearer Marlene         Tour a’Guilloche allowed low-cost cufflinks to         artistry on to others. While handmade enamel
Dietrich once said, “I dress for the image. Not        be made, and soon cufflinks became a staple            links were – and still are – coveted, the cheaper
for myself, not for the public, not for fashion,       of gentlemen’s attire. Then, during the 1880s,         alternative of plastic began to edge them out.
not for men.” And that attitude – and attitude in      the American George Krementz invented a                In addition, the casual attire that became
general – is the driving factor in the popularity      machine that could mass-produce affordable             popular forced cufflinks out of daywear and
of cufflinks in this new millennium.                   cufflinks from stainless steel. To meet the            back into more formal and evening dress.
                                                       growing demand, shirt makers and tailors
In fact, these small, utilitarian trinkets do such a                                                          Though cufflink wear declined around World
                                                       expanded their selections of French-cuff shirts.
good job of showcasing style, personality and                                                                 War II, it continued to be a subtle and stylish
                                                       The double cuffs of these garments were worn
even sense of humor that they’ve become one                                                                   way for a man to show his personal tastes and
                                                       “kissing” with the insides of the cuff placed
of the fastest-growing collectibles in the world                                                              sometimes ingenuity. 1930s designer Paul Flato,
                                                                                together, or “barrel-style”
today. They are so collectible that both a Cuff                                                               in readying himself for a dinner party, realized
                                                                                   with one side of the
Link Museum and a National Cufflink Society                                                                   he did not have any cufflinks, so he used two
                                                                                              cuff over-
have been founded. But how did cufflinks                                                                      nuts and bolts to fasten his sleeves. Upon see-
                                                                                               lapping
get to where they are today? How did a                                                                        ing them, Ed Duchin, the bandleader, asked for
                                                                                               the other.
button-like accessory go from a                                                                               an identical pair in gold.
decorative necessity to a                                                                 As the century
                                                                                                              Cufflinks continued to be sported throughout
cult classic of jewelry?                                                                  progressed,
                                                                                                              the next few decades, with production peak-
                                                                                           men and
While jewelry for men had                                                                                     ing in the mid-1960s when the manufacturer
                                                                                           women alike
been fashionable for years,                                                                                   Swank, Inc. reported making 12 million pairs a
                                                                                     showed off their
the notion of a cufflink did not                                                                              year. But as button-cuffed shirts grew in preva-
                                                          style by wearing cufflinks and matching shirt
emerge until the 1700s. Until                                                                                 lence, cufflinks fell from favor. By the mid-’70s,
                                                       studs, and cufflinks evolved to keep up with
then, the wrists of shirts were                                                                               cufflinks had all but vanished from shirtsleeves.
                                                       the trends. From fancy engravings and precious
often tied with string or
                                                       stones to enamels and silk knots – known as            Like all great styles, though, cufflinks didn’t stay
ribbon. It wasn’t until the end of the
                                                       turk’s heads or monkey fists – it became               gone for long. Retro styling was a huge trend
century that stylish men began following in the
                                                       common practice to show off one’s personal             in the 1990s, and with it came the return of the
footsteps of King Louis XIV and fastening their
                                                       style with these wrist embellishments. They            cufflink. And as young professionals began to
sleeves with pairs of buttons joined by a little
                                                       became so popular that businesses began                rebel against the business casual uniform of
chain. The modern cufflink was born.
                                                       giving them as gifts and often even advertised         khakis and polo shirts, their popularity grew
Like most newfangled, functional accessories,          on them. Adorned cuffs were a ubiquitous               even more. Today, it’s estimated that over
cufflinks took some time to gain momentum,             part of men’s fashion, and the popularity just         200,000 pairs are produced per year.
but with the prim and proper dress popular-            kept growing.                                          A quick search online produces thousands
ized by the Victorian Era, they really took hold.
                                                       Trends in cufflinks changed with the art               of sites selling every kind of cufflink imagin-
Starched collars and shirts became the fashion
                                                       movements of the day, and the elaborate                able. The range of materials, fasteners, shapes
for men in the mid to late 1800s, and those
                                                       Victorian style gave way to Art Deco and               and colors is immeasurable; in fact, a cufflink
stiff cuffs made securing a traditional button
                                                       Jazz Age dandyism. Innovations not only to             representation of almost any hobby, profession
difficult. Fastening them with cufflinks proved
                                                       materials but also to fasteners came in the            or interest can be found. Additionally, vintage
much easier.
                                                       1920s and ’30s. The ’20s brought the advent            cufflinks have become popular for both daily
At first, cufflinks were a luxury and were rarely      of T-post and flip-hinge fasteners, and the ’30s       wear and collecting. The reason: cufflinks add
worn outside of formal occasions or by anyone          brought snap-together cufflinks, all of which          elegance and personality to the wardrobes of
other than the affluent. The onset of the              made putting on cufflinks much simpler. When           men and women alike. Cufflinks have proven
Industrial Revolution helped deliver them to the       it came to style, the most popular of the period       themselves as a timeless classic, and for those
masses, though. The invention of the steam-            were enameled links, which is attributed in part       who wear them, offer the perfect image to
driven stamping machine, electrometallurgy             to the emigration of Russian Faberge artisans to       present to the world.
and an enamel-producing machine called the             Europe and America, where they passed their




                                                                                                                                                     PAGE   11
The Intriguing Ups and Downs
of Skirts and the Economy
For nearly a century, a theory has persisted that   dresses stayed just below the knee, Christian       dot-com boom (or dot-com bubble, as it’s now
the rise and fall of skirt lengths have mirrored    Dior’s New Look popularized the use of more –       seen in the rearview mirror), midi and then mini
the fluctuations of the stock market. But is this   and more extravagant – material.                    skirts returned as all the rage.
so-called “hemline index” true?
                                                    Fueled by the cultural force named Marilyn          So far, the new millennium has been rather
Certain husbands and boyfriends may find its        Monroe, skirts rose again in the 1950s – even       unpredictable for both the stock market and
validity to be especially convenient. “I was not    without the aid of being blown upward by a          fashion trends. The 21st Century started with
staring at that woman’s legs,                          street exhaust grate. The rise of hemlines       the dot-com bubble bursting, sending stocks
honey,” they could say. “I was                             was accompanied by a steady climb in                           into a slump. The market
checking the status of my                                     the stock market.                                                recovered and thrived
investments.”                                                                                                                     for a few years. And
                                                                Who can forget the cultural
                                                                                                                                    recently, soaring
                                                                 revolution of the 1960s?
So is such an alibi                                                                                                                   fuel costs and
                                                                  The decade famous for
accurate? Let’s
                             1920                                 introducing mini-skirts,
                                                                                                                                       the subprime
take a look.
The hemline index
                                                                 and then micro-minis,
                                                                 also was host to a
                                                                                                  1960                                 mortgage fiasco
                                                                                                                                       have knocked the
                                                                                                                                       stock market into
was first theorized by                                          booming economy.
                                                                                                                                      a tizzy.
U.S. economist George
                                                             The 1970s, however, brought
Taylor in 1926. The timing                                                                                                           Meanwhile, hemlines
                                                          the national mood and skirt
of his observation now seems                                                                                                      have also fluctuated.
                                                                   lengths back down to earth.
clairvoyant. As flappers in the 1920s sported                                                                                  But recent evidence
                                                                         A rampant recession and
skirts shorter than ever, stock prices hit new                                                                           suggests that today’s designers
                                                                            a stubborn oil short-
heights. And following the crash of 1929,                                                               may actually predict stock market changes
                                                                               age created long
hemlines dropped back to the floor.                                                                     rather than reflect them. Consider that
                                                                                gas lines and low
                                                                                                        collections for Summer 2008 – when the
In reviewing the subsequent decades,                                             hemlines. The
                                                                                                        stock market was bullish – were introduced
general trends suggest that a parallel                                            maxi skirt was
does indeed exist between stock
market conditions and skirt lengths.
                                                 1930                             popularized along
                                                                                  with its less dour
                                                                                                        in October 2007. Cutting edge designers such
                                                                                                        as Stella McCartney and Christopher Kane
                                                                                                        rolled out ankle-length skirts and dresses.
But other economic conditions                                                    sister, the midi.
                                                                                                        Then the market took another plunge just
beyond the Dow Jones, as well as a
                                                                                 Then, ah, the 1980s!   a few months later.
variety of social and cultural factors,
                                                                               While the economy
may have been just as influential.                                                                      Perhaps the hemline index phenomenon
                                                                           surged, mini skirts and
                                                                                                        is best explained by Harold Koda, fashion
During the 1930s, for example, the stock market                       the little black dress became
                                                                                                        historian and curator of the Costume Institute
had nowhere to go but up. Skirts followed suit      popular again. High hemlines were required to
                                                                                                        at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
by rising to knee length. Another explanation,      show off those leg warmers, right?
                                                                                                        “The rule does not always apply,” he says,
however, is that the outbreak of war in 1939
                                                    The 1990s witnessed both highs and lows.            “but what you can say is that any great
created a shortage of material and made skirts
                                                    A mini-recession in the early ’90s ushered in       designer has his or her finger on the pulse
of shorter length a practical necessity.
                                                    the grunge era, when jeans or pants outrivaled      of society. And when you are psychologically
In the 1940s, the end of World War II brought       skirts as preferred attire. But as the Dow Jones    battered and feel a sense of encroaching
a new sense of national optimism and an             began to rise in 1993, and then skyrocketed         pessimism, there is a tendency to cover up.”
economic resurgence. While the most popular         through the rest of the decade thanks to the




PAGE   12

								
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