As I write this, tonight is the end of a decade. The teens. Tomorrow starts the twenties. Will they be the twinkling twenties or the twisted twenties?
In fashion, we always think of looks in terms of decades, even though, of course, styles don’t change as the clock chimes midnight the night the year changes.
In my life things really have sort of fit into decades, as I have discovered while writing my book. “The forties” were my years growing up in England, going to school, making friends, starting my ballet classes. Lots of pink tights and leotards, school uniforms, and tweeds and tartans.
In 1951 we emigrated to Canada, so I think of the fifties as my time adjusting to a new life in a new country. New school, new friends, new traditions. Along with poodle skirts, crinolines, bobby socks and all that. Yes, I did wear saddle shoes and my hair in a ponytail and I adored my petticoats.
The ’60s saw me leave Canada and strike out on my own to a life in New York. In the first half of the 60’s I wore nice conservative clothes and worked hard on my dancing career, but as the mid-sixties crept in, the hems of my skirts crept up! By 1966 the new Carnaby Street “mod” look burst on the scene in full force and nothing I had ever worn before was ever going to be worn again. Mini skirts, go-go boots, lots of eye make-up! Woo hoo! I even had a pair of leopard skin boots that I just loved! They were hot!
In late 1968 I moved to Los Angeles, so that was almost the 70’s. And what a decade that was. I wore high platform sandals, wide bell-bottom pants, wild Peter Max prints, and hair down to my waist. I felt all-powerful, as the Women’s Movement was liberating us all from previous ideals of womanhood.
Along came the 80’s. My hair went shorter, I met the man of my dreams (to be my husband), transitioned to a solid costume design career, and wore suits with wide shoulders and short skirts. Power Me. Norma Kamali. Shoulder pads. High heels.
I can’t remember nearly as clearly what I wore in the 90’s and 2000s, other than it became very eclectic, and a softer silhouette. Pretty much anything was OK as long as it was flattering and age-appropriate. Though I hate that last adjective. If 60 is the new 40, what do we wear now???
So will the new twenties bring back shapeless dresses, fringe, and headbands? I think not. But who knows? I’m clearing out my closet now.