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Is style stuck in a 2 decade rut?

DJH

I'll Lock Up
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Ft Worth, TX
"For most of the last century, America’s cultural landscape—its fashion, art, music, design, entertainment—changed dramatically every 20 years or so. But these days, even as technological and scientific leaps have continued to revolutionize life, popular style has been stuck on repeat, consuming the past instead of creating the new..."

Read more at Vanity Fair
 

Benny Holiday

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,667
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Sydney Australia
Well I can't comment on the USA, but good ol' Sydney seems to be stuck culturally in 1967 with the odd foray into the 70s and rarely the 80s. For a while there, for instance, all the indie rock bands sounded like re-hashed versions of the Who meets the rolling Stones. I suppose they probably still do, but I tuned out seven or eight years ago. I'm much more interested in 1935-1952 than 1967.
 

rue

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13,320
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California native living in Arizona.
Interesting article.

This really jumped out at me:

Not long ago in the newspaper, I came across an archival photograph of Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell with a dozen of their young staff at Morgans, the Ur-boutique hotel, in 1985. It was an epiphany. Schrager’s dress shirt had no collar and some of the hair on his male employees was a bit unfashionably fluffy, but no one in the picture looks obviously, laughably dated by today’s standards. If you passed someone who looked like any of them, you wouldn’t think twice. Yet if, in 1990 or 1980 or 1970, you’d examined a comparable picture from 27 years earlier—from 1963 and 1953 and 1943, respectively—it would be a glimpse back into an unmistakably different world. A man or woman on the street in any year in the 20th century groomed and dressed in the manner of someone from 27 years earlier would look like a time traveler, an actor in costume, a freak.


Explains why we have threads about the comments we get..... I guess because we're freaks.
 

Bluebird Marsha

A-List Customer
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377
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Nashville- well, close enough
Perhaps style and art are stuck in a rut. Several factors perhaps, but I think technology may be the prime candidate.

Technological progress is easy to spot and take advantage of. If something works faster or better, it will misplace a previous product. By style is subjective. And thanks to the internet, we can have a great look at just about any fashion era we desire. The writer was correct in saying that wearing a 1950s fashion in 1970 would have appeared costumey. I got razzed a little for wearing sixties stuff during the seventies. But I think it is much more acceptable to wear a 1950s outfit in 2011 than in 1970. And I can't imagine myself wearing anything from the 40s when I was high school in the 80s. All my grandmothers great stuff was in the costume box. (Give me a moment while I wipe away a tear over the vintage carnage that occurred).

I know some posters here have caught some grief over their looks, but it seems like folks in general are more tolerant of any style these days than they were 30 years ago. Besides, what have designers really come up with lately than has lit a fire? The last fashion designer I paid attention to was Alexander McQueen. Aren't most clothing lines more about the "brand" rather than the "style" anyway?
 

LizzieMaine

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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I think a lot of it depends on where you were. Where I lived there were plenty of people dressing like it was 1950 in 1970 -- not just crotchety middle-aged folks, but even schoolkids -- and they would have caught much more grief for dressing in what we now think of as high 1970 style. In the twenties, you could find farmers and rural folk still dressing and living much the way as farmers and rural folk did in the 1870s. The further you were from the centers of fashion, physically or psychologically, the less it mattered in your life.
 

m0nk

One Too Many
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1,004
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Camp Hill, Pa
It's funny that I pretty much had the same discussion with my wife a few months back. Nothing is new, even the new, and life has become cyclical. Even technology has, though many don't really see it. First we had old mainframe systems that did all the work, and users had terminals to connect to the data. Then the PC came along and detached users from the mainframe. Now, with tablets and internet based storage/cloud computing, etc, we're back to using terminals to connect to the data.

It's nice, though, that there is a small community of people in our respective societies that look further back than the 1980s/1990s, and try to bring our daily image away from jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers.
 

brspiritus

One of the Regulars
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146
Location
Jacksonville, Fl.
Every successive generation feels the need to throw off the fashion shackles of the previous generation. Over many decades this resulted in a more and more casual mode of dress until now that it has grown so preposterous as to have people wearing what amounts to pajamas in public. The modern generation of young adults has nowhere to run to be more casual than their parents and hence the counter-revolution has evolved where a certain segment is starting to dress up again. The pendulum swings in the other direction, albeit slowly and with much cranky hesitation brought about by years of misuse. The biggest mistake made by the fashion icons of today is over-personalization of an outfit. I believe it was Jude Law that had on a nice vest, shirt and sports coat outfit to the recent awards which although missing the mark of sartorial elegance certainly differentiates from the modern over casual look. However all was ruination over his choice of wearing a knit watch cap which as welcome an addition to the outfit as a carnivore at a PETA rally. Such affectation greatly cheapen what would have been an acceptable outfit all in the name of "personalization".
 

C-dot

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Toronto, Canada
The further you were from the centers of fashion, physically or psychologically, the less it mattered in your life.

Thanks to technology, these days you are never too far away from anything. Everything is so accessible that you don't really have an excuse not to be up-to-date, unless you want to be.

The world has a fascination with the past these days (re: "Will Retromania Destroy Pop Culture" thread) and my theory for its existence is because the world moves so fast now, we fear not being able to keep up. That problem didn't exist in relatively recent years.
 

Philip Adams

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205
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London, England
Thanks to technology, these days you are never too far away from anything. Everything is so accessible that you don't really have an excuse not to be up-to-date, unless you want to be.

The world has a fascination with the past these days (re: "Will Retromania Destroy Pop Culture" thread) and my theory for its existence is because the world moves so fast now, we fear not being able to keep up. That problem didn't exist in relatively recent years.

Nicely put C-dot. I think you're right.

This is just speculation, but I wonder if there is any corelation between the rate of change in clothing fashions having slowed dramatically, or even stopped, according to the article, and the growth in popularity of tattoos.

I mean, when people get something tattooed, it's pretty much there, unchanged, for life.
 

sheeplady

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Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, USA
I think some of it has to do with technology's impacts on culture.

I think that everyone "looked the same" in part because the "culture" of the media was limited. There were limited media channels (few television channels, newspapers, and lots of magazines) and most of the media was "push media"- in other words- the media came to the person and they didn't have much input back as far as "creating media." What people were exposed to was pretty homogenous; and their ability to buy things was limited to their local stores or mail order catalogs. Almost everyone was exposed to similar things, and bought everything from the same places. There wasn't as much advertising as we are exposed to today.

Today, almost anyone can contribute to the media. I can create a blog, videos, images, etc. and post them up on the internet for everyone to see. I can order clothes from halfway around the world- I can even get custom clothes from anyone, anywhere I like. I can even sell my own creations. I can choose the media I consume, create media for others to consume, and choose what part of the overall culture I want to take in, expose myself to, and emulate.

I think overall this has lead to a fragmentation of culture. There may be new style trends out there, but they are lost in the mini-multi-culturalism or not picked up and become mainstream.
 

C-dot

Call Me a Cab
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Toronto, Canada
I mean, when people get something tattooed, it's pretty much there, unchanged, for life.

Unless you're rich and resilient and can thus get laser surgery!

Seriously, though, you have a point. If I ever changed my vintage style for a modern one, I would be in a predicament with my tattoos.

What people were exposed to was pretty homogenous; and their ability to buy things was limited to their local stores or mail order catalogs.

This is where globalization as a result of technological advancement ties in - Not only were styles distinct, they were distinct by geographic location too. In those days, you could tell an American from a Zimbabwean by what they wore and how they looked. That isn't so anymore, because our globe is a "global village".
 
Messages
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Orange County, CA
This is where globalization as a result of technological advancement ties in - Not only were styles distinct, they were distinct by geographic location too. In those days, you could tell an American from a Zimbabwean by what they wore and how they looked. That isn't so anymore, because our globe is a "global village".

Now it seems that Zimbabweans dress like Americans while Americans dress like Zimbabweans. :p
 

scottyrocks

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Because there are so many media outlets (and inlets, for that matter), there is more room, and pressure, if you will, to create something 'different,' for example as was referenced above with the knit watch cap with a suit. With so much getting out there so quickly, new stuff, whether good or bad (and that's subjective), has ample room to flow freely, and it does.
 

davidg

New in Town
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Location
Brooklyn ny
"For most of the last century, America’s cultural landscape—its fashion, art, music, design, entertainment—changed dramatically every 20 years or so. But these days, even as technological and scientific leaps have continued to revolutionize life, popular style has been stuck on repeat, consuming the past instead of creating the new..."

Read more at Vanity Fair

Personally, I have no problems with that at all. The pace of constant change, particularly in fashion is, IMHO a useless phenomena. I find most new styles ridiculous and the designers busy making clothes that people don't want to wear. Then again, I like jackets and ties and fedoras, and don't care about the "new".
 

davidg

New in Town
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48
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Brooklyn ny
Explains why we have threads about the comments we get..... I guess because we're freaks.

HEY! I'd rather be a freak than some sloppy, drudge! I'll stick with my jackets and ties and pocket watches.. and if someone has a problem with it, they can go hang!!
 

davidg

New in Town
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48
Location
Brooklyn ny
I think perhaps the "lack of change" has more to do with the economy and the public market not having the money to blow on fashion crap. The Milan and Paris fashion shows still take place but do they REALLY have any affect on what is being sold at Sears, K-Mart, Walmart, and Century 21? If they don't sell, it doesn't matter how groundbreaking or wonderful they are. If markets don't support, "the new" then it won't exist.
 

Gene

Practically Family
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963
Location
New Orleans, La.
I've always been of the mind that the end and beginning of every decade looks the same. The late 40's looked like the early 50's, late 50's looked like early 60's, late 60's looked like the early 70's etc. To my eye not a whole lot has changed fashion-wise since the early 2000's, so I've thought for quite awhile that modern culture has been stuck in some sort of rut, waiting for some cultural revolution to change the way people act and feel about clothing, music, movies, etc.

But it feels like nothing's really changed. I blame a lot of it on the music industry to be honest, because it always seems to affect the youth culture and trickle upwards towards adults. For instance, in the late 80's and very early 90's it was all fluorescent colors and heavy metal and big hair...but then "grunge" came along and changed A LOT of the culture of the time. Nowadays with all the prefab pop music and bad rehashed indie rock, there really hasn't been much change in the music industry since then. I think the last significant underground movement was the "swing revival" and that lasted a total of less than a few years. So as of right now, I think music and fashion have been stuck in the same rut because they are very much parallel to each other. Just my .02.
 

JimWagner

Practically Family
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Durham, NC
I blame the economy. Not so much because people aren't buying clothes, because they are. I think many, if not most, people are pessimistic and depressed by the economy and lack of growth over the past 20 years. It takes a certain amount of optimism and confidence in the future before people really reflect that in their dress by adopting new fashions. When you think that you'll not make as much money as your parents did and you are boxed in then that's reflected in your dress.
 
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1961MJS

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3,341
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Norman Oklahoma
Hi

You'll know we've hit bottom when the girls wear PJ's to Prom with no make-up. The guys are already in the no tux, black pants shiny shirt mode. It won't be 5 years...

Later
 

PoohBang

Suspended
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781
Location
backside of many
just to clarify...

are people here on a vintage fashion site and who only dress in 1940 styles... complaining about modern fashion, which they would never, ever wear... of not evolving?
 

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