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  • Ronika Pipal

20’s 2.0

The fashion cycle takes a full 360 .


Saying that history repeats itself would be an understatement . War , revolution , Romance and catastrophes we’ve seen the cycles close and come back . With the pandemic reminding us and making us feel close to the ancestral Spanish flu or the influenza outbreak . with exactly a century apart ( the difference is legit one year , the influenza outbreak started and lasted till 1918-1920 ) we can clearly see the world history taking a full circle . while things may be reminiscent in nature , a lot has changed when it comes to the word then and now .

Fashion Like history has the same tendency to repeat itself , and just like history the cycle completes and competes with its own timeline . what is so mesmerising about the correlation is how history and fashion seem to follow a similar timeline ( I’m being pretty contextual here so people might differ ) or at least seem to go at a similar same pace .

Let’s talk about the OG Roaring 20’s and where the Roar came from . Just before the glitz and glam of the 20’s took over the globe and turned it into a shining crystal ball the world was struck with disaster , what kind you may ask ? well EVERY POSSIBLE KIND . First let's talk about the first world war that started from 1914 and lasted till 1918 ( does the year resonates ? yeah we will get back to that later ) the War with it brought a lot of casualties , be it the sacrifice of human life and the economic collapse or the utter downfall of the standard of living . The world was trying to get back on its feet and the transition from war to the civilian life was not easy . There was a lot of mental scarring that happened in the collective too , let’s say the whole collective was going through PTSD in some sort of way depending on how the war affected them . And before we could recuperate from how the war left us we were struck with another major calamity the Spanish Flue ( here is where 1918 comes back in the picture ) or what we sometimes also call the influenza pandemic , the pandemic lasted approximately two years and came in three waves the second one being the most fatal or disruptive , the pandemic did not occur simultaneously around the world but due to lack of resources or technology during that time dealing with the pandemic was as or even more difficult ( in some cases ) than it is now . Moving forward once the dread of the pandemic was over , there was a shift in the collective , a major one at that .

The decade of 1920’s started with major economic boom specially in America ( or as id like to say the home country of Hollywood ) , why is Hollywood important ? because during the 20’s Hollywood was not just bound to America the films had a international audience also the silent movie era gave birth to the first superstars , and with Hollywood came the influence it brought to the normal household . people started following trends that they see on the screen .

Meanwhile in the European end France was prospering as well and when national prosperity increases so does the peoples spending power and the time they allot for leisure and luxury . And as more people had money to spend the french haute couture industry bloomed as well . After the war struck misery and the pandemic woes people were ready to live their life in exuberance and celebration , this might also be the very first YOLO moment that people experienced . People literally celebrated life as if they would die tomorrow and with celebration comes a wardrobe that should be fit for such celebration . luckily the twenties were also the time when Gabrielle “ Coco “ Chanel entered the couture scene as well , we can clearly see where it goes from here . Chanel’s influence has always been great and the twenties was a flourishing time for anything lux and extravagance .

If you’re an avid fashion enthusiast you must’ve read all the articles circulating about how when the economy takes a dip the height of the heels shoot up , but it's not just heels its the entirety of our wardrobe that gets affected , psychologically man ( and woman ) tend to spend on luxury when they feel their bank balance is threatened . why do we do this ? well one of the main reasons is to make ourselves feel secured , if we can afford luxury we are are still stable and in the game lets just say its a confidence and pride thing ,but we have also seen it taking a toll on the worse where the financial situation goes down even further a very fine example from history would be Mary Antonette .

Let’s hop to the current twenties now , even though there wasn’t a war raging we have to agree that the global political tensions have been on a rise since the 2010’s ( we are not going to name any problematic presidents and prime ministers because we do not want to be locked up ) . But yes , political discord which was followed by the catastrophic COVID - 19 pandemic are major stimuli which can ( hopefully will ) propel forward the comeback of extravagance and the lux life . We can already see the shift in motion , if you’re from the geographical location where going out right now is permitted you can easily notice the not so subtle change in how people now dress up to go out , staying in for over a year makes you want to dress up when you’re finally out of your den and that’s completely normal . Aside from the general public if we look at the most recent fashion weeks be it menswear or womenswear along with the rise in the heel heigh another thing that’s on the rise is the oomph and the glamour , these garments are MADE for the spotlight and that is exactly what they are trying to portray , in times of disarray and disheartenment fantasy is a genre that or mind and soul loves and longs for and in a world where we are not rally sure if a fairy godmother really exists our next best options are the bougie fits off the shelf of a high end brand .

Looking at it in terms of trends , the relaxed H silhouette is pretty much in touch with our current obsession with comfy but fashionable clothes . Athleisure which is all the rage right now reminds us of the post war scenarios ( or even mid war scenario ) when the women pulled the pants up , rolled their hems and set on to work , during that time it was due to need of the hour which turned into a trend but right now its part of the fashion scene , we can clearly see the H silhouette coming back as its next in the cycle of returning trends and lets not forget how obsessed this generation is with holo , reflectives and neon which can be the new sequins , glitter and sparkles and who said fringes were ever out of fashion , whoever said that is either lying or is delusional .

[An excerpt from the fashion and aesthetics journal I’m too lazy to write ]

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