Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Here are a few trends that inspire me this season. So stay tuned, as I plan to write about them over a series of weekly posts. The first is the Structured Shoulder.

This season accentuated shoulders are back. Once a staple look during the 80's, today's version is just as dramatic but a lil bit softer.Their use is particularly associated with clothing of the early 1940s and the 1980s.In the beginning(1930 to be precise), they were shaped as a semicircle or small triangle, and were stuffed with wool, cotton or sawdust. They were positioned at the top of the sleeve, to extend the shoulder line.

Come 1940, After World War II began in 1939, women's fashions became increasingly militarised. Jackets and coats in particular, were influenced by masculine styles and shoulder pads became bulkier and were positioned at the top of the shoulder to create a solid look. Dresses, too, were made with shoulder pads—soon the style was universal, found in all garments excepting lingerie but tapering off later in the decade after the war was over and women yearned for a softer, more feminine look.

During the 1950s and 1960s small padded shoulder pads appeared only in women's jackets and coats.

In the 70s, the structured shoulder look did not, however reach mainstream acceptance, and so the popularity was relatively short lived.

During the early 1980s there was a resurgence of interest in the ladies' evening wear styles. Before too long, these masculinized shapes were adopted by women seeking success in the corporate world. As the decade wore on, shoulder pads became the defining fashion statement of the era, known as power dressing and bestowing the perception of status and position onto those who wore them. They became both larger and more ubiquitous—every garment from the brassiere upwards would come with its own set of shoulder pads. To prevent excessive shoulder padding, velcro was sewn onto the pads so that the wearer could choose how many sets to wear. By the end of the era, some shoulder pads were the size of dinner plates. It was inevitable that as the cycle of fashion turned, they would lose favour in the early 1990s.

Now i ask, Did the '80s ever really leave?Glance around in a crowd and chances are you'll see someone still wearing leggings or sporting a bi-level haircut.

How to rock the look
Retro-inspired fashion never really means that anything goes: acid-wash jeans, legwarmers, fringed boots and other fads of the decade are best left in the '80s.
Instead, try a small dose of '80s party-girl or preppy in your wardrobe. A clutch bag here, a gold chain belt there. Maybe even a bit of big hair. Just remember not to do the look head-to-toe unless you have an unerringly deft hand at styling.

Victoria Beckham, rocking the look

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