By Kaylalynn Egan:
The Jukebox is Back Baby
The 1950s was the era of self expression, rock and roll, dance, and fashion. The 1950’s fashion, in which has returned, is tremendously influenced by a cultural return to glamour and elegance in result of the seriousness of the “war years.”
Today, the chic elegance of many 1950’s designs is being celebrated again in events such as car shows, film festivals, tattoo expositions, and more. There is quite a strong demand for 1950’s retro and vintage clothing as a new generation rediscovers the beauty of the era, as well as many sub-genres of the 1950’s such as; Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Noir, Pin-up, and Burlesque.
To get a greater understanding of the “1950” trend, you’d have to get a grasp on the history of the fashion then. The fashion in the 1950s, like many other fashion trends, reflected the aspirations during its time. Due to wars and such, looking and acting like everyone else felt secure, and this created a similar trend amongst many. Most in which participated in this new fashion were the majority of the youth. “Youth culture” first surfaced in the mid to late 1940s, and progressed and grew into the 1950’s. During World War II children were titled an adult once they reached the age of 18. Between the ages of thirteen and nineteen the term “teenager” was introduced. The term “teenager” described the individuals who began to adopt fashions of his/her own design, following their peers instead of their elders, which very much ties into popular culture.
Fashion though was also influenced by music. As the popularity of rock and roll grew, with the help of musicians such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, the style changed amongst the “teen” population. Rock and roll came off as dangerous and that appealed to many. My grandfather told me that, Elvis only appeared on the Ed Sullivan from the waist up, because his “hip gyrations” were considered too lewd, this is a huge example of the “dangerous and sexual” appeal that rock and roll radiated.
Films, just like today, had an impact on how individuals dressed as well. A leather jacket and a D.A. haircut (D.A., excuse my language, stood for Duck’s Ass, which was the hairstyle that most people would accompany with a greaser.) became “the dress code” for rebellion and violence.
These following fashion trends have tremendously made a come back, as a participant in these trends I see it grow more popular each day. This growing popularity has a large influence on film, music, and T.V. shows as well. Many bands now-a-days, have taken the popular sound of rockabilly and have created there own present day twist. Many popular bands such as J.D McPherson, Horrorpops, Koffin Kats, Creepshow, Imelda May, No Doubt, and more, have taken the influence from the 1950’s tunes and created a sub-genre of music such as ska, rock steady, psychobilly, and jazz rock, and have created an interest amongst us.
Films, T.V. Show, and books have also been influenced by the elegance and fashionable 1950s. Many examples include films such as, The Notebook, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Grease, Cry Baby, and The Outsiders. As you can see the past is very much the present, and it has a very large influence on fashion and popular culture today.