Finland is an interesting country for many reasons such as its capital is the most wired city, the first country that allowed women to vote, and it is the home of Santa Clause. Traditional Finnish clothing is just as interesting and varies from region. You can still observed the costumes on special occasion and national holiday celebrations.

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The West Finnish costume and the Karelian are very similar, but have a few differences. West Finnish dress has a high collared smock, a skirt with stripes, apron, wool jacket and white socks with black shoes. Karelian costume is decorated lavishly and has a smaller shaped head covering than West Finnish costume. The caps are usually only worn by married women. Both of these types of dress came from Viking heritage and were influenced by Sweden.

 The other type of dress comes from the Nordic region of aboriginal people called the Sami who wear Gakti. The Sami are often associated with reindeer herding. Reindeer leather and fur are traditionally the material used to create the Gakti, but most are made from Wool, Silk, or cotton. The garments are green, blue, red, or white and do not vary from this color scheme. The women wear the traditional long tunic belted with either leather or hand woven belt. A fringed shawl is layered on with multiple silver broaches holding it together. In the winter a fur cape or “pesk” is layered beneath the shawl and paired with Fur boots that curve up dramatically at the toe and have woven shoe laces to match the rest of the Gakti. Men wear a similar tunic that is “jacket-shirt” and shorter than the female tunic. The men’s clothing is made from the same materials and Hats are made of wool, leather, or fur.

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Each Gakti has symbols and shows the material status of an individual. It shows what family and region you belong to because each has a different pattern weave for trim on the tunic, shawl, and belt.

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Santa Clause was depicted on the 1930’s Coca-Cola ad campaign by a Swedish painter; this set the modern “uniform” of Santa. This modern outfit is similar to the Gakti in the red color tunic style jacket-shirt edged with fur and held up with a leather belt. One also must comment on the similarity of Christmas elves’ shoes and outfits to the pointed boots worn by Sami people.

The most modern interp

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relation of this look can be seen on the runway and on the streets through fur capes. Just last week during NYFW Carolina Herrera had a fashion show that featured fur on the majority of her looks. Finland is one of the largest exporters of fur and it is impossible to miss the influence of Finland on the fur industry. Curled toe cowboy boots seen in Mexico are a humorous evolution of the Gakti boot. Shawls with broaches have been popular in the United States for decades, but is not typically worn over fur like the Gakti costume.

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The Gakti ,among other folk wear, served as inspiration for Matthew Williamson’s 2013 London Fashion Week show. The picture below is a picture tweeted from the fashion label’s twitter of a mood board that inspired the collection.

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The Gakti is an interesting article of clothing that has inspired everything from goofy shoes to Santa.

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Who:  Condé Nast International (Vogue Magazine in particular)

What: This is a ban on underage and too skinny models apart of the” Vogue Health Initiative”. Models that are under the age of 16 or who are deemed too skinny will not be allowed to appear in the publication, fashion shows, or ad campaigns featured in their magazine.                                                                            Vogue is only putting models to work if they promote a healthy body image. This initiative is supported by Anne Wintour , the editor at large for American Vogue.

When: May 3, 2012; Editions of Vogue published for June 2012 and onward. It stems from a 2007 voluntary campaign to use models over the age of 16.

Where: all Condé Nast publications in 19 countries such as: US, UK, France, Italy, Australia, Russia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India, and Turkey. Thailand and Ukraine will both be a part of this when they start publication in 2013. The stand is enforced in photo shoots, ad campaigns, and fashion shows.

Why: The most dramatic reason stems from the 2007 initial voluntary ban that came about after two models died in 2006 due to eating disorders.  The other reasons are a little less concrete. Sample sizes have been shrinking to unrealistic sizes for decades; the anorexic models have been sending a bad message to the public, that women with malnutrition are healthy women; bad working conditions for models; financial exploitation of underage models, school and academic breaks result in less education, and “overall lack of empowerment in the workplace”. Americans have recently been on a trend to get healthier over the past several years and I think this stems from that.

How: They will enforce the ban by checking photo IDs before photo shoots ect. They have already had to pull an ad campaign in the Japanese vogue. In September 2012 a new step was added- model agencies were required to show documented proof of models age.  This happened after a 15 year old girl was featured in an article in Vogue China. They will do this by strict enforcement of guidelines established. The judgment on “too skinny” is very objective and criteria could vary from person to person making it hard to keep a consistent standard across all 19 publications.

My Reaction: This ban is a positive statement to the public especially the American public which two thirds of the population is obese. Getting healthy is an important goal for Americans and for the largest fashion publication to make a statement like this and actually stick to it makes a big impact on the culture. Baylor has a very high level of anorexia and other eating disorders on campus and I think that a major fashion magazine such as this will hit the demographic and hopefully make a few people aware of the problem.  Anorexia has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness and that is a problem for the future of our country. We have people dying from being overweight and from people being underweight, we need to get healthy fast!

Fashion magazines have often been criticized for portraying unachievable body images and for airbrushing people to look skinnier and more malnourished than they actually are. I understand that Vogue will not be putting a full figured models or heaven forbid a plus size model at size 10 in their fashion spreads, but small steps is better than none. I do not think this ban will end anorexia or eating disorders, but I do think this is a good first step. Vogue is looked up too in the industry and for them to make this stand makes an influential statement

. Everyone knows that these too skinny models that have eating disorders are sick, but for some reason we still want to emulate them. I hope that this stand will be reflected in the fashion industry for a call for more healthy normal size women. Even a size two on someone naturally skinny would portray the clothing in a desirable light, and still portray a healthier look for our future generations to emulate. Lena Dunham has made the news for appearing on TV nude, in her hit TV show Girls, with non-airbrushed body clear for the audience. Some reacted in discus and some say it is groundbreaking showing her “normal body” on screen. The fact that an “average” woman appearing on screen nude instead of being airbrushed and tiny has caused so much publicity shows that people have opinions and feel deeply on the subject even if they don’t all agree. I think the fashion industry could see a demand from consumers to show more “average” looking girls, I do not think that the skinny look will ever truly go out of style, but I thing that a healthy woman walking down he runway with toned muscle instead of no muscle could be in the future. Clothing in fashion shows and sample sizes for editorials are all in TINY sizes and built for women with NO curves, I can see a trend toward making some of these items fit a healthier body type if more women are featured and older girls are featured.

I also think the ban on underage models can help, a lot of these girls are just those girls and it can be easy to overwork and over expose these children that are not legally making decisions of their own. They are being forced to make very adult decisions at an age where they should not have to. I also think the featuring of the underage girls promotes the same body image issues but targets a much younger audience. It is not just college age women (and men) that have these issues; they start young, VERY young.  By keeping the age limit higher, hopefully the youth will not feel as obligated to look just like the other 14 year old in the magazine.

 Peer pressure and media significantly influence teenage girls and underage models fit in both categories (peer pressure in the fact that they are the same age and are often idolized, sometimes making girls feel like they are friends with, these models) making the impact that much greater. A British labor union just worked with British Vogue to establish 10 guidelines that must be met when working with models. This was signed over a year after the Conde Nast decision which shows that some steps are being taken, but the effectiveness of the guidelines and public stand need to be evaluated thoroughly.

The March issue of InStyle magazine highlights many trends for the coming spring and summer months. Things like halter necklines, bold black and white graphics, and ankle straps are very popular.

The biggest trend I saw was also the boldest. Black and white graphic prints were everywhere in this issue. The trend can be found on Louis Vuitton purses in their ad campaign, on Julianne Moore at the Golden Globes, and multiple sections of the Magazine in different articles. Black and white is a bold choice when color blocking it or using it in large geometric patterns. The magazine featured shoes with this patter as well as showed how flattering it can be on full figured women.  The Female stars of the upcoming film “Oz The Great and Powerful” were featured in a photo spread wearing black and white graphic outfits from Lavin, Dolce and Gabbana, and Louis Vuitton. The patterns are so bold, that you need an equally bold personality to pull them off. Checkered board pattern, chevron, stripes, circles, and grids all take this trend to an extreme. This is not for the shy girls. It is easy to adopt by mixing and matching black and white pieces from your closet to create a bold contrasting statement.

A more subtle trend we will see in the coming months is the ankle strap on shoes. Whether it is a sandal, wedge, flat, platform, “flatform”, or stiletto; if it’s a shoe then it has an ankle strap. The trend can be seen on almost every page, but it is never made the focal point. It is featured in ad campaigns for, Tod’s, Missoni, and Rebecca Minkoff to name a few.  The strap trend takes many forms, not just with style of shoe, but in execution. Jimmy Choo chooses to feature a shoe with a black cord wrapped multiple times around the ankle with tassels. Other shoes feature simple buckles, thin or thick straps, jewels, studs, mesh, and multi strap styles. The trend is an easy way to update your normal go-to outfit. Whichever style shoe you want to wear there is an ankle strap style of that shoe.

When I hear halter top I instantly want to cringe, thinking back to some of the 1990s films and outfits my older siblings sported. With that in mind, you might be surprised to see the halter style neckline make a comeback. Designers like Thakoon and Dian Von Furstenberg have done a good job of resurrecting the trend. The style has been seen on Christina Ricci, Claire Danes, Melissa McCarthy, and Tina Fey. I am glad to see the trend take more of a polished look. The halter neckline allows for the back to be shown off, this has been a large trend for the past few seasons. The halter is an evolution of that trend.

If you heard these trends and thought “kankles” and “man shoulders” don’t fret. Celebrities of all shapes and sizes wear these trends and so can you.

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The term Rockabilly started in the late 1940’s and stems from the two genres of music; Rock-and-Roll and Hillbilly music. Music at that time was changing into a country and rock mixture sung by the likes of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. The current rockabilly style tribe gets its inspiration from this music. The people in this style tribe often dress in vintage, attend 1950’s inspired events, and use lingo from that time period.

Like the music, rockabilly style is a return to the 1950’s style and a hybrid between western influences and a rock-and-roll vibe. Women often wear vintage dresses with tiny waste, long skirts, funky prints like Polk-a-dot or leopard, and bows. The rockabilly style takes the classic, clean, and often tame 1950’s housewife look and turns it upside down by adding dramatic makeup like red lips and cat eye liner, and tattoos. Another 1950’s style they often channeled is the pin-up look. This look has high waist hot pants or booty shorts, with a bra top and the classic hair flip. Although pops of color are often found, black is the style staple for Rockabilly style.

The main hairstyles for women all include a combination of pin curls, waves, and straight blunt bangs. No matter what is worn, the hair is always done up in a neat and retro hairdo. Even when the hair is down, it is curled to perfection in large waves that can only be achieved by vintage curlers. Sounds like a lot of work to me, but I cannot deny the effect is transfixing.

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Rockabilly people often attend vintage car shows, join bowling leagues, and listen to the music they were named for. You can find a large population of Rockabilly people in places like LA and the UK. They are usually somewhere in their late 20’s to early 40’s and have a love for all things vintage. It is resurgence for the things of old and a happier time. The fashions are all about making women look feminine and sexy, while the “men dress like men”. The gender lines are strictly drawn.

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Rockabilly has been large influence on runways recently. In 2012 numerous runway looks featured the rockabilly hairstyles. Jeremy Scott is one designer that brought the “country Barbie” look to life in 2012. The hair had a huge impact but the influence went deeper in McQ Spring Summer 2012 collection. The entire collection shows the western influence of rockabilly as well as some of the more feminine looks.

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Even if you are not willing to put in the solid 2 hours it would take to transform you into a pin-up vixen or rummage through your grandparents’ attic, you can still take some style tips from the Rockabilly style tribe. Cat eye glasses or eyeliner and red lips are an easy way to make you feel extra feminine. Rockabilly has been around for over 60 years and the style tribe will continue to maintain their unique lifestyle and fashion.

 

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Bridgette Bardot was the best kind of cat lady, a “Sex kitten.” The phrase “Sex kitten” was coined for her when she got her fame in the early 1950’s with an iconic role in a French film “And God Created Women” that put her on the international radar. She was born in Paris and got her first spot in the public eye as a model at the age of 15. Over the years she has been married four times and dated men like Marlon Brando, Mick Jagger, and Sean Connery. I would expect no less from an internationally acclaimed sex symbol. After her film career, she started an animal rights fund and recently threatened to leave her French home to become a Russian citizen over an animal rights issue.

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Bridgette is a style icon because of her effortless French chic style. She was among the first to wear a bikini, and it soon became one of her style staples. I don’t know if I should be appreciative or upset that she started this very revealing trend that makes the existence of a “spring break diet” a reality. She also inspired the gingham look. This plaid became a popular fabric in skirts, tops, and of course bikinis. She also gave us the “Bardot neckline” which can be described as a neck that is open from shoulder to shoulder. It is not a deep cut but allows ample skin to show through the wide neck. Her style is classic, but still very sensual. Her iconic look emphasizes her curves and really embodies the blonde bombshell look that became so popular during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Her visits to St. Tropez helped launch it as a style haven for the era.

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Bardot inspired the famous Repetto ballet flat, that has fans worldwide. The shoe was created for her by Rose Repetto in the Paris Workshop.

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The 1960’s was a time of sexual exploration and freedom. Things that were once taboo became socially acceptable; that translated to the clothing women wore. Showing off ones curves and skin was a trend that went along with the sexual liberation movement and something that Bridgette embodied. Bridgette and her friends, while visiting St. Tropez, were among the first to tan topless. Although most of us are not this bold, many of us have worn something that was inspired by Bridgette Bardot.

The Bridgette Bardot look has been mimicked for years, especially in ad campaigns. Kate Upton, similar pout and curves, is the most recent model to embrace the look for a photo shoot with V magazine. Other photo shoots of models such as Kate Moss, Lara stone, and Gisele Bundchen were inspired by the “Bardot look”. Bardot’s hair had a sexy unkempt bedhead look to it that was a far cry from the tightly styled looks at the time, and served as inspiration for the hair of Erin Fetherston spring 2013 NYFW show.

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Bardot has a breezy style that has inspired generations. Her iconic style as a sex symbol will have women dressing in curve hugging styles and that famous neckline for years to come.

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The 1940’s are a perfect example of Pendulum swing. The clothing went from functional and frugal to elaborate and over-the-top. It was a time of war and a time of peace. Woman in the work place went from almost nonexistent to a cultural norm. The economy went from a deep depression to an economic boom.

ImageEach of these swings was due in part to World War II Classics such as “A Wonderful Life” and “Casablanca” were released in the 1940’s and made an impact on the people of that day as well as current pop culture. “Casablanca” was the top grossing film for this decade. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “Of all the gin joints in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine” or “I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship” uttered during my lifetime because of  this iconic film.

ImageSome famous cinema starts included Ingrid Bergman, Hedy Lamarr, Rita Hayworth, and Fred Astaire. The movie stars of this decade were glamorous and beautiful in every sense of the word. There was a lot of fear and paranoia during this time, but the cinema served as a short escape from these everyday worries.

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During the war, women had to take over factory jobs forcing women to leave the home for work for the first time. A famous poster from the era entitled “Rosie the Riveter” was displayed with the quote “We can do it” above a portrait of a women flexing her arm and wearing a work uniform once reserved for the boys. When the men returned, the women went back to being homemakers. This taste of freedom and work equality was just enough to change the way women viewed the workplace. It gave women their first chance to work outside the home, and was a precursor for many social movements.

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Coming out of the depression and rationing for war, Woman’s clothing was very plain and economical. The designs were simple, the colors were drab, and the fabrics were plain. After the war, with the help of Christian Dior, woman’s clothing became an exciting thing. Structure, corsets, small waists, full pleated skirts, draping, and fine fabrics were all the rage. Christian Dior displayed the “New Look” in 1947 and it changed the way women dressed for the rest of the decade. From hair to makeup, the new woman was well put together and more stylish after the war.

1940’s style has influenced us today from the not-so-subtle red lip trend, to resurgence of peplum style blouses and dresses. Peter Som revisited the structure of “New Look” style garments in his 2011 collection. Peplum, influenced by the “New Look”, has been very popular this year. It has been popping up across runways and on fashion blogs. In 2012 designers like Badgley Mischka, Tory Burch and Jason Wu all showed pieces featuring peplum. Other trends from the era we still see today are headscarves, pencil skirts, and floral dresses.

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Jim Stark, played by James Dean in the 1955 film “Rebel without a Cause”, is an angst filled teen that became a “role model” of sorts for generations.  He was cool, mysterious, and handsome. The film was nominated for academy awards but didn’t win, this is ironic because it later went on to be inducted into the U.S. National Film Registry and listed as one of the 100 Greatest American Movies by the American Film Institute.  The movie has stood the test of time because most of us can relate to the rebellious spirit held by James Dean, even if the most rebellious thing we have ever done is stay out 30 minutes past curfew.  The movie sadly features several deaths of young adults, and gained publicity for this fact when James Dean died in a car accident a month before the movie’s release.

The movie starts out in a police station where the three main characters cross paths, and it ends with a police standoff where one of those same characters dies. Jim is the new kid in town and has a way of getting into trouble without trying. He angers some sketchy characters that challenge him to a knife fight, stolen car chicken race, and a chain wielding altercation. 

ImageJim decides to stand up for himself and face the gang in a dangerous challenge. This is where we see his iconic wardrobe change; he changes from slacks and button downs to Lee rider 101 blue jeans, a plain white t-shirt, boots, and a red nylon windbreaker (the windbreaker is often confused for a leather jacket). This is the look he is famous for and often related to the rebel image he portrays in the movie. In the movie it signified a choice to rebel and outside the movie it signified the rebellious spirit of a generation. The film is iconic for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is because of James Dean’s style. It was mimicked and became the uniform for cool teenagers. His windbreaker was created by Moss Mabry, and it is said that he made three of these jackets for the film. For years after the film Bob Dylan, John Belushi, and other celebrities decided they needed a jacket just like the one worn by Dean.

ImageImage“Rebel without a Cause” continues to be an inspiration through the decades. Michael Jackson’s famous red leather jacket in Thriller music video is said to be inspired by James Dean’s from the film. Joseph Abbound, at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2013, showed a collection of menswear that was inspired by Jim Stark and Ryan Gosling’s character in Drive. During spring 2012 collection Michael Bastian honored James Dean’s style by created a collection of menswear that was inspired by how James would dress now. This film also inspired art, an exhibit at MOCA in LA curated by James Franco and sponsored by Gucci and Seven went on display in May 2012. These show the generational transcendence of this film’s style.

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