Jan 17, 2011

The Freedom of Fashion

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whenever I think about historical figures or events, my thoughts tend to eventually stray to the styles and fashions of the era.  (Doesn’t everyone’s?)  After the luxury of getting to sleep in this morning (since there is no school on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) I found myself pondering the excitement and turmoil of the 60's, and Martin Luther King's role in the Civil Rights Movement. 

As usual, this inevitably led me to pontificate on the fashions of the decade.
Lovely Vintage 60’s Peasant Top from GailDavid
Fantastic Psychedelic Gown From Figure 8 Studios

Every decade’s fashions are like a visual social commentary, and the 60’s were both a bastion of creativity and a rebuke of convention. 

It is also my all-time favorite fashion decade!  (Even though I was sporting Pampers in the early 70’s.) 

I simply adore the fun and floaty styles of the hippie generation.  I can’t help but smile at the simple styles, bold colors, and geometric prints of the mad mod movement.  And, those curve hugging (ala “Mad Men”) designer gowns and cocktail dresses remind us all that it wasn’t always a fashion faux-paus to have an hourglass figure.  In fact, no matter what your body type, the clothing of the 60’s had something for everyone.

 Even now, forty-plus years later, there isn’t a fashion runway in the world that doesn’t reflect some 60’s influences.  The same goes for the music scene of the 60’s.  No rock or pop star worth their salt could say that they weren’t influenced in some way by the music that came out of that generation.  In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if in 40 more years designers and musicians are still being inspired by and producing music and designs that stir up memories of the era.

I love how the clothing of the 60’s managed to combine edginess with femininity, and comfort with style.  Many of the designs made a statement, and still managed to be just plain pretty.  It was okay to be creative.  Being different was encouraged.  Women ditched their girdles and high heels (and sometimes even brassieres) in favor of comfy blue jeans, sandals, and peasant tops with dainty floral embroidery and floaty bell sleeves.  (My personal favorite outfit - ever.)  Suddenly, women everywhere were breaking all the old and out-dated rules of fashion and they looked great doing it.

 Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good girdle and nothing is better for quick sex-appeal than some scrumptious high heels - but I only want to wear them when I want to.  Not everyday, not because I have to, and certainly not because society expects me to.  I guess that is what I love most of all about the fashions of the 60’s.  It set fashion free. 

The brilliant Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best: “Free at last; free at last; thank God Almighty we are free at last.”

Dec 29, 2010

The Year in Vintage - A Look Back on the Fashion Styles and Trends of 2010

Babylon Mall has some exciting changes in store for 2011! But, before we take a look ahead at what the New Year will bring, I thought we would take a look back at the styles and trends that made up 2010.

Image credit: this great vintage outfit -- showing that polka dots, once again, add whimsy to a basic design -- comes from Sydney's Vintage Clothing Boutique on Babylon Mall.

One of the most prominent fashion trends of 2010 had more to do with the global market than fashion. Finding fantastic fashions and designer labels at reasonable prices is a trend that for many of us has been a lifelong goal. Thankfully, for the dealers of vintage finery, it is also one that will most likely continue well into 2011. Savvy fashionistas have known for ages that one of the best ways to save on their hard-earned clothing budget while staying on the cusp of high fashion is by integrating vintage clothing into their wardrobe.

The financial environment also managed to trickle down into the styles of 2010. Designers went back to basics this year, with minimalist designs, simpler cuts, and basic fabrics and patterns. That doesn’t mean the year’s style were dull. Long skirts, floaty layers, delicate lace, and lush fabrics made for clean, yet feminine styles. Simple stripes, plaids, and polka dots took the place of fancy florals. Fur, leather, sequins, and metallics were thrown into the mix, but in a more basic way than in seasons past.

Image credit: Shimmering fabrics and simple details like bows and ruffles added glam to the 80’s, then again in 2010. Image from Only Couture on Babylon Mall.

Once again, accessories shined in 2010 - easily transforming a humdrum outfit into a head-turner. Whimsical handbags, out-of-this-world pumps, fur-trimmed boots, and sparkling jewelry gave this year’s more toned-down fashions their glam-power.

Many of the biggest fashion trends of 2010 were obviously inspired by the 1980’s, and I expect many of these will also continue into the new decade. While select styles of many different eras tend to show up here and there on the runway (different aspects of the 60‘s have been appearing every season for the past 40 years), fashion tends to run in 20-30 year cycles. In the late 70’s, the 50’s were everywhere (take for example, the popularity of the movie “Grease’). In the late 80’s, the 60’s were the epitome of cool. Those of us who survived the 70’s would have never dreamed they would see the likes of bell-bottoms again - nevertheless, they reemerged in the late 90’s. So, of course, skinny jeans are hot now that the 80’s are, once again, in full swing.

Though skin-tight, zippered ankle jeans do not exactly flatter us all, I was happily reminded that long, floaty tunics cover those pear-shaped behinds quite beautifully. Overall, I am happy to see the reappearance of the glorious 80’s. (Dear Lord, please let big hair follow closely behind. I was SO good with big hair - I could even turn wet noodles into amazing spikes with a teasing comb and enough Rave Hairspray!)

All in all, it was another great year for fashion. It is nice to get back to basics once in a while - it helps us remember what is most important, and also helps make trends that are truly fresh and new more noticeable. So, send this year out with a bang and welcome in the New Year with pride. Oh, and be sure to hold onto your favorite 2010 items! In 30 years, these too will be vintage, and the envy of the next generation.

Dec 21, 2010

Don't Miss That Sale!

Don't forget to check out Babylon Mall on Dec 26th for some fabulous vintage items all on sale!

And of course, the sellers of Babylon Mall would like to join me in wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Dec 11, 2010

Babylon Mall Boxing Sale

Announcing our infamous Babylon Mall Boxing Sale! The sale will run from Dec 26 to Jan 31 and feature lots of fabulous vintage items. Our sellers are already hard at work to make this sale the best ever, so you won't want to miss out!

Feb 12, 2010

Vintage Valentine Sale!

Don't miss Babylon Mall's Vintage Valentine Sale. Stop by anytime until March 15th for great discounts from your favourite sellers!

Sep 15, 2009

The Sale is on Now!

The September Shopathon Sale is on now! Sellers - it's not too late to put items in the sale!

Buyers - keep checking back - you never know what's on sale!

Aug 15, 2009

The September Shopathon Sale!

Babylon Mall will be holding a sale for the entire month of September, so come shop 'til you drop, all from the comfort of home! If summer was a bust you won't want to miss this!