The musical influence on fashion and design of clothing over the 20th century
The Musical Influence on Fashion and Design of Clothing over the 20th Century Killian Vigna (Digital Media Design 10129758) Industrial Design ID4812
Contents 1.Introduction 2. 1920s – 1935s Jazz scene. 3. 1950s Rock &Roll 4. Late 1960s Glam Rock 5. 1970s – 1990s Hip Hop6. Late 1970s Early 80s Punk Rock 7. 1980s Metal
IntroductionFor my assignment on how design has changed over the 20th century, I have decide upon talkingabout one of the biggest factors of clothing fashion over the past 100 years. Musical influence onclothing design has to be one of the most important, and obvious influences in the world. Theclothing which one wears tells us the kinds of music genre they are into, before we even engagecontact with them, from such styles as wreck less and bright Punk rock hairstyles with tatteredclothing, to baggy, big brand hip hop clothing, and the tight white t-shirt and jeans layered with aleather jacket Rock & Roll enthusiasts. Not everyone dresses the same now with so many optionsand musical genres available in the 21st century, but by carefully examining ones clothing, we cangain an insight into their livelihoods, personalities, and tastes in music. Here I have donned a list ofthe most popular musical influences ranging from the 1920s to the 1980s/90s discussinginfluences based on Jazz, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock, Hip Hop, Punk, and Metal listing the briefbackgrounds of the scene, and what designs you might see an enthusiast of the time wearing.
1920s – 1935s Jazz scene.Jazz music was originally formed in the early 1900s in and around Northern American cities suchas New Orleans, Chicago, and New York, before hitting the big time in the 1920s, or what wasknown as, the “Harlem Renaissance”. The Harlem Renaissance was a time of divide between race,where the white community was becoming more and more over flourished by the majority ofbusinesses being run by black people, but still believed the black community should only be madeable as entertainers, and with this was the “peoples music”, an expression of mixed genres such asblues and ragtime made common by the black community.The 1920s “was a decade of elegance, a time of prohibition and violence, a time of spirit andcreativity” where fashion consisted of business suits and dresses, showing wealth through theincreases in businesses set up. There was a shift in suit design for men due to the Jazz fashionscene, men were moving from the thin cut “fitted” elegance styles, to a more “loose” Jazzinfluenced free swinging “zoot suit” which became a regular site on the dance floor of jazz clubs.For the women, the 1920s saw drastic changes, it was an era of relief, freeing themselves from theshackles of chest crushing corsets and Victorian dresses, to more free flowing, Art Deco inspiredclothing. Two of the biggest names in women’s dress designs of the 1920s were Coco Chanel andPaul Poiret whose “new designs showed the influence of "Orientalism", a new movement thatmoved away from the ornate and stifling dresses of the previous century” with the use of lessrestrictive and more revealing clothing.
1950s Rock & Roll1950s Rock and Roll brought out the first stages of youth rebellion through music. It was “A formof popular music arising from and incorporating a variety of musical styles, especially rhythm andblues, country music, and gospel” with the use of electric guitars and strong drum beats foremphasis. It was a 1950s teenagers way of breaking free from their previous post war routines,consisting of males signing up for the army, and young girls having no choice but to marry off andpursue her duties as a housewife and mother. As money began to increase in America, teenagerswere becoming more and more interested in music, and as white teens had the money due to theeconomic boom, and black teens had passion and rhythm for music that “White and black teenswere now opting for more interesting music played by "cool" black cats” the result being Rock andRoll, a fast paced music scene where teenagers could finally go to dance halls and release highenergy dancing to escape their post war lives. (www.gamesetwatch.com, 2009)Fashion in the early 1950s consisted of, military styled slacks and blazers post war for males, andlong skirts, blouses and flat shoes for the girls. However, due to the rock and roll era, fashion hadbecome more rebellionised with the fact many teens were now working, and were looking for waysto spend money they never had before, it was an era simply described like in the musical and film“Grease” where rocker males (or “Cats” as referred to by the black community) were now wearing“skinny” denim jeans, tight fitting (usually white) cropped sleeve t-shirts, long, slicked back greasy
hair, and more often than not, they were equipped with a leather jacket. The teen (“Kittens”) girls onthe other hand, had moved onto the desired Hollywood styles of the 50s, wearing “poodle skirtsand stiff full nylon petticoats or pencil skirts; fitted blouses and sweaters; bright eye-shadow andlipstick; and bouffant hairstyles or ponytails” and now the added adaptation of the bra, to improvebody composition and posture. (www.starpulse.com, 2008)
Late 1960s Glam RockGlam rock portrayed a whole new meaning of musically influenced fashion design. Also referred toas “Shock Rock”, such bands as Kiss and Alice Copper stunned audiences with their extravagant onstage costumes and performances,, consisting of heavy amounts of make up, vividly fluorescenttheatrical designed costumes (which were very camp like), and large platform heels, all which madesome believe to be portraying their homosexuality’s, even though very few actually emerged asbeing bi-sexual, or homosexual, as instead, the“ makeup and shiny jumpsuits were meant to createpublic notice and provide shock factor”. Glam rock according to its fans “Glitter Kids” explainhow its the fusion of transvestites and futurism. (rokpool.com, 2010)
1970s – 1990s Hip HopOriginally started in Jamaica, Hip Hop had spread to the Bronx in New York, where Disco Jockeys(DJs) would host parties where they would play the percussion beat from tracks, and have MCstalk over them, before progressively turning into rapping,. Fans of hip hop believe it is more thanjust rapping, it has become a way to express yourself, whether it be through rapping, graffititagging, or even break-dancing, but like all things, as Hip Hop became bigger, and attracted moreaudiences and media, by the 1980s it had become a major fashion trend, with fans kit out in baggyurban wear (taking from the oversized prison uniforms in which most “gangsta” rappers wereaccustomed). Due to the increase in money, image showed power and wealth as “big hip hop starswore lots of big gold chains, rings and jewellery. Hip hop fashion was all about large glasses(Cazals), sneakers with oversized shoelaces (phat), Kangol hats, gold necklaces and jewellery”.Although as the 1990s approaches, again the image of hip hop changes, with male hip hop starsboasting gold jewellery, expensive suits, fast cars, big houses, beautiful women, and unlimited bailsof notes, and also the females had advanced from male clothing, to more glamorous and revealing,low cut tops, high heals, oversized ear rings and other jewellery, and skimpy hot pants or skirtsbuying from such brands as Jennifer Lopez JLO brand and hip hops Nellys Apple Bottoms brand. (www.illestlyrics.com, 2010)
Late 1970s Early 80s Punk RockThe first thing we imagine when we hear Punk Rock, is torn cloths, wild hair styles and massamounts of tattoos and piercings. Although this is true, firstly its best to learn where this form ofdesign came from. In 1970s UK and America there was mass amounts of economicalunemployment, resulting in large numbers of teenagers dropping out of schools, and turning againstthe government. Punk expresses political and sociological anger and resent, rebelling against thenorm, their failed government, and the ever growing pop genre culture. Their way of showing theydidn’t want to be apart of this pop culture was by starting rough garage bands, most with very littlemusical talents, resulting in a trashing about sound.Punk Rockers lashed out at this new form of pop genre by purposely tearing up and butcheringclothes they had received from charity shops, showing a complete disrespect for the clothing thatmost at the time would have believed should be treated with up most respect. The typical PunkRockers aims were to be as shocking and intimidating as possible at the time, with their designsconsisting of either brightly coloured pink or green long gelled up hair in shapes of spikes orMohawks, or by perceiving themselves as something to be feared by using a dark black hair dye ,even, shaving parts of, if not, all of their hair off, which was both a male and female thing to do.Another common feature was the over use of bodily tattoos and piercings, by having them placedon visible parts of the face and body, defying the usual ear lobe piercings. Usually the dress sense ofPunk rockers would consist of leather bondage, or ripped apart jeans and sleeveless jackets (todisplay their dirty arms and legs as a sign of the working class), pinned together by clothes clips orchains, whilst the girls would wear layered mini skirts and arm sleeves. This was definitely the mostrebellious era of the 20th century, with not only teenagers defying the musical norms, but by goingout of their way to create a whole new dress sense consisting of the rise of Doc Martins, and thebeginnings of renowned designer Vivienne Westwood who had created most of the morememorable Punk Rock designs.
1980s MetalMetal music is believed to have formed through the compilation of motor biking gangs such as the"Hells Angels" and of Vikings and warriors of the past. Metal fans would be seen wearing big blackleather jackets, heavy boots, and black or blue jeans taken from the biker scene, and the trend ofdonning long, thick greasy, and scruffy hair, with beards or moustaches as accustomed to from theViking sides of their designs. The idea of taking from the Viking and Saxon era was to showmasculinity, strength and power, resembling the fast paced, trashy sounds of heavy metal whichtook the 80s by storm as such bands as Pantera, Metalica and Iron Maiden (which has become aniconic act with their own design label worn by metal fans, and artists globally still to this day)hitting the highlights at booze and regular occurrence’s of drug fuelled concerts. Most modern metalfans regularly wear darkened clothing, and mainly black t-shirts with the slogans and logos ofmany top bands sold at just about every concert and music store around to this day. Jewellery hasalso taken a major factor in metal fashion design, with bands wearing bullet belts, neck chains, largefinger length rings, and earrings, with the most popular earring choice being the hoop earring,which is used by tribal communities in stretching the ear lobes to create gaps. (www.metalsucks.net, 2010)
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