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They were all Happy Days: ’50s fashion is back

Filed by Jack Yan/September 18, 2008/10.32

Australian label Shaboosh featured in Lucire

We’ve noticed a lot of 1950s and retro styles at the spring–summer 2009 New York Fashion Week, and, as we noted today on our fashion features’ page, Shaboosh of Australia (above) has sought the same inspiration. There is some evidence to show that when there are recessionary tendencies in the market—and collapsing American ?nancial giants relying on computer formulas to trade are surely heralds of these—fashion goes retro. This happened in the 1970s, with the feel-good factor of the past pulling people to look back with rose-coloured glasses at times gone by. The Hovis Bread TVC in the UK (below), The Great Gatsby, Happy Days, Grease and Sha Na Na were indications of this; now we have the revival of Knight Rider, and Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. The reality is not so much that the past was better—the ?ctional Sam Tyler and Alex Drake will tell you that—but that we do have selective memories on how apparently simple life was. And that seems “warmer” than an uncertain future.

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  • Two sayings hold true: “What’s old is new again;” and “Fashion follows a 20 year cycle.” So true today. Retro offers glamour, feminism, a look back at the 50’s where television and movies such as “American Graffiti,” “Happy Days” reflect a simpler time; a fun time and a time of great style. Pencil skirts are in, coverage with retro inspired swimwear is “in” and it rocks!


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