The media has the power to influence what we wear but before this we took inspirations from different kinds of sources. This includes everything from culture, fame and politics. Below we explore some of the key females who transformed fashion.
It takes the drive and power of a single female to create a fashion revolution, this has happened many times throughout history. Pinpointing the exact moment style came into mainstream focus is impossible. Check out the leading women fashion influencers and find out how to bring their iconic trends into 2018.
The Mini Skirt: Mary Quant
Miniskirts were taken from alternative to main street almost immediately by Mary Quant, a British designer. It became a signature look of the swinging sixties.
In 1964, Mary Quant started creating the mini skirt after some experimenting with shorter hemlines. The skirt was named after her favorite car and all started in her boutique in London. At the time, women were expected to dress like their mothers and so it became revolutionary when the hemline sat around 6 to 7 inches above the knee, this was unheard of beforehand.
Celebrities like Goldie Hawn, Jean Shrimpton and Jackie Kennedy all took to wearing the garment which went global in the 1960s. Debbie Harry was a known rock legend and wore a model of the skirt in PVC style, this helped after the skirt waned in the 1970s. Madonna also helped the popularity of the skirt as she wore a tulle-embellished version of the skirt in the 1984 MTV video Music Award. A fresh direction was taking after Britney Spears wore one with a barely-there crop top.
Considered a symbol of female rebellion against the modest status quo of fashion, the mini skirt unsurprisingly caused controversy and offended many countries and religions, this continues in 2018. The popularity of the mini skirt came at a perfect time. The decade was hallmarked with emerging sexual freedom of women and emerging youth.
Get the look:
Cute pleated tennis like skirts are big in 2018 alongside the skort. Try to include a revolutionary 1960s look into your wardrobe by styling with a cami. Maybe go all out and flaunt a embroidered denim number with a turtle neck jumper as the winter rolls in.
The LBD: Audrey Hepburn
Released in 1961, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a platform for one of Audrey Hepburn’s legendary number. Considered one of the most recognized film costumes, Hepburn’s opening number is a beloved part of Hollywood’s history. Of course, we are talking about her beautiful black Givenchy dress with elbow length gloves and pearls eating a croissant the morning after a big party.
Coco Chanel was a Parisian designer that first launched the iconic “LBD”. It was a testament to its simplicity and ease to style. It featured on the front cover of Vogue in 1962. After this it was labelled “Chanel’s Ford”.
Women came together to agree of what Chanel said about the design “Black wipes out everything else around”. Hepburn’s character in the film – Holly Golightly – brought it to the attention of the women of 1960s which were extremely fashion conscious. The look the women were going for were effortlessly elegant at a time when women were beginning to be encouraged to think that way.
In 2006 the dress was sold at an auction for £467,000. The original design featured a much shorter hem line but at the time the bosses felt it showed too much leg.
From the frenzy-creating LBD worn by Princess Diana in 1994, to the LBD donned by Kate Moss to mark a decade with Rimmel London; this symbol of simple sophistication is an obligatory part of female fashion — and Hepburn propelled it into mainstream consciousness where it remains.
The little black dress eventually became a symbol of simple sophistication and is an obligatory part of female fashion. This became possible by a number of other influential females wearing the style such as Princess Diana in 1944 and Kate moss in her Rimmel London campaign. The LBD was propelled it into mainstream consciousness and it remains there today.
Get the look:
This look is timeless and no matter which style you go for, you’re going to look incredible. This is your opportunity to rock whichever cut and length you feel most comfortable in. Love figure-hugging styles? Get a bodycon long sleeve dress. Prefer undefined silhouettes? Go for a tunic LBD. Need something truly sensational for a special evening? Opt for a floor-length, fishtail design for classic glamour.
The beauty of a LBD is that the look is timeless and it can be paired with almost any colour, shoe and accessory. This is your opportunity to rock whichever cut and length you feel most comfortable in. . Love figure-hugging styles? Get a bodycon long sleeve dress. If you need a formal wow factor party dress you can opt for floor-length dress with a fishtail bottom for extra glamour.
The Cocktail Dress: Marilyn Monroe
What made Marilyn Monroe such a style icon? She was iconic for on-screen performances and her off-screen relationships.
Marilyn Monroe’s birth name was Nor Norma Jeane Mortenson and was born in 1962. She defined what it meant to be sexually attractive while still dressing modestly to a complete era of women. Most women at the time dressed in high necklines, blouses and long skirts however Monroe educated women on how to show off your body attractively. Her most famous example of this would have to be the famous white cocktail dress.
The dress was worn in the production of The Seven Year Itch. And it became unforgettable even to this day. Many of us haven’t seen the full film but you’d recognize the iconic scene where air blow up from a subway grate and lifts the skirt of Monroe’s frock, as she playfully tries to push it back down. The main feature of this dress was the at the time daring halter-like bodice, plunging neck line and bare arms. This was considered a risqué design than many 1950s’ women weren’t used to. Another contraversal outfit she wore was the sheer, strappy dress that was covered in more than 2,00 crystals. She wore this dress to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962 again displayed Monroe’s ability to create an attractive silhouette while fusing sex appeal and high-fashion.
Due to her curvaceous figure and ability to exhibit it was class and style made her one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s. The term “bombshell” is thought to be attribute the invention of the term and definition. Soon after her death in August 1962, we saw the rise of miniskirts and knee-high boots — both styles that helped women break free of humble fashion during the Swinging Sixties.
It goes without saying that she encouraged women to not conform to the modest trends of the 1950s, she did this by fusing her attractiveness with fashion to create an alluring, elegant, feminine appeal. She clearly embraced the power of femininity, we could even thank Monroe for 2018 fashion-favourites like figure-hugging bodycon dresses, backless jumpsuits and strapless tops.
Get the look:
Glamour and confidence are something you can channel yourself using the many styles of Marilyn Monroe. To flaunt every curve, a bodycon dress would be the perfect item. A Bardot tops allow you to show some shoulder and halter-neck jumpsuits look amazing with a pair of heels. . Strapless, fishtail dresses are the ultimate in Hollywood glitz, and anything with metallic or diamante embellishments will help you shimmer like the blonde bombshell herself. Make sure to finish off your look with glamourous pieces of jewellery, too.
The Bell Bottom Trousers: Cher
The British and United States Navies had an association with bell bottom trousers before the 1960s. Possibly the most iconic style of the 1970s was the bell bottom trousers which was heavily influenced by the multi- talented singer, style icon and actress.
The trousers became popular globally due to the 1965 episodes of Beat Club when she sang ‘I Got You Babe’ in flared trousers, to the end of her three-year run on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour in 1974 where she donned the trouser-style throughout.
Looking back from 2018, many of us consider the bell-bottom jean — which were typically flared from the knee with an opening of up to 66cm — a product of the hippie movement. However, Cher brought the style into mainstream fashion via her fame and influence in TV, radio and film; encouraging men and women alike to adopt the style and aiding the fusion of genderless fashion styles.
Considered a product of the hippie movement in todays culture, the bell-bottom jean is usually flared from the knee with an opening of 66cm. She encourages both men and women to wear the trousers after a variety of appearances across TV, film and radio. This aided the fusion of genderless fashion.
Get the look:
Bring the 1970s into 2018 by replicating these famously wide cuts. Think bell bottom jeans are too retro? Go for a pair of black palazzo pants and match with a cropped top and heels for a stunning, going-out look with just a hint of nostalgia. Or, pull on a pair of nude culottes and team it with a floral Bardot top for the perfect boho, 1970s vibe for drinks and food with friends.
There are countless more fashion icons that we and women before of us have used as a source of inspiration when it comes to dressing. Why not pay homage to these iconic styles by bringing a taste of them into your 2018 wardrobe?