A prominent trend this spring/summer 12 is Vintage Americana. Full of ladylike shapes and cat-eye sunglasses, it’s very easy for the high street to adapt to and extremely wearable. Personally this trend is my favourite off the catwalk this summer, with big fashion houses such as Prada taking a rather more kitsch approach with cartoon car motifs appliquéd onto bags and heels with flames shooting off the back!
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Of course trends are not complete without a trendsetter, and this year fashion’s favourite is Lana Del Rey. Self-described gangster Nancy Sinatra, Lana Del Rey has propelled the popularity of this trend with her signature 50’s silhouette partnered with ghetto yellow gold jewellery, bomber jackets and high tops. This looks channels the different dimensions of fifties style as famously stereotyped in films such as Grease in which Sandy starts off wearing virginal pastel colours in contrast to her bad girl Pink Lady friends until she discovers black leather jackets, tight satin trousers, red lipstick and a ‘Tell me about it stud’ attitude. Another film to reference for this trend is Pleasantville which is also set in the fifties. This dark and politically motivated film uses colour as an essential part of its plotline so the costuming is well thought out. The clothes are typical of fifties middle class white America, conservative and ladylike. American girls during this period were well groomed with not a hair or cuticle out of place, everything was well matched, with co-coordinating accessories, think boxy handbags and pearl necklaces.
These clothes consisted of structured straight lines and curves, giving women these shapes in the right places. Some of the style icons of this period such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Doris Day showcased this perfectly. Photographs of these icons dressed in off the shoulder dresses, pencil skirts and sweetheart necklines helped to mould them into an image of the ideal woman, perhaps you could argue that it helped promote a healthier body image as the clothes were made to fit around the body, opposed to the body made to fit around the clothes.
Another interesting take on this trend would be to take on the men’s style of the day for a more androgynous look if you’re not the sweet and innocent type. I love the simplicity of a pair of tight black jeans, a plain white t-shirt (you may or may not choose to store your cigarette packet up the sleeve), slick your hair back and add a leather jacket and a smudge of MAC Russian Red lipstick, wear with black leather boots or black high tops, if you feel like a fifties rebel you might like to add some Wayfarers. Classic.
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