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Vogue Draws Fall Fashion Influences from the ’40’s and ’80’s

Observer Scene | Thursday, August 27, 2009

I hardly know the difference between fashion and style. Style is easy, because everyone is born with the affinity to a distinct style. Fashion, on the other hand, changes too much for most college students to be able to be alert to trends and the only way most Notre Dame students would constantly be on top of “what’s hot in Bryant Park” is if it were as convenient as “what’s hot in Hammes.”

For the summer of 2009, Vogue searched music festivals such as Lollapalooza and All Points West Festival and it became clear that the “hippier than thou” feature on style.com, Vogue online, defined Summer 2009 fashion. The site now claims that autumn 2009 can be summed up into these cutesy names for trends:

“Biker Brigade” is straightforward biker gear. Exactly what you think of when you think of how the fashion industry would pinch the style – black leather, black denim, big zippers, all fitted tightly. Biker jackets and even biker boots were featured in Spring/Summer 2009 collections, so this trend may be dying out more quickly than it will rush in. 

“Boudoir Crossing” for lack of definitive description, is un-wearable. This trend would include frills, sheer coatings over bikini tops as blouses and more than an appropriate amount of skin showing. Considering the autumn weather and the modesty of students, this likely is not going to be hitting Notre Dame. For this trend, the takeaway may be the color scheme of pale and cream colors.

“Forties and Fabulous” is Joan Crawford. Big hats. Big shoulders. Long pencil skirts. Fur. This will probably end up manifested as pencil skirts becoming popularized among college students and more daring hats. Big, tight curls may become more mainstream, a change from natural, broken curls that had been popular last season.

“Party like it’s 1983” is defined by the look that only David Bowie would consider a party in 1983. Think less side ponytail and leg warmers, more leather, patterns, futuristic buckles and sequins. See: “Walking on the Moon” video by The Dream ft. Kanye West.

“Ruche Hour” means that draping will become the alternative to A-line skirts. This trend seems to have already gained popularity with many designers featuring “tulip skirts” last season. Ruche also falls under the idea of 1940s fashion infiltrating and of the Boudoir being a symbol of fashion, but seems to contrast the straight, fitted cuts of the other trends.

“Smart Investments” is apparently the androgynous answer to “forties and fabulous.” Men’s clothing on women is not all that uncommon with “boyfriend jeans” and one-size-too-large V-necks, but some designers for this trend take it a step further suggesting that women take on full-tailored suits made for men. Fall 2008 emphasized curves with tapered waists. Tapered waists will never be unfashionable, but for this season many designers placed suit jackets and unfitted blazers, lessening the appearance of a defined waist.Consistencies within the six trends: big shoulders, leather, glittery clothing and black.

Just because a fashion magazine says something “should” be popular does not guarantee that it will be. To the average girl, these trends may sound ridiculous and far-fetched. Seeing as how fashion magazines expect drastic change twice a year, it is certain that if given time, these trends will look ridiculous and far-fetched even to the designers who popularized them.