fashion, children’s

   Fashion reflects changes in any given society, and can be usefully used as a socio-economic barometer, especially as in times of hardship fashion and beauty are often the first to be affected. The study of the history of children’s fashions sheds light on areas not covered by adult fashion. These include theories of childcare, the philosophy of education and the position of children within society. The fashion for girls in the 1960s were a stark contrast to the national emblems used to decorate the printed rayon dresses and homemade knitwear of the 1950s, inspired by the marriage of Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and her coronation in 1953, which led to a tide of patriotism. The influence of American teenage styles, initially apparent in the late 1950s, continued to provide a model to which British girls aspired. By the early 1960s, goods as diverse as nylons and woollen garments, traditionally aimed at the adult market, were being directed at the youth market with advertisements showing teenage entertainments such as record parties. Also, the youth explosion within music and film provided radical new role models. Although there had been teenage singers and fashion models in the previous decade, they had always adopted an adult style of fashion.
   An important role model was Twiggy, the seventeen-year-old model Lesley Hornby, who was named ‘The Face of 1966’ and also ‘Woman of the Year’. Her undeveloped stick-like figure was ideally suited to the new mini skirt fashions designed by Mary Quant. The new dresses for girls remained as short as in previous decades, but far less detailed and less fitted. There was also the disposable dress made from non-woven material, later withdrawn because of concern for flamm-ability, and the very popular crochet dress worn over a matching petticoat. However, these dress innovations coexisted with the more traditional dresses with full skirts and fitted bodices. Trousers, in the form of slacks or stretch ski pants became very fashionable, but were strongly forbidden for formal occasions. Boys’ fashions in the 1960s were heavily influenced by the style of the British-based mod music and the Beatles. Denim fashions continued to be very popular and were made available in a variety of colours and styles.
   A phenomenon of the 1970s was the entry of established clothes designers into the children’s market. By the mid-1970s, fashions for girls and women had left behind the youthful and modern styles of the 1960s and had been replaced by fantasy and nostalgia-inspired designs, Also, denim fashions, influenced by old Hollywood Westerns and musicals, became very popular; examples include cowgirl skirts and checked shirts. There was also an abundance of flower-printed dresses and the revival of the sailor suit. Sportswear, previously confined to athletic meetings, began to appear in the high street and in discos. American films such as Saturday Night Fever (1977) also made an enormous impact. Furthermore, the marketing of clothes aimed at children developed sophisti-cated advertising strategies. Magazines aimed at pre-pubescent girls included countless fashion and beauty advice pages, training the young girl to be an active consumer. In the 1980s the divide between the fashions of youths and adults disappeared, and very similar styles were worn by both groups. In the 1990s, in sharp contrast to the 1960s, children became even more fashion conscious than their parents. Products aimed at children and teenagers occupied an increasingly large place in national and family economics. In 1997, the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi carried out a research project to determine the extent to which British children under fifteen influenced family spending. It was discovered that a staggering £31 billion was spent to satisfy the needs of this most demanding consumer group. Close to £2 billion was directly devoted to clothes. Generally speaking, the parents of the late 1990s had very little say in what clothes their children should wear.
   Further reading
    Benson, J. (1994) ‘The Creation of Youth Culture’, in The Rise of Consumer Society in Britain 18801980, Essex: Longman.
    Mulvey, K. and Richards, M. (1998) Decades of Beauty: The Changing Image of Women 1890s-1990s, London: Hamlyn.
    Rose, C. (1989) Children’s Clothes Since 1750, London: Batsford.
   FATIMA FERNANDES

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fashion Magazines — Allure (United States) Another Magazine (United Kingdom) Apparel (China, United States) BiBi Magazine (United States) Book Moda (Italy) Book Moda Sposa (Italy) Book Moda Uomo (Italy) Brides (United States) Cadena (Germany) Children s Business… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • children's company — ▪ theatre also called  boys company        any of a number of troupes of boy actors whose performances enjoyed great popularity in Elizabethan England. The young actors were drawn primarily from choir schools attached to the great chapels and… …   Universalium

  • Fashion design — Fashion house redirects here. For other uses, see Fashion house (disambiguation). Finale of fashion show, 2009 Fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Fashion design is… …   Wikipedia

  • Children of the Vault — The Children of the Vault, from left to right: Perro, Aguja, Sangre, Fuego, and Serafina. Art by Chris Bachalo Publication information Publi …   Wikipedia

  • Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic — Tournament information Location Lake Buena Vista, Florida Established 1971 Course(s) Walt Disney World Resort (Magnolia Palm courses) Par 72 (both courses) …   Wikipedia

  • children's literature — Body of written works produced to entertain or instruct young people. The genre encompasses a wide range of works, including acknowledged classics of world literature, picture books and easy to read stories, and fairy tales, lullabies, fables,… …   Universalium

  • Fashion Show Mall — Infobox shopping mall shopping mall name = Fashion Show Las Vegas image width = 200 caption = Fashion Show Mall as seen from the Strip with The Cloud in the center location = Paradise, Nevada address = nowrap|3200 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las… …   Wikipedia

  • Children's Apparel Network — The Children s Apparel Network is an American company whose products include department and specialty store layette, newborn and infant apparel. In 2005, they licensed the Sesame Beginnings brand for some products. Children s Apparel Network is… …   Wikipedia

  • Fashion Institute of Technology — infobox University name=Fashion Institute of Technology established=1944 city= New York City mascot= TigerThe Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is a State University of New York college of art and design located in New York City, New York,… …   Wikipedia

  • Children's rights — Rights Theoretical …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.