Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Baby Boomer's Fashion Show: A Short History of the Last 65 Years in the Clothes We Wore

[I review the movies "Admission," "To the Wonder," "The Sapphires," "My Amityville Horror," "Compliance, "10 Years," and the British TV series, "Broadchurch" plus a few good books and a concert review]


But first


A Baby Boomer's Fashion Show: 
A Short History of the Last 65 Years in the Clothes We Wore


Experts say that senior citizens enjoy nostalgia - singing the old songs ("Stairway to Heaven?"), reminiscing (about that time we got caught behind the barn?), looking at old pictures...

I thought I would try it out since I am a senior citizen (I guess).

My Dad was compulsive about recording every major and minor event with his camera. 

Young or old, want to join me for a trip down memory lane?


1948

Mahatma Gandhi is murdered by a Hindu extremist, Israel is declared an independent state and the National Party of the Dutch Afrikaners begins the policy of apartheid in South Africa.  President Harry S. Truman issues Executive Order 9981 ordering the end of racial discrimination in the Armed Forces.


I was born.


I am only a couple of months old and my brother was probably already plotting to kill me, one of many such plots over the years.



The fashion for transporting babies was the perambulator, also known as a pram.  The umbrella stroller had not yet been invented. 


1953
 
 
Dwight D. Eisenhower is inaugurated as the 34th President of the United States. Queen Elizabeth II crowned queen of England. Jonas Salk announces he had produced the first vaccine against polio. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed for treason.   
 

My mother was a big fan of the "middy blouse," a sailor-inspired creation that I wore well into my teens much to my chagrin.  Must have been the Shirley Temple influence.  I wore a lot of dresses. I wasn't allowed to wear blue jeans and didn't own a pair until I was able to buy them for myself. My mother thought only farmers wore blue jeans!
  
 
 
1956
 
The increase in living standards and the focus on education helps to fuel the increase in college education with 1 in 3 high school graduates now going off to college.  Ninety black leaders in Montgomery, Alabama are arrested for leading a bus boycott. TV shows included "As The World Turns" and "The Price is Right". Mothers could  buy disposable diapers and teflon non stick Frying Pans. Elvis Presley appears on the Ed Sullivan show and enters the music charts for the first time, with "Heartbreak Hotel".   
 
 
Women wore "house dresses," i.e. they did their housework in dresses.  My mother did, anyway.  I don't think she started wearing trousers until she retired!
 

1960
 
The cold war continues and John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson win the Presidency with one of the smallest margins in history ( 113,000 votes ) out of 68.3 million. The sexual revolution of the 60's has begun with the use of birth control pills.  The "Flintstones" is shown on television for the first time. The US sends the first troops to Vietnam following the French withdrawal in 1954 in the fight against communist North Vietnam. Four black students sit at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, sparking six months of the Greensboro Sit-Ins. Civil Rights Act of 1960 signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
 
 
 
There seems to be a misconception about the "60's" - that's when all of the hippie stuff started happening but that's not the case.  In 1960 women were still wearing gloves, pearls and hats.  And there was no political correctness about animal fur and feathers.  Here my mother is proudly wearing a hat made of pheasant feathers and a collar and muff of real leopard. 
 
I know, I know.
 
Contacts must not have been invented yet either or I wouldn't have been wearing those horrific glasses.  I can't speak for my sister.
 
 

 

 
Crinolines were also still popular.



1965
 
The war in Vietnam continues at the same time the Anti-War movement grows. There is also civil unrest with rioting, looting and arson in Los Angeles. Malcolm X is shot to death in Manhattan, New York, probably by three members of the Nation of Islam. This is also the first year mandated health warnings appear on cigarette packets and smoking becomes a no no. The miniskirt makes its appearance. The Beatles release 4 new albums including "Help".    

From the looks of these folks, you would never know there was a war going on. 

Women AND men wore hats.  I don't remember my Dad ever going anywhere without wearing a hat.
 
 
 
 
And my mother would not allow ME to go anywhere fancy without my hair being done up.  Hours and hours of ratting the hair.  I remember I had to bring my own hair pins to the salon because it took so many to get it up there.  My Dad loved posing us looking in the mirror.  I think he thought that was very arty.

 
Long gloves were de rigueur for dances and of course the shoes had to match.
 
 
 
 
But the hippie influence was starting to show itself. 
Though for me it was probably more about Cher.  I wanted to be Cher.
 
 
1968
 
The Rev Martin Luther King is assassinated and Robert Kennedy is mortally wounded when he is shot by Sirhan Sirhan. The peace movement continues to grow and more and more Americans are against the war in Vietnam with continuous rioting.  The music scene is dominated by the "Beatles" and the "Rolling Stones." The first Black power salute is seen on television worldwide during an Olympics medal ceremony.     
 
 
La tee da.  Not a care in the world. Had to have the latest haircut:  The Sassoon. 
 
 
 
Then Reality sets in.
 
And let's just say he didn't enlist.
 
Low draft number results in a fancy uniform and a ticket to Vietnam.
 
 
 Where the hell were my contacts? And what's with those trousers?
 
 
 
1970
 
Protests again the War in Vietnam continue especially after the Kent State shootings. Music continues to make significant impact with the largest ever rock festival held on the Isle of Wight with 600,000 people attending, including some of the biggest names in music including Jimi Hendrix and The Who. This is also the year The Concorde makes it's first supersonic flight. Voting age lowered to 18 in the US.
 
 
Note the peace symbols on some of the mortar boards at this graduation. I am the one in the last row with the long hair.
 
 
The 70's were really the start of the hippie movement.  Believe it or not, this is a wedding dress!
 
 
 
1976
 
Inflation continues to be a problem around the world. Black History Month is founded by Professor Carter Woodson's Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. One year after Microsoft is formed Apple is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Nadia Comaneci scores the first ever perfect score in Gymnastics.  Riots in South Africa mark the end of Apartheid.

 

 
 
Yes, the hair. 
 
Saw "Last Tango in Paris" and had to have hair like Maria Schneider's.  I discovered permanents and kept it up until just a few years ago.  Note the turquoise necklace.  Turquoise was a very popular hippy accoutrement.  I sure wish I still had all of that turquoise jewelry I wore.  Also had a ring on every finger. 
 
 
 
1984
 
The Aids Virus is identified.  McIntosh computer introduced.  Following the Widespread Famine in Ethiopia many of the top British and Irish USSR pop musicians join together under the Name Band Aid and record the song "Do They Know It's Christmas". Following the boycott by the US of the Moscow Olympics the soviet block boycotts the Los Angeles Olympic games. The Cosby Show begins, and is regarded as one of the defining television shows of the decade. Recession continues to be a problem in the US and 70 US Banks fail in just one year        

 
 
Men unselfconsciously wore short shorts and porn mustaches.
 
 



What can I say?  It was the 80's.
 
 

1991
 
After many years of Apartheid in South Africa a new constitution for a multicultural society is formed. This is also the beginning of the Balkan Wars and Lech Walesa is elected as President of Poland. Freddie Mercury the lead singer of the band Queen dies from the AIDS Virus.

 
Fashion is returning to normal but hats are back!
 
 
 
 
1997
 
Gas was $1.22 a gallon in the US.. The first signs of the dreaded Bird Flu in China where the first documented case of the jump to humans causes Hong Kong to kill 1.25 million chickens.
 
Princess Diana dies in a car accident.    One of the worst days of my life.     
 

 
Denim on denim is hardly ever in fashion, but I think it was my mother depriving me of jeans in my youth.  Making up for lost time with the "all over" look!
 
 
 
2000
 
George Bush defeats Al Gore in U.S. Presidential election.  AOL debuts.  Tiger Woods becomes youngest person to win golf's Grand Slam.  Concorde Air France crashes killing all 109 on board.  Average income is 40K and a gallon of gas is $1.26.
 
 
When you are packing on the pounds, black is always good.
 
 
 
2006
 
Bird flu spreads.  Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging by an Iraqi court.  Warren Buffet donates 85% of his 44 billion dollar fortune to five philanthropic organizations.
 
 
Black is always in fashion...
especially on vacation in the UK in one of my all time favorite places: Lower Slaughter
 
 
2010
 
An earthquake rocks Haiti.  Wikileaks drops some bombshells.  Chilean miners trapped for 69 days in a mine.  The BP oil spill in the U.S.  The rise of the Tea Party and Apple launches the IPad.
 
 
...As are blondes.
 
 
 2013
 
 I retire.
 
 
And can now wear whatever I want whenever I want! 
 
 
Today
 
Happy 
 
 
 
What were your favorite fashion trends over the last 65 years?
 
What were your biggest fashion flubs?
 
 
 
 
 
Now on to 
Rosy the Reviewer's
Week in Reviews
 
 
 
 
Films
 
It's been a busy movie week!
 
 
 
I was really looking forward to this one as I like both Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.  The premise also had promise:  the competitive world of college admissions (Princeton, no less) and Tina, the admissions officer, discovers that one of the applicants might be the son she gave away as an infant.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...interesting premise gone very wrong.  This was supposed to be a romantic comedy.  No romance, no comedy.   But then I tried to watch the last episode of "30 Rock" and didn't think that was funny either.  Pass on this one.
 
 
 
 
 
I wonder if you can figure this one out.  I couldn't.  Malick's movies have been getting stranger and stranger ever since "The New World."  I embrace the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words and if a film can say something with a visual, then I prefer that.  But there is just too much in the way of arty visuals and not enough plot. It seems to boil down to it's easy to fall in love in Paris, not so much in Oklahoma.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like long shots of running water, people gazing out of windows and breathy voice overs, you might like this.  If you figure it out, let me know.  Same goes for Malick's  "The Tree of Life," too!
 
 
 
 
 
Based on a true story, this film follows the pursuit of fame by a singing quartet of aboriginal girls who go to Vietnam during the war to entertain the troops.  Lots of great 60's music and Chris O'Dowd is always good.  Interesting to see the Australian perspective on the War.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...Interesting premise that is carried off with heart and fun.  Recommended.
 
 
 
 
 
The Amityville Horror was a best-selling book and movie - in fact there have been several versions of the movie.  Here you get a real-life perspective from one of the children who lived in that house when all of that supernatural stuff was supposedly going on.  Most of that has been debunked but this guy says otherwise.  He lived it.  He is kind of a nutty guy in the Robert Blake kind of nutty.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you liked the book and like documentaries, this is an interesting addendum to that story.
 
 
 
 
 
 
This film asks the question, "How much does it take for you to question authority?"  This is based on a true incident where a supervisor at a fast food chain was approached by phone by a supposed police officer and told to take a young girl employee in the back room and search her as she had supposedly stolen money from a customer.  All hell breaks loose as the caller continues to make demands on the supervisor.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...the acting is just first rate here as you are drawn into the nightmare.  But warning, it is cringe inducing.  Highly recommended.
 
 
 
 
 
 
You know the drill.  High school reunion 10 years later.  You have the jock who wants to apologize for being a bully, the ex-lovers meet up again but they are married to others, the hot girl with a secret...the usual stuff.
 
Rosy the Reviewer...always likes to see Tatum Channing and this time he is teamed up with his real-life wife.  But a marginal film.
 
 
TV
 
 
 
 
This is not a film per se.  It's on BBCAmerica right now and it's really, really good.  David Tennant is an ex-Dr. Who and an excellent actor.  I'm a huge fan of British TV but there is a reason.  It's really good!
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...This is a British version of "The Killing," so if you liked that, you will like this.  And it's mercifully on an hour per episode.  I get sick of everything being two hours these days.  Highly recommended.
 
 
 
Food
 
I've lost 8 pounds so that not eating thing appears to work.
 
 
 
Fashion
 
I think I covered that.
 
 
 
 
Books
 
 
 
  
"Leaving Home" by Anne Edwards
 
 
Anne Edwards is the author of 16 biographies, everyone from Judy Garland to Maria Callas.  Her biographies are factual and engrossing.  Here she turns the spotlight on herself as she talks about the years she was in "exile," due to the witch hunts of the McCarthy era.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you like nonfiction, it doesn't get much better than this.  Edwards is a masterful writer.
 
 
 
 
Ohh La La!" French Women's Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day by Jamie Cat Callan.
 
 
C'mon, what woman doesn't want to know the secrets of French women for feeling beautiful? 
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...a fun romp into the world of perfume, lingerie and embracing your age.
 
 
 
 
"Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook by Alex Guarnaschelli.
 
 
Well, for someone wanting to lose a few pounds reading a cookbook about comfort food is probably not a good idea but I can't help it.  I love cookbooks.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...a more gourmet take on comfort food.  And it has lovely color photos, a must for the best cookbooks.
 
 
 
Concerts
 
Gladys Knight and the O'Jays at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery last Thursday was one of the best concerts I have ever seen.  I was in bliss.  If she comes your way, don't miss her.  She is the personification of warmth, professionalism and talent.
 
 
 
Well, that's the week,
dear readers. 
 
 Stay tuned for next week when I reveal why working full-time makes you fat!
 
See you next week!
 
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Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.




Note:  Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 


Here is a quick link to get to all of them.  Choose the film you are interested in and then scroll down the list of reviewers to find "Rosy the Reviewer."
 


Or you can go directly to IMDB.  


Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list. Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."


 


 
 

8 comments :

  1. Brilliant! Just brilliant.

    thanks,

    Tim Lavalli K '69

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tim. Thanks for commenting.

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  2. OK, so the yellow bellbottom ensemble you're wearing? I had almost the exact outfit...yellow denim (yes, it's true) bells with a madras trim at the bottom and a sleeveless madras blouse. It was made by my dear mother (in her house dress, I'm positive)and worn proudly at the Y on Friday nights. Ah, youth.

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    Replies
    1. Well...funny thing. I am pretty sure my college roommate made me that outfit so your mother and she must have used the same pattern! You're right, ah youth. And I wish I still had all of those clothes. My daughter would have gagged over them (gag being a British expression of desire, as I am sure you well know!) :)

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  3. Thanks for the nostalgia! I loved crinolines and wore them when I was a teenager and missed them when they went out of fashion. I never wore pants until I was in high school. Now, at 70, I never ever wear skirts! Loved the entire thing, Rosy. Thanks! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome. It really was fun to go through all of my Dad's pictures and put that together. Thanks for your comment, DJan!

      Delete
  4. I love the orange wedding dress, and the black and white leggings.

    I'm a big fan of crinolines, too. One of the best things about going to Burning Man is getting to wear whatever you feel like, so this time I'm spending much of the week in outfits built around little hot pink crinoline I picked up recently :D

    ReplyDelete