Recently I was reminiscing with a friend about the games we used to play and of gaming in the 80’s, for me it was Pacman on the arcade gameplay and sitting around in my neighbors living room playing Duck Hunt and The Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo. It then got me thinking, What happened to those times? What changed from my generation to the current generation and why has the age of gaming become so different?
Okay so let’s take it back to a time before what I consider to be the golden age of gaming. Up until the late 1970’s all gaming was only ever played down at the local arcades where kids from all over the suburbs would meet up with friends and play the various arcade machines like Donkey Kong, Space Invaders and Pacman to name a few and battle it out for supremacy and legendary game hero status.
Only a couple of years later at the beginning of the 1980’s saw the release of the Nintendo and Atari and the commencement of what I consider as the golden ages of gaming. Children and adolescents were no longer gathering in arcades to catch up with friends and play their favourite arcade game but heading indoors to the comfort of living rooms.
Games like Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt and The Legend of Zelda were playing on screens in homes by children and teenagers all over the world. I can remember as a child running next door on weekends with my two sisters to my neighbours house ready to battle it out and dominate on the Nintendo often playing Duck Hunt or Super Mario Brothers. My neighbours became one of the popular hang outs for us kids on our street for many years after, mainly because they were the only house on the street that actually owned a Nintendo.
I can still remember the thrill and adrenaline rush when it came to my turn of playing Duck Hunt aiming for a top score and overall bragging rights, but at the same time trying to stay focused and not become distracted by the shrieking, heckling and banter from my sisters and friends sitting and watching from behind me. At that stage gaming was still quite a social time, yes gaming had moved from arcades to homes but children were still coming together and making it a social gathering with laughter, competitive spirit and bonding.
From here the gaming evolution quickly took off with the release of the Game and Watch systems and shortly after the Nintendo Game Boy. Gaming was no longer fixed and a social interactive time with friends but a transportable yet socially isolating time as you were no longer restricted, you could game when you wanted, where you wanted and at anytime. This I believe saw the birth of gaming and technology revolution which it now is today and the closing off in my mind the golden age of gaming…
Take a moment to absorb, interpret and reflect on the memories of the rad rocking 90’s……
At some stage in every females life they have had the experience of wearing hot pants. Whether it was short shorts, daisy dukes, disco hot pants, leather high waisted short shorts or denim shorts, whatever your preference we have all been there. So why is it that the hot pants have stood the test of time?
Okay so lets go back to the start. The hot pants can be defined as shorts that are less than 5cm from the inseam. They were first designed and created by a British designer by the name of Mary Quant who released the fabulous creation in the Paris spring summer collection of 1971. Soon after many celebrities and fashion icons like Twiggy, Brigitte Bardot, Olivia Newton John and Betty Davis were seen absolutely every where in barely there short shorts. This development created a massive hype with almost every women wearing and/or owning a pair hot pants and was soon considered acceptable work attire. Many women wore hot pants in their workplace with the most recognizable being South West Airlines introducing the hot pants into their uniforms. For many women hot pants became a staple in their wardrobes and a part of women’s fashion throughout the 70’s.
*Caption: That’s a bit cheeky.
*Caption: Great advertising for the Ducati 750GT.
*Caption: Just your typical uniform if you were a Air Hostess.
We next saw the revival of the spunky hot pants with this trend resurfacing in the fall of the early 90’s on the catwalks of America. The shorts were short but not as tight following spring and summer collections releasing the patent leather and vinyl hot pants by super trendy Italian designer Gianfranco Feree. Soon after many teenagers all over the world (my older sister included!) were cutting their old jeans down and artfully fraying the hems. I can remember as a small girl my older sister dragging my sisters and I into Op shops all over town searching for the perfect pair of worn but not too worn pair of Levis that she would later take home and cut holes into the pockets giving the shorts that instant “I have had these shorts for ages” look. I can remember thinking that not only was my older sister the coolest person around town but a massive trend setter that I wanted to aspire to be like. Other than the denim Levis shorts many other short shorts were being designed in geometric patterns, awning stripes and solid colors.
Fast forward to the late 1990’s and early 2000’s absolutely everyone around the world were wearing barely there shorts especially in the spring and summer months. Australian TV music programs like Rage and Video Hits had us watching the likes of The Spice Girls, Kylie Minogue, Destiny’s Child and many other females group rocking out in short shorts and giving us their girl power confidence and attitudes.
The journey of the hot pants I guess has been a natural evolution from the birth in the early 70’s to now. I mean who doesn’t like short shorts?
* Caption: Kylie Minogue in those unforgettable gold hot pants in her hit single spinning around. Reoww sexy!!
*Caption: Destiny’s Child survivor
Lets take a visual trip down memory lane to the 15 – 18 August 1969 where over 500,000 concert goers descended on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm just outside of Bethel New York to be part of 3 days of peace and music known as Woodstock. Of the 32 acts that performed over the 3 days some of the most memorable sets were by Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), Nash & Young, Jimmy Hendrix, The Who & Santana.
Caption: Advertising poster of Woodstock 1969
Caption: Transportation to the festival came in many forms with the most common being cars, vans and the odd BSA motorbike.
Caption: Music lovers as far as the eye can see, estimated to be approximately 500,000 people.
Caption: Some of the lead acts that were performing over the 3 days included (Top Left) Jimmy Hendrix, (Top Right) The Who, (Bottom Left) Santana & (Bottom Right) CCR
Caption: Concert goers taking in the vibe, music and atmosphere of what is now undeniably the greatest music festival of all time.
What has been the fascination with the Kaftan amongst celebrities and icons since the early 1970’s? Why has the Kaftan become such a beloved staple in many women’s wardrobe? What is it actually about the Kaftan that makes it so popular?
These may be some of the questions you have been asking yourself, I know it has been a question that I have been playing over in my mind ever since I discovered the Kaftan and the groovy 70’s as a young teenager.
The Kaftan can be defined as a loose fitting garment that extends down to the mid calf or as far down as the ankles with either a mid or full length sleeve. It’s origins can be traced back to many regions but predominately from the Middle East and dates back as early as 1600BC. The kaftan was an overdress or frontal buttoned coat that was often made of wool, cashmere, silk or cotton.
From the early 1970’s after the hippie evolution the kaftan was a highly sought after and popular garment choice, this was mainly due to the influence of designers such as Yves St Laurent and Christian Dior. The kaftan quickly became the popular and glamorous choice for not only evening attire but had made a huge impact on the disco scene. Kaftans were now produced in many different fabrics with sort after exotic materials edged in silver, gold and other metallic embroidered trims.
During the mid to late 70’s many celebrities and icons like Marella Agnelli, Bianca Jagger, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy really embraced this new fashion trend and really propelled it’s popularity to what it is today.
Captions: Left – The beautiful Grace Kelly in a swirl pastel kaftan and Right – Elisabeth Taylor feminine and sexy in a blue metallic print kaftan.
So why all this hype surrounding the beloved kaftan since the 1970’s and why does almost every female own one, wear one, or fall quickly in love with this look? For me, from my mid teens I become bewitched by not only the beautiful prints and flowing fabrics but the coverage and comfort of the garments. The women looked feminine, empowered, sexy, confident and most importantly comfortable!. So off I went on the hunt into my mothers wardrobe for a kaftan and low an behold this beautiful pastel green with gold trimming indian print kaftan was staring back at me. Dare I try it on and be entranced by what I thought was at the time old people’s clothing? Damn straight I do!. To my surprise this beautiful garment didn’t look daggy or too big for my adolescent body, no not at all and due to the design, shape and cut of the kaftan before my eyes I turned into this confident young women. Why? What had changed from simple putting on of an oversized draped cloth? Yes I was covered from head to toe but I wasn’t lost in the garment and I still had my feminine silhouette, my blue eyes sparkled with the off set of the green and gold and all of a sudden my personality and cheeky demeanour was ready to shine through. This experience taught me that you didn’t need to have your body exposed to be noticed and that your inner self could shine through no matter the coverage of a garment. From that day on I had become inspired by the kaftan…
Vintage + Fashion + Expression is that little get out of jail free card that is always there in your back pocket that allows us to be organic, free spirited and different to buck the norm and todays ever changing trends.
I love how the past embodies and to some extent empowers us to release our creative soul and be 100% unique and true to your spirit through expression. Take one day of the week to dive back into a favourite time in your life, maybe a memory or a band (my favourite is The Doors or Queen) or even your favourite era and take a moment to reflect on the emotion and the senses. Become inspired and let it all show through your fashion…
So go on get inspired by the past.***