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Retro Chic Fashion With Jan Brierton

Thursday, 27 November 2008

We're all sick of the word and it's only been in use since September but the ssshhh 'recession' has us all in a tizzy! We all still want to remain uber-stylish but simply don't have the disposable income we once had. What if there were clothes lurking in the back of your wardrobe (or your mums/grandmum's) that could be resurrected to become the height of fashion once more. We're doing just that with Retro Chic!

Jan Brierton;- She's Retro -Cheeky!
Jan is one of Ireland's leading fashion stylists, based in Dublin Ireland and represented by Morgan The Agency.

Her work has appeared in magazines such as The Gloss, Irish Tatler, The Life, Sunday Independent, The Irish Times Magazines, Prudence, RTE Guide ,Going Places, KT Parenting, Sky Delta(USA),Pure Magazine(UK), Confetti, Wedding Journal, Wedding Belle and Travel & Leisure Golf Magazine(USA)
She has been a regular contributor to shows such as Off the Rails and The Afternoon Show.

Her music industry clients include EMI,Gift Grub, Ash, 8 Ball and JJ72.
In addition to her editorial work, she has styled for a number of high profile commercial clients; Gap; Tommy Hilfiger; Arnotts; Dunnes Stores; Sasha; Tesco; Florence and Fred; Rachel Mackay; Fashion House; Kate Cooper; Propaganda; Hobo; CocaCola; Lucozade; Eircom; Vodafone; Newbridge Silver; Avoca; Dylon; Reebok; Adidas; Mango; Robert Roberts; Superquinn; Charlestown S.C; Kalindi Lawernce; Paul Sheeran; Bord Bia; Hennessy; Irish Sea board and Ulster Bank.

She has produced and styled fashion shows for Arnotts, The Conrad Hotel group, Tesco F+F, L'Oreal and a number of charity groups.
She has also written fashion editorials for The Evening Herald, The Sunday World and The Meath Chronicle.

A brief history of fashion through the ages!

The 1920's, probably the most daring decade for men and women alike, revolutionized the fashion world. With the arrival of the 'jazz age' and prohibition, women's skirts rose scandalously to the knees, the hair was cut short in a boyish bob, women shamelessly smoked and drank in public and defied the rigid social status that the early 1900's brought.
The waist lines of the dresses dipped to the hips and braziers were worn to bind the breasts giving women a boyish look; a look that commanded power and equality with men. A look called 'The Flapper'.

As the country recovered from a deep depression, World War II set in. The men went off to war leaving behind women, children and families to earn a living for their family and help the men at war by manufacturing war materials.
"There is nothing quite like a 1940s femme fatale. It's like somebody discovering for the first time that being naughty can be more fun than being nice."

"Preppie qualities were neatness, tidiness and grooming. Teen girls wore full dirndl or circular skirts with large appliqués on their clothing. Neat pleated skirts were also popular. The pleated skirts were made from a then new fabric called TERYLENE (polyester) which helped maintain razor sharp sunray pleating.

The skirts were supported by bouffant paper nylon or net petticoats. On top, teens wore scoop neck blouses, back to front cardigans, tight polo necks or three quarter sleeve white fitting shirts often with a scarf knotted cowboy fashion at the side neck. These teen clothing fashions that originated in America filtered to Britain in watered down fashion."

"She was born on July 28, 1929, in Long Island, New York and became America's closest thing to royalty. Her 'exquisite, equestrian-like grace' inspired books, films and fashion. She was a living fashion catalogue who was copied, envied and worshiped. Her favourite designer was Oleg Cassini who designed elegant outfits for Jackie. The sleeveless shift and pillbox hat became her trademark. Time magazine wrote in 1961 (Jan. 20) "Whether she wants to or not, she will influence taste and style."

The Vietnam war, the Beatles and Joan Baez, brought the advent of 'flower children', or hippies, defying the conformity of the fashion that preceded them. Both girls and boys wore tight Levis bell-bottoms that flared wide at the knee; and decorations like patches, drawings and fabrics were added as well. Men wore leather vests with bare chests or tee shirts. The women wore loose fitting blouses of cotton, frequently patterned with intricate designs as well as flowery loose dresses. These were called 'peasant blouses.'
The basic undertone for the 'flower children' look was to be loose and comfortable yet wearing what you wanted yet still maintaining their protest with their 'counter-culture'(sprinkled with the occasional undertone of illegal drugs, and free love.)

The seventies were also the beginning of the disco era. Disco wasn't just a type of music, but a way of life. The men still wore bell bottoms but the fabric of the decade was polyester, acrylic and lycra. Women's dresses were ruffled and loose, usually stopping at the knee. The men wore bell bottoms, a jacket under a solid color shirt with gold chains. Platform shoes were big on the dance floor and shirt patterns were swirly and dizzying. The colors were loud and clashing making a statement that the 70's was the era of 'Saturday Night Fever.'

The 1980's brought two very different styles in. One style ruled the business world especially with the women. Women's business suits had broader shoulders, with the help of shoulder pads, the suits resembled those of the 30's except with much brighter colors like yellows, blues and pinks.
The second fashion fad started with exercise. Exercise became a big deal in the 80's and exercise clothes became bright and worn casually. Lycra and spandex was a big material used, usually colored in brilliant greens and pinks"

Corsage Headband, €14.50, M& S
Silk Dress, €275, Tara Jarmon for Arnotts
Burgundy tights, €10.50, Arnotts
Patent Mary Jane Shoes, €60, M & S

Veiled Hair Band, €31, Debenhams
Silk Top, €39, M & S
Pencil Skirt, €31, River Island
Seamed tights, €18, Arnotts
Velvet court shoes, €55, M & S

Tartan Prom dress, €50, A/Wear
Angora Cardigan, €43, Topshop
Black opaque tight, €6, M & S
Satin Platform Shoes, €122, Topshop

Shift Dress, €103, Lanidor
Cocktail jacket, €131, Lanidor
Fuschia Leather gloves, €34, Lanidor
Purple Suede shoes, €84, Topshop

Felt hat, €36.50, River Island
Silk Paisley print kaftan, €79.99, Chica
Patchwork bag, €51, River Island
Brown tights, €6, M & S
Leather boots, €45, Penneys

Faux Fur Bolero, €136, M & S
Cream jumpsuit, €499, Divine
Gold Charm Watch/Bracelet, €475, Juicy Couture
Black & Gold Stilettos, €80, River Island