Fashion

Beatle Boots

Beehive Hair

The 1950’s reveled in the outrageous works of art created from hair, and the bubble-like bouffant was teased to even greater height and tamed into more elaborate shapes in the 60’s. One of the most unifying markers of this new gravity-defying style was the vertically superior ‘beehive’. Teased into the giant, freestanding bouffant, the beehive(…)

Bellbottoms

Another hangover from the 60s. Pants which were tight at the top and baggy at the bottom. They were based on naval uniform pants which had ‘bell’ shaped legs to guarantee a quick removal over clunky boots if you happened to fall overboard. The wide-legged look was rebellious in the face of the straight-legged form(…)

Belt Buckles

As fashion merged into one unanimous look in the 70s (denim flares and decal tees), your badge of pride was a huge metal belt buckle, displayed front and centre. A throwback to the golden age of bong-hit stadium rock, when high school kids donned these weighty buckles to identify themselves in the crowd and find(…)

Benetton

Controversy abounds when Benetton is around. The brainchild of founder Luciano Benetton, the Italian company has shocked, disturbed, and inspired since 1965. The “United Colors of Benetton” sold more than clothes, they sold an image of cultural diversity and acceptance with controversial ad campaigns promoting their international flavour. The ads featured multi-racial models in festive(…)

Bermuda Shorts

Bermuda Shorts were the strangest male fashion fad to come along in the 1950s. Businessmen would actually wear the big, baggy shorts to work during the summer months, combining them with suit jackets, dress shirts, ties and knee-length socks for a look that could only be called ‘indescribable’.

Biba

Designer Barbara Hulanicki began running a mail-order fashion operation in 1964 with her husband Stephen Fitzsimon. They felt that the price of fashion was too high for many so they promoted a “throw away and buy another” philosophy, and the cheaper the clothes, the more temporary they could be. Barbara designed her own fabrics in(…)

Big Glasses

Inside you there’s a wacky, zany and crazy character just bursting to get out – but your problem is poor eyesight, and an aversion to contact lenses means you’re forced to wear glasses. And they, unfortunately, give you an air if unwanted and studious respectability. Not to worry though – all you have to do(…)

Big Hair

In the extremes of the 80s, the “bigger is better” concept came also to hair. To follow the fashion precept that all things must be in proportion, the wide shoulders, nipped waists and ballooning pants that marked the decade’s silhouette left nowhere for hair to go but up. Big hair was sported in malls from(…)

Bikini

The bikini made its official debut in the summer of 1946, just a few days after the US Military conducted nuclear tests and exploded the H-bomb on the Bikini Atoll, a string of islands in the Pacific. French designer Reard, still lacking a name for his new suit, capitalised on the exotic local and newsworthy(…)

Birkenstocks

The Birkenstock family of Germany created their first shoe business in 1774, and by 1897, the contoured insole would change the name of footwear forever. The specially designed insole resembled a footprint, and it would mould to the foot in a natural state. The curved insole would evenly distribute bodyweight for advanced support. Birkenstock footwear(…)

Birthstone Jewellery

While the real things were precious gems and very expensive, it became a fad to create fake gems under the label of birthstones. Usually coloured glass, they were sold in sets of earrings and necklace, or maybe a bracelet. January : February : March : April : May : June : July : August :(…)

Bisexual Chic

During the sexually liberated 70’s, when the rule of thumb was “if it feels good do it”, gay sexuality seemed a lot less taboo. Rock stars (especially British ones) camped it up – or pretended to – as part of keeping up their image. Bisexuality was momentarily something to boast about in the late 70’s,(…)

Bobbie Brooks

Made in colourful prints, snappy styled and affordable fabrics, Bobbie Brooks was the label for suburban girls across America during the 50s, 60s and into the 70s. Girls now had their own money, earned from babysitting or other odd jobs, and owning Bobbie Brooks was a goal any girl could achieve. These were your clothes,(…)

Bobby Socks

Bobby socks started as a rebellious fad in Britain, but soon became the quintessential teen fashion of the 50s. The girls who wore these anklets were dubbed “bobby soxers”, and the trend spread to high school girls in the USA.

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