The women of their 50’s era had a lot of things going for them: their money, their status and their bodies.
And they weren’t ashamed of their choice.
So when the fashion world went “huh?”, as it has done with fashion trends over the past few years, they were not exactly in a position to objectify themselves or their bodies, says Amanda Whelan, who studies fashion at University College London.
“The women who came to the fashion industry in the late 60s and 70s were not the sort of women who were ashamed of being women,” she says.
But fashion designers and magazines were doing a lot more to create “a culture of gender conformity” and “a sense of belonging”, says Wheland.
As the women of the 50s and 60s wore what the media called “affirmative action”, “blended” clothes and wore “feminine clothes”, Whelans says that was a good thing.
“We were not being objectified, we were being given an equal chance to succeed.”
So in the years following the war, the fashion designers of the time had an opportunity to change the culture of the fashion market.
And with the exception of some brands that had previously had a “boys-only” look, women were allowed to dress like the men they liked.
They were given more freedom and they were encouraged to dress in more “feminist” clothing.
This was a time of gender equality.
For example, in 1968, a magazine called Cosmopolitan published an article by the US fashion designer, Alice Walker, titled “Fashion Is Not a Man’s Game”.
“We’re not playing this game,” Walker said.
“This is not a game, it’s not about the money or the status or the looks.
It’s about our lives.”
This article originally appeared on The Conversation.
Read the original article.
‘It’s not a big deal’ The fashion world was not the only place that went through this transition.
In fact, it was a huge shift from the time of the war.
As part of a push to make fashion more “modern”, American fashion designer Harry Winston introduced the term “feminism”.
And women were encouraged not to conform to traditional roles, Whelany says.
Women were allowed more freedom, she says, and were encouraged in their choices.
The first “affirming” magazines that followed the new “feminista” trend were “Feminine Design” and the magazine “Men’s Wear Daily”.
These were the days before magazines and clothes shops had to go through the “paint-by-numbers” of a woman’s looks.
And women who had been seen as “too feminine” were encouraged, too.
But in the US, “affirmation” magazines like “FEMINISM” were very much a boys’ club, says Whetel.
They weren’t even allowed to be edited for a woman.
Women had to be in a particular set of clothing.
And it wasn’t uncommon for a magazine to have two women in the same section.
“They were very rigid,” says Whingel.
“If there was a male designer in the section, you had to wear the same clothes and you had the same amount of makeup on your face.”
“The message was that if you wore something that was ‘too feminine’, you weren’t allowed to wear it.”
The idea that fashion was a game was very important to the men who designed the clothes.
But the men weren’t really happy about it, says Lillian Boon, author of “Girl Power: The Women of the Fashion Revolution”.
“The fashion world has been very good to women for a very long time,” she tells Business Insider.
“It’s a great time to be a woman in this country, and it’s been great to see women’s fashion have a big influence on fashion, in terms of how we dress.”
But Whelas says the way that “feminists” fashion designers dress has always been different to the way women wore clothes before.
“I think that the reason why there was such a divide in how women dressed is that there was not a lot in the way of fashion for women at the time,” says the fashion historian.
“You have all these models in the fashion magazines, and they look so much like men, and the girls are just being made to look like the boys.
They’re being made in this very binary fashion.”
The fashion industry has had to change over the years.
But what was once a boys club is now a place for women to thrive.
“Now the fashion scene has come back to the core,” Whels says.
“There are more girls in the industry, and girls are really excited about what they can achieve.”
The biggest challenge to the “feministas” style in the last 20 years is that, for many women, their body image and self-esteem are still not as strong as they were in the past