It’s almost the end of the year and everyone is going back in time. I mean, Dutchies: who is not listening to the top 2000 songs of all time on radio 2? We went to the future yesterday, but today I am taking you back again to the past. However, this time I am not going back that far, because this is the last post of the retro fashion serie! Back to the 90s, which brings back some extra nostalgic moments for me, because this is the time that I grew up. The time of ghettoblasters, The Spice Girls, Hakuna Matata, Discmans that didn’t fit into your trousers and the internet was just coming up! Imagine that…
This era also left its lasting mark on fashion. A very colorful mark also as you will discover. The early 90s were an extension of the late 1980s. But this was about to change very fast. Remember when MTV was all about the music? Music videos were being produced everywhere. The fashion in those popular music videos had a tremendous impact on the fashion sense because of all those teenagers, who adopted the fashion style of their idols into the real world. Hip-hop artists were seen as topfashion influencers: the urban culture rised and rised, not only in the big cities. The urban fashion motto was: Big t-shirts and baseball caps for everyone! Also, there were a lot of remixed versions of fashion trends from previous decades. In the mid-1990s there were for example The Spice Girls, who brought back a huge revival of the 70s platform shoe. Another item that made its revival under young woman, was the loose, short skirt. Once again fashion comebacks were very colorful. Denim and leather jackets were extremely popular and survived the whole nineties decade. As a matter of fact, denim and leather are true fashion survivors. Who doesn’t own a nice pair of jeans or a leather jacket these days?
You’re used to be taken in a time machine to the past when you visit Oriental Spice and some Chocolate. However, I also like to keep you with your feet on the ground by pulling you back to the present. If you read my blog frequently, you know that I like to think outside the box. Today is another one of those days. And guess what, you can participate and do yourself a favor or make yourself laugh, It totally depends on you.
We have gone to the past and back to the present. But we never went to the future. Ofcourse we are alive and kicking in the here and now, but remember that the here and now becomes history within a second. The start of the writing of this article is already in the past. Christmas 2014 has gone by. Facebook even literally reminds you that you updated a status in the past: a few seconds ago, 15 minutes ago, an hour ago etcetera. Listening to that great song on the radio becomes the past after a few minutes. Although in this case, you can bring that moment back by going to Youtube and hitting the replay button. 100x times. We all have those moments with some songs, don’t we?
That was past talk. Literally. So let’s discuss the future. The end of the year is near. Very soon it will start raining New Year’s Resolutions. Everywhere. If you don’t like it, you may want to hide yourself in the first week of January. Especially from the internet. Personally, I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I even wrote an article about it here. If you really want something, you won’t wait until the end of the year to start making that life change. Besides that, why wait? You’re wasting precious time of your life, if you’re just waiting until the end of the year.
Are you reading this while you’re using a wireless connection? What’s (technological) life without wireless communication these days, right? Whether you like it or not, you are literally linked to the 1930s and 1940s. Let me introduce an Old Hollywood star to you who played a significant part in the (co-)invention of that beloved Wi-Fi wireless connection of the present: Hedy Lamarr.
Let’s enter the time machine. Back in the Golden Hollywood era, it was rare to be a brunette in a (Hollywood) world since it was mostly dominated by blondes. On the other hand, it was easy to stand out when you were not blonde. Hedy Lamarr stood out alright. Hedy Lamarr was born as Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna in 1914. In her teenage years she was discovered by an Austian director, who led to Hedy’s appearance in the (for that time-period) very controversial Czech movie Ecstasy in 1933. She was ahead of her times and probably one of the first actresses to do “controversial” nude scenes in a movie. Even the pope interfered back then. You know you’re in trouble when the pope gets involved.
via Kate Gabrielle – flickr.com
In that same year, she got married to munition manufacturer Friedrich Mandl. This marriage would’t lead to the “lived happily ever after life” she imagined. On the contrary, Mandl wasn’t what you would call a person with a nice, sparkling personality. In Lamarr’s own words, Mandl was more of the “extreme controlling” kind. Besides that, she also didn’t like the fact that he sold munition to the Nazis. However, there was a positive outcome of this experience. During her marriage, Lamarr often had to accompany her husband to meetings and events where scientist and military technology experts came together. Those events introduced her to the scientific field where she would later develop skills and co-invent an early technique of wireless communication.
Realitychecks. They occur every now and then and every now and then I feel the need to share my realitychecks with you. After my not-so-serious ode to the here and now, it’s time to get serious.
This ode has to do with a story that I’ve read in a Dutch newspaper. It’s about a woman who wrote a very open article about the past with a clear (tragic) link to the here and now. In a nutshell: the article is written by a woman whose mother unfortunately took her life in 1983. The most important question after such an event is always: Why? After years her daughter was ready to find an answer to this question. And it was answered alright. Her mother had kept a diary in the past. This diary was an important source which helped the daughter understand the thoughts and feelings of her mother and how that led to her radical decision.
Rewind to the 1970s and early 1980s.
You’re a woman. Just like the decades before, your career perspective after marriage is usually: becoming a housewife and in your career perspective horizon staying a perfect housewife is priority number 1. Do you want more? The Housewife police (society and your environment) will try to bring you to the housewife pad. Are you ambitious and would you like to have your own career? What’s wrong with you? It is unthinkable.
This state of mind actually reminds me to some “vintage humor” pictures which are literally made to mock the vintage times a little bit, but… in every joke there is a serious amount of truth.
Flashforward to the present.
What are we?
Woman, writer/doctor/whatever you want, daughter, girlfriend, mother, wife etcetera.
What can we become?
Anything we like.
What do we want after that?
When do we want it?
As soon as possible.
When can we start?
Remember the 1950s? Even if you don’t, you will know that this decade, Rhythm & Blues and Rock and Roll have an unbreakable bond. While I was watching a dvd today, I was intrigued by its background music. I was wondering which band of the 1950s was playing. Of course my best friend Youtube helped me out here. I was pleasantly surprised that I had to fast forward to the present because this band is not from the 1950s, but has been alive and kicking since 2008.
Presenting to you a Rockabilly band of the present featuring lovely Blues and Rock and Roll of the past: The Rhythm Shakers. This band with a very high 1950s Rock and Roll vibe, has an unique sound which is almost similar to the old days. However, there is one big difference. Where in the 1950s the Blues and Rock and Roll world was dominated by men, the lead singer is in this case female. But no ordinary female. Lead singer Marlene Perez has an interesting, raw voice which totally fits the “wild” atmosphere. In 2008 the album “Flipsville” came out and in 2014 the album “Voodoo”. The Rhythm Shakers are continuously touring in Europe, but they also perform worldwide on Rockabilly festivals.
Well, time to turn up the volume and Rock and Roll te evening away. These are in my opinion a few of their best songs: