While it’s true that we all share a certain connection with the past and we have the good old days to thank for some of our all-time favourite fashion trends, think ultra-short mod dresses, Letterman jackets, peter pan collars and cat eye sunglasses, fashion as we know it today would have been a totally different story had any of the following fashion statements emerged into regular trends. And we mean it.
If you thought parachute pants and Hawaiian shirts were the ultimate fashion crimes, you clearly haven’t stumbled upon the crochet wedding dress, or the gargantuan crab hat. And because imagining what could have been (especially when it’s not all that great) manages to always paint the present in prettier colors, here is to remembering the 10 fashion statements we’re happy never became trends.
01. The Dalmatian Suit
Cruella de Vil might have been the perfect one to pull off the outfit without loosing herself in the sea of black and white, although even her obsession knew some boundaries. It’s hard to picture one of today’s fashion icons taking on to the streets in a head-to-toe dalmatian look, had the animal print style met a new definition. Boots, hats, bags, coats, you name it as some women really wore them all. All at once.
02. The Eyelash Glasses
And here we were, thinking we have seen it all in terms of quirky glasses. Just as we were getting acquainted with the concept of glasses and sunglasses built as works of art, adorned with gold lizards, shiny pearls and miniature fields of flowers, Elsa Schiaparelli’s eyelash glasses managed to put a new perspective on statement accessories. Flamboyant, whimsical, or just plain strange?
03. The Farmhouse Hat
On the one hand we have Philip Treacy’s fantastical hats, fit for glamorous Royal weddings, Lady Gaga and Sarah Jessica Parker, hats that are influential and unconventional all together. And on the other hand we have Carole Landis, an American film actress wearing a curious farmhouse hat back in 1943. Meeting the fantastical requirements of today’s fashion scene, we are still glad the hat remained a matter of the past.
04. The Crochet Wedding Dress
Few things can completely surpass the poofy romance reminiscent of the 1980s in terms of odd and unflattering wedding gowns. Still the 1960s and Yves Saint Laurent gave as another good reason to be happy that not all fashion attempts, no matter how serious, resulted in established trends. Half-wedding gown, half-hot dog inspired costume or vice-versa, white crochet never looked more inappropriate.
05. The Diaper Suit
As in a bikini suit fit for a Miss contest. We grew to learn by now that not everything in the fashion world is expected to make complete sense, but at least we are used to it all being flattering most of the times. Or pushing the limits, challenging the old, giving us a taste of a different world. None of which can be applied to the diaper suit. The only fitting scenario for it would be a Flintstone thematic fashion celebration.
06. The Full-Face Swimming Mask
Hello Silence of the Lambs! We women are all about protecting ourselves, from the water, from the sun, from the dust, from excess, from anything that could end up damaging our appearance really. But not with the price of looking like a character pulled out straight from a horror movie. Hannibal Lecter meets Jason Voorhees in this full-face swimming mask designed to protect the wearers face from the harmful effects of the sun, which never quite took off in the West. That said, they are known to be all the rage in China.
07. The Crab Hat
Another concept pushed too far courtesy of the 1960s. Either back then the crab hat was a successful attempt to invoke originality and humor all together, or this hat didn’t manage to make much sense in the swinging 60s either. One or the other, this is something we are glad we aren’t going to be stumbling upon on the streets, or at a fabulous garden party any time soon.
08. The Carousel Dress
Garments that are known to cross the line towards costume never stood a real chance in the fashion industry. Heavily embellished, yes, but never on the verge of theatricality. We ought to love a playful print, a fun applique, a whimsical idea, but nobody wants to look like a walking carousel on purpose. Do they?
09. The Breast Protectors
When bras don’t suffice and women need plastic armory. It happened back in 1943 when a new safety garb for women workers was envisioned. “The uniform at the left, complete with the plastic “bra” on the right, will prevent future occupational accidents among feminine war workers.” Now that’s the kind of uniform that puts all others to shame. The though of a black pencil skirt and a white button-down seems way cooler now.
10. The Sausage Costume
Competing with Lady Gaga’s meat dress, although it entered the fashion scene at least five decades earlier, the sausage costume worn at another miss contest looks equally absurd and disturbing. We’re happy the cases are isolated and that the use of meat as a fashion statement wasn’t further explored. Rebelling with cause and rebelling with taste, now that is something that we fully get.
And talking about happiness coming from little things, this article wouldn’t feel complete without us mentioning another look we are glad died before turning into a real deal. Polaire’s tiny waist, which according to Wikipedia measured no more than 16 inches (410 mm), was famous in a time when tightlacing or corset training was en vogue.
The practice of wearing a tightly-laced corset for at least 12 hours a day during the most intense activities in order to achieve extreme modifications to the figure is now of minority interest. The compression of the stomach and the “cutting” of the liver in half should never be considered fashionable.
Images via Retronaut.