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East London Fashion: 1911-2011

Man and woman dancing in clothing of the WWII era

In general, it’s women’s fashion that changes so dramatically from one year (or one season, even) to the next. Men’s clothing is much more difficult to pinpoint in time, for most of us, than women’s clothing.

One at-a-glance clue to nailing down the timeline on fashion is to look at the style of women’s hats, as well as the hemlines and the whole silhouette.

But the male of the species is not without the occasional mad phase of flaunting his plumage. Just think of the lace-ruffled Regency dandy, the well-fed Edwardian gent with his velvet lapels, the pin-striped mobster of the 1930s, the young slicked-back Elvis Presley, or those tight-trousered disco kings of Saturday Night fever…

100 years of East London style in 100 seconds

Take a look — can you catch all the fashion trends of the century, as they dance by?

Nice touch, having the woman dance alone briefly in her Rosie-the-Riveter wartime gear, before her partner comes flying back into the scene in his spiffy, prosperous post-war civvies!

Don’t you find that the trends tend to blend together, and a look you might tend to associate with one decade turns out to be from a slightly earlier or slightly later period? Fascinating — both the costumes of the recent past, and our conceptions of them!

Pop quiz on fashion history aside, however, it’s just a whole lot of fun to watch the styles boogie (jitterbug, foxtrot, tango, bugoloo, bop, bump…) on by!

This really is quite a clever bit of advertising, well sugar-coated as a blend of entertainment and education. Advertising? Why, yes, in fact:

Directed by Jake Lunt with The Viral Factory, the film was shot over 4 days in east London locations with hundreds of costume changes. The music was commissioned from Oscar nominated genius Tristin Norwell who took a simple tune and interpreted it for each decade over 100 years.
~ 100 YEARS / STYLE / EAST LONDON: Westfield Stratford City

This video was posted on YouTube by “Europe’s largest urban shopping centre, Westfield Stratford City” in advance of its official opening on 13 September 2011.

Which explains the date given in bold red letters at the end.
And why “East London” in particular.
And why the century of fashion runs from 1911 to 2011, instead of even numbers.

Neat-o!

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