Written by writer, editor and FCS mother Silva Emerian, Style Session is about fashion trends, style and Emerian’s connection with God. Published since 2015, Style Session returns to The Feather after a year-long hiatus. Style Session will be published bi-monthly and Emerian’s previous works can be viewed on her Feather author page. Emerian also runs her own personal blog, On My Shoebox and can be reached via email.
I feel very blessed to have grown up in the 1980s. It was such a fun time to be a teenager, with lace tights and teased bangs and such. Okay, so it may not have been the most sophisticated era in terms of fashion, but you can’t say we didn’t have fun with our clothes.
When I was in high school, some of the biggest name brands were Benetton, Guess jeans, Polo shirts for the guys, Cross Colours, Swatch watches and Converse sneakers. Our hair was feathered, our makeup was neon, and you could see us coming a mile away. We emulated Madonna, Michael Jackson, Billy Idol and George Michael.
These days I can’t help but laugh when I see Doc Martens everywhere. Docs were popular 30 years ago when I was in high school. Maybe it’s less a resurgence than a recommitment to their timeless style, which is a credit to their longevity.
When I look around at high schoolers today, they seem so much more refined than when I was a teenager. I crimped, scrunched and sprayed my hair into oblivion – teenagers today get blowouts and know how to use hair wands. I pegged my jeans and sported shoulder pads, styling my Jordache purse and saving up to buy Keds. Nowadays it’s all Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney and Fenty. You guys really know what’s up.
I guess name brands are still name brands, whether it’s high fashion, footwear, or athletes’ product lines. A few decades ago it used to be Stussy and Volcom; now it’s Tom Brady jerseys. (Fine – Mahomes jerseys.) We don’t want to appear superficial, but some of us are after the association and status that labels bring.
Why is that?
Do labels make a person? Do they define style? Can’t you have style at any price point? Do you wear the clothes, or do the clothes wear you?
Is it the quality that labels offer? Is it the association to the celebrity or athlete that matters? Is it a passion for expressing creativity through fashion? Is it a hunger for a certain type of reputation?
Whatever it is, it isn’t something new. Back in 1858, a very smart, self-promoting English fashion designer named Charles Frederick Worth started sewing labels into the clothing he designed. He quickly became a favorite of European royalty and wealthy, upper-class American women and eventually became known as the “father of haute couture.”
Mr. Worth didn’t know what he started when he sewed that first label into his clothing. Or maybe he did. Wearing a “designer label” became a thing more than 150 years ago, and it remains a status symbol among the socially ambitious.
Do you think that still applies today? Does it apply to you?
Silva Emerian is a city girl at heart, growing up in Boston before moving to California in 2001. With a long and varied background in fashion, she is a writer and editor, a self-proclaimed word nerd, and mom to Silas (FCHS grade 9) and James (FCMS grade 6). Shoes and chocolate make her world go ‘round.
If you have questions or topics you’d like to see addressed in this blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more from me at www.onmyshoebox.com.
For Silva’s previous blog, read Style Session, No. 8, 2019-20 – Remember
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