Last week, I was at a funeral where a friend was giving a eulogy for her mother who was recently deceased. It was full of wonderful memories and she mentioned how her mother had been very up-to-date with fashion. It got me thinking about my younger days, growing up in England and the fashion trends that were iconic at the time - you know, those wonderful fashions where you look back and say to yourself: “what the heck was I thinking?”
In Reading, near London where I lived in England, you are literally surrounded by fashion; it’s very difficult to go into a store and buy anything except the fashion of the day. For example, when polkadots are in, forget finding anything else - polkadots will be in all colours, everywhere. I wouldn’t even be surprised if there were polkadot knickers!
Now, one thing about fashion: when you decide to wear the latest fashion, MAKE SURE there is no one with a camera who will be taking photos of you because those photographs are sure to haunt you in years to come. When you hear a “CLICK”, you know that you have been captured forever in time and at some inappropriate time in your future, you will be seeing that photograph again.
Well, when I was eleven years old the fashion was “HOT PANTS! ” And could I ever rock “hot pants”.. ..or at least I thought I could.
I was attending a cousin’s wedding and decided to wear my new floral light-pink hot pants avec light-pink floral long-tailed jacket to the ceremony and reception... need I say more? Photos galore and eternal embarrassment forever captured on celluloid. Weddings have A LOT of people with cameras!!! CLICK!
Once when I was wearing my dark-blue bibbed hot pants, a perverted old man pulled alongside the bus stop where I was waiting and asked if I wanted a ride! That brought the hot pants era to an abrupt end and I banished them from my wardrobe.
Then there were platform shoes, which have recently made a big comeback. These were not ordinary platforms.. no, in England we had the wedge platform. My father took one look and said it looked like I had a walking problem, he was genuinely worried I would fall. However, they were incredibly comfortable.. I could even work up to a brisk run and, besides, Gary Glitter and all the mod bands were wearing them. CLICK!
My next fashion statement was the smock top. HUGE in England.. . unfortunately, not quite as popular where I went on vacation in California when I was 15 years old. My sister, Gayle, was mortified when her friends started to whisper to her, very discreetly behind their hands, was I pregnant?! CLICK.. another photo for the collection!
Bellbottoms, maxi and midi dresses, chain link belts, denim jumpsuits, chokers, I was the Reading, England, Cher- Wannabe of the fashion world.
I’m very happy to report that punk rock was coming in as I was leaving England for Canada and that era never made it into my fashion collection.
I look back and laugh. It was fun to wear the latest trend... and be in the “IN CROWD” and don’t even get me started on my fashionable hairdos!
I still try to make a statement with shoes and boots.. my bubble gum pink pumps with steel heels made a splash at an AIDS Fundraiser! Hmm.. maybe I will put something spectacular together for this Fall’s British Columbia Positive Living Society’s Vancouver AIDS Walk. Have the cameras ready! CLICK!