Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Remembering the 1970s

I went to a 1970s theme birthday party at the weekend. The birthday girl was born in that decade (in the latter half) hence the theme.

I naively thought a stripey shirt and possibly flairs would suffice.

Imagine my feelings then when I was met by the birthday girl's husband in a John Travolta outfit and a friend in a large afro wig !

A procession of almost clown like suits, sequinned shirts and mirror sunglasses followed !

I felt suitably humbled standing there in my shirt and trousers. I tried to forget my "conservative" appearance drawing occassional comfort from a small band of fellow "70s realists" who hadn't appreciated the full sterotype of what that decade was really about.

Anyway suffice to say I didn't let my clothes bother me and had a good time all the same.

However it did raise the question of exactly where did the stereotype of afro wigs, multicoloured suits and outrageous flairs come from ? I guess they all happened somewhere at some time but certainly not in the town I was born. I can hardly remember the 70s but the family photos from middle England do not reveal anything too exotic from the 1970s.

Makes me wonder how the next generation will be stereotyping the "noughties" in 30 years time. It all seems so "normal" right now, that I fail to see how anyone could make a theme out of 2006. However maybe that's what they thought in 1976 ! "Normal" is a relative concept I guess- at least when it comes to clothes and fashion.


Anonymous said...

I don't think these sort of themed parties are meant to be accurate representations of fashions at the time! They are just a chance to stretch the imagination and have a laugh dressing up - i.e. the more outrageous the costume the better, not the most historically accurate! In the same way if you went to a 'normal' character fancy dress party you are unlikely to dress like your next door neighbour, or the milkman, even though they represent the majority of real characters in the real world, instead you pick a 'character' that is recognisable because they stand out, because they are 'different' or, most likely, a well known fictional character.

So I wouldn't worry that in years to come people will really believe that in the 'noughties' we all looked like Jordan or wore Christina Aguilera's skimpy chaps or acted like Borat - it's just that certain styles, events or characters will simply become SYMBOLIC of a time. And they certainly won't be the same as the key historic styles , events and characters that will stand the test of time in the history books. So don't worry Luis!

Luis said...

OK thanks anonymous !

I will try not to take these events too seriously.

Just an education for me in order to avoid being the odd one out at future events !