True Origins of 7 Disruptive World Fashion Trends

Throw Back Thursday is an opportunity to flood social media feeds with photos of moments that defined us. If you look closer, they also reveal fashion trends through time. From the beret to the slim fit jeans, every fashion trend (or fad) has its origins and a decisive trend-setting factor. Often times both don’t coincide. Today we look at 7 fashion trends that might have lost their roots.

1. Aloha shirt, Hawaii

The Hawaiian shirt owns its popularity to American tourism and Ellery Chun. Read this fine article about the man who reinvented the Aloha shirt. By the way, do you know the difference between the Hawaiian and the Aloha shirts? Hawaiian shirts, meant for exportation, have bright patterns of almost anything. Aloha shirts, worn by locals, feature tamer traditional flower and Polynesian patterns.

2. Miniskirt, UK

Thank Mary Quant and the UK for the liberation of the female legs and body. She introduced this raising of the hemlines in the 60s, a decade of change and revolutions. It soon became a symbol of feminism and female emancipation. Did you know that she named this fashion trend after her favorite car and not just the length of the skirt? Read everything about the fashion revolution that was the miniskirt.

3. Dr Martens, Germany

Yes Germany and not UK. Sure, it was Bill Griggs, a British shoemaker, who bought it into mainstream but it was a German who designed it! It became a symbol of the punk rebellious spirit. Since the 70s, DMs have accompanied everything from kilt skirts to suits. ‘A cognac bottle and a Dr. Martens boot’: a fashion trend was born.

4. The Panama hat, Ecuador

Render unto Ecuador what belongs to them since the seventeenth century. First made in straw, these hats became popular in the mid-nineteenth. The name is due to its point of international sale rather than its origins and Ecuadorians are not happy about that. It is probable the fashion trending clincher was its adoption by the American workers on the Panama Canal. Learn more about it here.

5. Denim, Italy or France?

First thought to be from Nimes (hence the name: de Nimes), it is possible that the material originates from Genoa, Italy. The ongoing debate involves art historians and designers. Regardless, the Denim Jeans are now part of the Americana culture.

6. Eyeliner, Egypt

The eyeliner was a fashion trend way before our era. Ancient Egyptians used it for aesthetic, practical, and religious purposes. Ever since, the cosmetic industry introduced different variations of color and form calling for different aesthetic effects. Today, the heavy use of the eyeliner is present in the Gothic and Punk fashion styles.

7. Keffiyeh, Iraq

It is probable that this accessory came from the city of Kufa (hence the name) rather than Palestine. As early as the 60s, Yasser Arafat sported the black and white version as a nationalism symbol. However, in the 80s and early 2K, it became a popular fashion accessory in the US and Japan. It is safe to say it is still a symbol of activism and counter-culture.

Now the fashion-conscious know where their pilgrimage should take them. What is your favorite fashion trend, item, or accessory?