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FastFreddy2

Shiny - PVC - big for AW2017

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Being cynical, it might be true to look at any style during the last 5 years or so, and conclude there was/is always some 'retro' vibe being pushed somewhere. Always it seems to me, the 60's retro has an undertone somewhere, be it length, colour, and often a slight nod in style.

It would be true to say I missed most of the 1960's being ever-so-slightly young to realise what ground-breaking changes were happening (I'd nothing to compare it to), so it pretty much passed me by. If ever anyone wanted to point at the greatest time of social mobility, the 1960's would be the era that should be mentioned before any other.

The post-war, post austerity period saw expansion and curiosity not seen since the glory days of Prince Albert in the 19th Century. As the song went in the 60's, "the times they are a changing" and indeed they did.

 

If a large group of people were collected together, and they could mention one thing that made them think of the 60's, I would expect a great many would suggest PVC clothing. Yes, haircut would be in there, winkle-picker and or Chelsea boots, but many would proffer PVC. This year, 2017 is THE big year/season for PVC. It maybe that Balmain (amongst others) pushed it first, and it may even have been toward the end of last year, but mainstream designers/manufacturers/retailers have produced low cost, wearable PVC-esque clothing and shoes/boots in a very wearable material - this year. It has all the immediate benefits - shiny + vivid hues - which show off shape, but is much thinner than older similar materials, and is very very stretchy.  In some ways, it adequately replaces latex, at about a quarter of the cost (or less), with none of the skill needed to produce an outfit, or the level of care needed to look after it long term. While this style of material may not be particularly innovative - (I had womens outfits made for me in it 30 years ago at 'Midnight Lady' - then based in Luton), there are skin tight PVC clothing styles available in just about every high street brand, and certainly every mail order one. I am (pleasantly) surprised at how many stores currently have black shiny/patent/PVC ankle boots in their ranges this season. 

While there is already a  thread regarding shiny (PVC) leggings,  this thread is a 'style' reference to anything PVC/latex/shiny related as a fashion or style statement. I don't want to have a thread in the outfit section and a virtual duplicate in the shoes section. If there is any more 'legging' related pictures to be added, I will likely add them here. Unlike any other time when retro is exploited, this season if feels like PVC/shiny truly is. B) I am trying to buy loads of the stuff. ;) It's hard work when you're on the sort of budget I have (not much) and a body with very slim legs .... But nothing ventured .... 

Pictures and links to start following soon. :)  

 

Edited by FastFreddy2

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Good thread! 

I know the PVC on the Topshop Jamie jeans is certainly very stretchy, but also quite thick and luxurious. It is proper PVC, but much nicer you know what I mean - high quality, not cheap thin tat.

PVC certainly does have a 60s vibe - but also a 90s vibe, when it was in vogue then (although that too may have been a fond looking back at the 60s)

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19 hours ago, FastFreddy2 said:

Being cynical, it might be true to look at any style during the last 5 years or so, and conclude there was/is always some 'retro' vibe being pushed somewhere. Always it seems to me, the 60's retro has an undertone somewhere, be it length, colour, and often a slight nod in style.

It would be true to say I missed most of the 1960's being ever-so-slightly young to realise what ground-breaking changes were happening (I'd nothing to compare it to), so it pretty much passed me by. If ever anyone wanted to point at the greatest time of social mobility, the 1960's would be the era that should be mentioned before any other.

The post-war, post austerity period saw expansion and curiosity not seen since the glory days of Prince Albert in the 19th Century. As the song went in the 60's, "the times they are a changing" and indeed they did.

 

If a large group of people were collected together, and they could mention one thing that made them think of the 60's, I would expect a great many would suggest PVC clothing. Yes, haircut would be in there, winkle-picker and or Chelsea boots, but many would proffer PVC.

...

Having the advantage (?) of age, the 1960s are perhaps more deeply etched in my memory and certainly remain very vivid.   I started grammar school in 1960 and travelled daily into and around West London so saw for myself how fashion was developing.   What I observed in the first half of that decade (before flower power and hippies spoiled everything) was imho a golden era and has influenced me ever since.   If only I had been (say) 10 years older and truly able to participate in everything typical of that period and not merely to observe it!   [Offers of a time machine set to, say, 1962 gratefully considered.]

I don't think of the 60s as notably a 'PVC era', although I agree that it emerged as a component of everyday fashion, particularly during the latter part of the decade.   Yes, shiny PVC jackets and coats were seen in the early 60s, complementing beehives, stilettos, pencil skirts and fishnets - a sort of 'French Tart' look (which was not appreciated by everyone, obviously), but it was only when mini skirts had become mainstream that I recall PVC becoming a more general fashion material, notably including the 'go go' knee-length boots.    My impression is that PVC (and certainly shiny PVC) has usually been seen as a cheap (in both senses) substitute for leather and, unlike leather, is not really a mainstream fashion item, even now, and certainly not for men.   But maybe I will be proved wrong ...

 

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2 hours ago, Puffer said:

I don't think of the 60s as notably a 'PVC era', although I agree that it emerged as a component of everyday fashion, particularly during the latter part of the decade. 

No-one said or inferred the 60's were the PVC era, but ask anyone (else) about the 60's, and The Beatles, Mary Quant, Biba, Vidal Sassoon, mini-skirts, Twiggy and PVC will come up in the conversation. Fortunately I have (and had) women friends who were also around at the time. Whenever PVC is mentioned, so is the 60's. 

I've been interested in fashion since I was about 14. I used to hang around with people who studied at the London College of Fashion. I used to go to fashion shows of their graduates. In the mind of anyone passingly interested in fashion, they will (or should) treat PVC and the late 60's in the same way most people perceive a horse and cart, bread and jam, Bill and Ben.   

 

PVC%20pic%201.jpg

 

Before the 1960’s, plastic fabrications were only really used for protective clothing and raincoats. But PVC as a fashion fabric became synonymous with the 60’s, through the work of French designers Pierre Cardin and André Courrèges. Their futuristic shapes and colour blocked styles were widely copied and seen in films and on TV in programmes like The Avengers. The picture above is Rachel Welsh wearing Pierre Cardin and photographed by Terry O'Neill in 1967. In the mid 1970's black PVC made a comeback as part of the punk uniform for the shock value of its fetishistic connotations.

 

I am not the author of this article, it's a Trade page about the fabric.

Edited by FastFreddy2

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Yes, let’s not forget Emma Peel and The Avengers when it came to popularising PVC, along with the aforementioned designers. The 60s were certainly the age when PVC came onto the scene, and did so in a big way.

Unlike Puffer I quite liked the flower power/hippie era. Loved it in fact. 

But of course hippies were not into PVC. Different fashion culture altogether.

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13 minutes ago, Shyheels said:

Unlike Puffer I quite liked the flower power/hippie era. Loved it in fact. 

But of course hippies were not into PVC. Different fashion culture altogether.

In the town where I grew up, that era was strongly associated with drugs. Lots and lots of them. In fact a neighbour (playboy) used to get visits just about every month from the boys in blue. And actually disappeared for a couple of months once. Funny, I can still remember his name, and I doubt I've heard it mentioned for 40-45 years. I wonder if he survived that period? 

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Sure, there were drugs around, but it was not obligatory. You didn’t have to get involved with that sort of thing. It was personal choice, then as now. It was an era of rebellion and experimentation and that came in many guises. Drugs received a great deal of attention, because of the illegality and risk aspects, but experimentation with colour, fashion, gender fluidity, alternate lifestyles, music, literature etc were a far bigger and more transformative part of hippie culture.

Edited by Shyheels

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10 hours ago, FastFreddy2 said:

No-one said or inferred the 60's were the PVC era, but ask anyone (else) about the 60's, and The Beatles, Mary Quant, Biba, Vidal Sassoon, mini-skirts, Twiggy and PVC will come up in the conversation. Fortunately I have (and had) women friends who were also around at the time. Whenever PVC is mentioned, so is the 60's. 

I've been interested in fashion since I was about 14. I used to hang around with people who studied at the London College of Fashion. I used to go to fashion shows of their graduates. In the mind of anyone passingly interested in fashion, they will (or should) treat PVC and the late 60's in the same way most people perceive a horse and cart, bread and jam, Bill and Ben.   

...

You originally wrote:   'If a large group of people were collected together, and they could mention one thing that made them think of the 60's, I would expect a great many would suggest PVC clothing. Yes, haircut would be in there, winkle-picker and or Chelsea boots, but many would proffer PVC.'

The 1960s was very much a game of two roughly equal halves, as I well remember.   You rather implied it was all one era.   Winkle-pickers, Chelsea boots (and stilettos) gave way mid-decade to Mary Quant, mini skirts and (I agree) PVC.   That was quite a divide as hair got longer, skirts got shorter and heels got lower.   I know which half I preferred!

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1 hour ago, Puffer said:

The 1960s was very much a game of two roughly equal halves, as I well remember.   You rather implied it was all one era.   Winkle-pickers, Chelsea boots (and stilettos) gave way mid-decade to Mary Quant, mini skirts and (I agree) PVC.   That was quite a divide as hair got longer, skirts got shorter and heels got lower.   I know which half I preferred!

Given the social changes of the 1960's (actually around 1962 to 1973/4) I would suggest PVC in the great scheme of things played a minor part. In the context of this thread, which almost completely avoids mentioning the vast social changes, I'm surprised you would think I might "suggest" the only thing of any importance during that time was PVC? Not the case.

It may be that the women I know/have known possess similar style interests as mine, and that may well have crystallised my views on fashion regarding that period when shared with them. (Meaning we all liked the same styles - excluding others.)  But as the article makes plain - the 60's and the advent of PVC as a fashion item - synonymous to many of us. My intent, was to do nothing more.

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8 hours ago, Shyheels said:

Sure, there were drugs around, but it was not obligatory. You didn’t have to get involved with that sort of thing. It was personal choice, then as now. It was an era of rebellion and experimentation and that came in many guises.

While in principle that was/is true, when many around you were taking drugs, the 'new class' of media personality (pop stars) were constantly being arrested and claiming they'd been on drugs (LSD man), it was for a time, part of the process of growing up. No different in the eyes of many, to taking up smoking. Availability in my town, meant there were few barriers to getting onto hard stuff in short order. I missed it, but as a previous post (Mr Reaper) reveals, it might have been a close call. My experience suggests the only sure way to avoid 'falling' into the drugs trap, is to never try them. Which would be my advice to young people - which I'm pretty sure would be completely ignored:huh:

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That’s true, avoidance is best.

I attended a rather privileged liberal arts university in America in the 1970s where hippie culture was rampant and while there was a lot of pot around the campus, there were also plenty of people, myself included, who had nothing to do with drug culture but were certainly into all the other aspects of hippiedom. 

My girlfriend at the time was quite into pot culture, but she respected my leanings and never pressured me at all. And of course I respected her lifestyle too. Really nice girl - a very bohemian theatre type. Works in a bank now...

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9 hours ago, FastFreddy2 said:

Given the social changes of the 1960's (actually around 1962 to 1973/4) I would suggest PVC in the great scheme of things played a minor part. In the context of this thread, which almost completely avoids mentioning the vast social changes, I'm surprised you would think I might "suggest" the only thing of any importance during that time was PVC? Not the case.

It may be that the women I know/have known possess similar style interests as mine, and that may well have crystallised my views on fashion regarding that period when shared with them. (Meaning we all liked the same styles - excluding others.)  But as the article makes plain - the 60's and the advent of PVC as a fashion item - synonymous to many of us. My intent, was to do nothing more.

What makes you now say that I inferred that you might suggest that PVC was all-important, at some time in the 1960s or otherwise?  You merely said that many people would associate the 1960s with PVC.   Maybe so, but the 1960s as a whole was a very varied decade in fashion terms (and of course otherwise) and the advent of PVC but one fashion 'landmark', and then largely in the latter half.   There were many other notable and popular fashion developments in the 60s - with the mini-skirt a strong contender for that with the biggest impact.   

Let's leave it there.   You clearly have more enthusiasm and regard for PVC than I do.   Your choice!

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1 hour ago, Puffer said:

Let's leave it there.   You clearly have more enthusiasm and regard for PVC than I do.   Your choice!

Of course it's my choice?

You've already confirmed you are disinterested in anything other that the clothes you are comfortable wearing, so my interest in any clothing/fashion is going to surpass yours.  Me liking 'fetish' materials (leather/latex/PVC) for the suggested naughtiness of them - with their historic ability to enhance the female form, a matter of record. Here, and almost any conversation I've had with girlfriends/friends/family about sex and clothing for well over 40 years, has included references to them too. Even in my early 20's, I had a close friend who would try to scare girlfriends and potential girlfriends of mine, by telling them I was into the 'bondage scene and rubber gear'. While it taken by many as a joke, it opened conversations -and doors- for me. B)  

 

My opening statement said there were many things associated with the 60's. One of which (since this thread isn't about winkle pickers nor haircuts) would be PVC. ANYONE with any interest at all in fashion, (for the purposes of my statement to mean women's clothing) could not ignore the arrival of a new and exciting material in the 60's. Not since the commercial availability of "nylons" in 1940, had so much interest occurred in an innovative material to be used and exploited. 

50 years on (from the 60's), I doubt there is a woman in this country who doesn't own PU (the modern incarnation of PVC) or PVC based; clothing, bag, purse or shoes in one variant or the other. Not only clothing, but but possibly furniture coverings, vehicle upholstery, and cutlery. It's hard to estimate the effect of PVC arriving, has had on us all, but "small", it isn't. 

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It is quite true. PVC was considered quite an exciting new material at the time. We forget with the passage of time and the roller coaster ride of fashion. But in the mid 60s PVC was very trendy. It came in many colours and there was much less of a fetish connotation - although it was still seen as sexy. 

Today us has far more fetish connotations and I think that connotations tend to colour the popular recollections of PVC in fashion. 

The same as thigh boots when they hit the fashion world, circa 1962, were seen as sexy and slightly theatrical - not hooker wear. Not straight away, anyway. It took Pretty Woman to cement that view in the popular imagination. 

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Yet again my carefully-worded statements are misinterpreted.   You should not assume that my interest in (or knowledge of) 'fashion' extends no further than the items I personally might wear, or like to wear.   Like you, I have been an interested 'observer' since childhood; unlike you I have however not studied fashion in depth nor become involved in fetish wear.   

I willingly accept that PVC became an important fashion item from the mid-60s - but not imho (from observation) the major development of that vibrant decade or at any other time.   It was certainly not the principal fashion innovation in the 60s or worn almost universally by women of all persuasions.   The subsequent widespread use of PVC (or PU etc) for a variety of fashion or household purposes has no bearing on the original assertion of PVC's '1960s landmark status'.

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Sure, PVC was not the major fashion innovation of the decade - but then one really could not claim that distinction for any one fabric or design. In broader terms PVC was one of several man-made "space age" fabrics that became fashionable in the mid-60s to early 70s, and if you look on the V&A's page on 60s fashions you see it mentioned fairly high up and in association with many leading designers of the day

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10 hours ago, Shyheels said:

It is quite true. PVC was considered quite an exciting new material at the time. We forget with the passage of time and the roller coaster ride of fashion. But in the mid 60s PVC was very trendy. It came in many colours and there was much less of a fetish connotation - although it was still seen as sexy. 

Today us has far more fetish connotations and I think that connotations tend to colour the popular recollections of PVC in fashion. 

The same as thigh boots when they hit the fashion world, circa 1962, were seen as sexy and slightly theatrical - not hooker wear. Not straight away, anyway. It took Pretty Woman to cement that view in the popular imagination. 

I think 'shiny' materials are much less fetishistic currently, than they were say 30 years ago. Certainly over the last 3-4 years, latex and PVC-esque clothing has become mainstream. I would suggest the recent wave of PVC/shiny clothing, piggy backs on the recent pleather/faux leather surge. Styles over a short period have gone from a leather-look, to an increasingly shiny type, finally arriving at the 'wet look' (aka polished latex - wet ink) style. And why not? A PU dress in 'shiny' comes in at £20. A latex dress comes in at a tad over £100. A leather equivalent,  starts at double that.

If ever I escape the debate on PVC being associated with the innovations of the 60's, I'll be demonstrating what's out there at the moment....

 

3 hours ago, Puffer said:

I willingly accept that PVC became an important fashion item from the mid-60s - but not imho (from observation) the major development of that vibrant decade or at any other time.   It was certainly not the principal fashion innovation in the 60s or worn almost universally by women of all persuasions.   The subsequent widespread use of PVC (or PU etc) for a variety of fashion or household purposes has no bearing on the original assertion of PVC's '1960s landmark status'.

This is what's known as a "straw man" argument, where one debater is pursuing a line in a completely different direction to the original point. At no time have I claimed the defining moment of the 60's was PVC clothing, which is what you KEEP saying is my point. NOT SO.

I have said, PVC is associated with the 60's along with many other things, and that in a conversion (about that era), it almost certainly come  up as a topic of conversation. I even provided a link to show there is universal support of that notion. PVC and the 60's, horse and cart, bread and jam, Bill and Ben.

WITHOUT DOUBT - following on from that, PVC/PU has become a part of out life in inestimable ways. (As before, bags, clothing, purses etc etc.) To deny the role of plastics in fashion seems a bit disingenuous, even if you don't happen to like it.  

 

2 hours ago, Shyheels said:

Sure, PVC was not the major fashion innovation of the decade - but then one really could not claim that distinction for any one fabric or design. In broader terms PVC was one of several man-made "space age" fabrics that became fashionable in the mid-60s to early 70s, and if you look on the V&A's page on 60s fashions you see it mentioned fairly high up and in association with many leading designers of the day

Absolutely right.

The mini skirt for women, and long hair for men were probably the two major style changes of that decade, both of which still rumble on today. I haven't looked, but one of the notable innovations of that time (as shown on Tomorrows World - probably by the great Raymond Baxter) was a metal dress. If I remember, made from titanium from the (then recently) cancelled TSR2.  A style that never caught on because of cost and probably comfort (lack thereof).

 

And as a final word on the "debate" (which was never requested or wanted) I maintain the view that when mentioning PVC the 60's are undoubtedly associated with that time. Or indeed when talking about innovations/fashion/styles of the 60's, be that mini skirts and long hair on men, I would be surprised if PVC clothing didn't form part of the recollections of the time. (Very surprised.)

I think this thread is so soured by "debate", I'm going to consider it dead. 

If I start another thread, please readers, either say something positive, or use your energy elsewhere. I thank you. 

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