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A hundred years of fashion - part 2

Madonna's corset, image courtesy of Brandon Carson via Wikimedia Commons

Part one of our history of fashion moments took us up to the 80s; this week we'll be looking at the last 26 years and all the wacky fashion statements that have happened. We have moved past the time where women were fighting to wear whatever they want, and now we're in a period where women use clothes to express themselves and what they stand for. It’s going to be a fun ride!

Madonna’s cone corset (1990)

There is no way we could write a list of iconic fashion moments and not include Madonna somewhere on it. The moment that stands out above all else has to be her pink cone bra corset which she debuted in Japan on her first stop of the Blonde Ambition tour.

The corset itself was designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, and took inspiration from 50s lingerie and the fashion statements of the 80s of wearing underwear as outerwear. It is this outfit that has highlighted Madonna as a performer comfortable with her own sexuality.

As further proof of this outfit’s legacy, in 2012 the corset sold for $52,000 (roughly £39,000)!

Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress (1997)

The 90s were well known for bringing to phrase ‘Girl Power’ to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and no band did more to encourage this than the Spice Girls.

While all the members of the girl group wore iconic outfits, it is probably Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress, which she wore at the 1997 BRIT Awards that is most commonly remembered. Featuring a British flag emblazoned on the front, and a peace sign on the back, this dress became the icon of Cool Britannia. It was so iconic that the dress was remade in 2007, and Geri Halliwell even launched a clothing line based on the design in 2012!

JLo’s plunge neck dress (2000)

We’re not sure we can call Jennifer Lopez’s green Versace dress from the 42nd Grammy Awards a full-piece of clothing, and it is because of how risqué it was that it stood out as an historic fashion moment!

The dress was made from sheer silk chiffon and decorated with bamboo and tropical leaf patterns which plunged past JLo’s navel, with a back to the gown that showed off the singer’s legs. The dress was talked about because it seemed to defy gravity, and looked like it was a light breeze away from flying away.

It was this dress that led Donatella Versace to become a big name in fashion following the death of her brother, and also the creation of Google’s image search!

Bjork's swan dress, image courtesy of Cristiano Del Ricco via Wikimedia Commons

Bjork’s swan dress (2001)

Icelandic singer Björk is well-known for being a bit out-there stylistically. Proof of that came in 2011 during the 73rd Academy Awards when she walked the red carpet wearing a swan carcass.

Thankfully, for animal-lovers and lovers of taste, the swan was of course fake, but the outrageousness of it was something rarely seen before – red carpet outfits had been risqué before, you only have to look above to the entry about Jennifer Lopez to see that, but there hadn’t been anything so borderline ridiculous.

Unsurprisingly, the outfit was extremely polarising, but it definitely cemented Björk’s position as the oddball of the music world.

Lady Gaga’s meat dress (2010)

An iconic outfit has to be several things: fashionable, unique, and since 2010, delicious.

Lady Gaga wore a dress made entirely of raw beef designed by Franc Fernandez at the 2010 VMAs, and while Björk’s swan dress was deemed acceptable by animal rights groups, this one definitely wasn’t!

It takes guts to wear something outlandish, even more so when the material isn’t one typically used to make clothing! Whatever you think of the dress, it certainly highlighted Lady Gaga as a unique voice in fashion. The dress was so popular that it has since been preserved by taxidermists and features in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Our brief tour over the last 100 years of fashion has now come to end. Did we miss an iconic outfit that you love? If so, let us know on Facebook or Twitter, and as always, our range of beautiful handbags are available online so that you can have your own fashion moment.

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