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Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Everyday Life

Clothing and Fashion

By Liz Arthur

Students' Ball With post-war economic growth came increasing consumerism in which fashion played an important part. Although initially there was emphasis on good grooming and lady-like fashions among couturiers, including Scots designer Ronald Paterson, there was a growing emphasis on youth fashions for the mass market. In addition, pop music and protest movements such as CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) gave impetus to alternative styles such as teddy boys, mods and rockers, adding diversity to the scene.

Black silk evening dress c 1972 By the mid 1960s the cult of youth was in full swing and, as elsewhere, Glasgow boutiques such as Marion Donaldson's in Gibson Street were supplying one-off mini-skirts and dresses. In contrast hippie counter-culture adopted ethnic styles encouraging a revival in the second hand clothes market and more flamboyance in mens wear.

Princes Square As in every other European city a wide range of fashions can be found at any one time, however throughout the 20th century there was a particular attitude to fashion in Glasgow. Perhaps it was a matter of pride at times of economic depression or to do with dressing up to have a good time. Whatever the reasons, during the 1970s fashion's importance was recognised and has since played a significant role in the city's revival with the development of shopping centres such as Princes Square, the Italian Centre and Buchanan Galleries. The enthusiasm for stylish dressing continues and today more money is spent on clothes in Glasgow than in any other city in Britain and, London apart, there are more designer outlets than elsewhere.

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