Once a Hippie Statement, Bell-Bottoms Are Now Back in Fashion
The denims are occupying store spaces, wardrobes and conversations once again.
Men perish, empires crumble, but clothes – they remain – their thick fabric a stubborn souvenir of a time gone by; ephemeral fashion of an era remaining its most visible testament forever. After all, what remains of the 1960s hippie movement if not for its psychedelic prints and swagger bell bottoms?
The denims that bear their origins in the nineteenth century are occupying store spaces, wardrobes and conversations once again – call it an outcome of the cyclicity of fashion or its preoccupation with certain decades of history.
How a Nautical Necessity Came to be Bell-Bottoms As We Know Them
Like all great fashions, bell-bottoms too bore nautical origins. They were first employed by the US Navy in the nineteenth century, mostly because the wide ends would inflate if a soldier fell overboard. And this new shape also suited them while doing industrial, messy work as they could simply be rolled up.
Bell-Bottoms: Amitabh Bachchan’s Savior
But it wasn’t until the counter-culture movement of the sixties that bell-bottoms were catapulted to being a symbol of alternative fashion. By the 1970s, they had become a mainstream sell out, and had even begun to be imported by Bollywood.
Amitabh Bachchan’s gangly legs found solace in these and made his a look one that lakhs of impressionable fans across the country wanted to imitate.
Neetu Singh, one of the biggest actresses of the time could also be seen adorned in these.
They Are Back
The flares have flattened with time. In the 90s, when bell-bottoms made a comeback, they were introduced as boot cuts with a few inches of their girth snipped off to make them more “accessible”.
This year, when two of the biggest Bollywood actors made appearances in bell-bottoms in quick succession, it was to be taken as a clarion call – asking all with-it people to buy them once again.
Social Media Has Been Seeing A Lot Of Them Too
To cater to the “fresh” demand, stores have been stocking bell-bottoms once again – for a generation whose only interaction with the original, rebellious hippies of the sixties has been digital, and for whom its nautical origins are probably no story.
Let’s rejoice at the new fashion now, shall we?
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