Page 8-Saturday, March 15, 1980-The Michigan Daily
The Michigan Daily-Satu
From a battlecry of defiant unpredict
By BRAD BENJAMIN
It began simply enough in the 1940s
with the war. At first all young men
(and a good number of women) dressed
the same way in Army iniforms. But
after the uniforms departed for such
exotic ports as Guadalcanal, the few
young men who conspicuously
remained beind found themselves the
victims of numerous snide comments
which emanated from patriotic
"Hey, whatsa matter wid ya? Why
aintchya out fightin' wid de rest o' de
boys? Y a scared or sumthin'?"
Survival by retaliation-that was the
answer. From the clutches of despair, a
new phenomenon took root: Student
The war brought on the Big Bands
and the BigBands brought on shoudler
pads and dresses slit up to there. For
the first time in history, the fashion
world was paying attention to the col-
lege student as a source of innovation.
As the forties melted into the fifties,
the establishment attempted to find a
cause for this perverse behavior. Men
were packing their bodies into snake-
skin leather pants and replacing the
Brooks Brothers pin-stripe with the T-
shirt. Women wore dungarees and
indulged in eye shadow. Men had duck
Former hippie Brad Benjamin
fondly remembers the days he spent
in Haight-Ashbury in San Fran-
asses and women had bee hive bubbles.
The Vietnam War made students
vociferous and volatile. They were now
fighting for the cause.' As their
political views became radical, so did
their clothes. After all, students
couldn't scream, "Up against the wall
motherhumper or I'll shove this peace
sign down your throat," while dressed
in penny-loafers and skinny ties. So,
students sought an 'underground' look.
Drugs inspired. Timothy Leary
inspired. The Mod Squad inspired.
Kids didn't shower and shave for weeks
(hoping to avoid the draft). Be groovy.
Be hip. Let it all hang out.
Perhaps the greatest influence of the
times was to come from those Lads
from Liverpool, the Beatles. As
individuals, each Beatle made his own
impressions on the fashion world.
John's partiality to combat fatigues
nearly tripled the mail-order business
for Army/Navy stores. Ringo's color
blindness influenced thousands to
purchase red and green paisley suits.
But George was the shrewd one. Before
returning from his religious
pilgrimmage in the Himalayas, George
bought every Nehru jacket he could
find. Within six months, everyone
wanted one (even Dick Martin wore one
on Laugh-In). Eventually, students
dropped this fad in post-mortem
respect for Paul, and George sold the
rest of his stock as busboy uniforms to
the Hilton Hotel chain.
The end of the sixties and early
seventies ushered in a new fashion era
in the country, as "earth" clothes
appeared on the scene-literally. To
achieve that "lived-in" look, students
buried their clothes in their backyards
and reclaimed them in the spring. This
... To a whisper of style
By NICK KATSARELAS
"What is hamburger?" asks the man
in the A-1 Steak Sauce television
"What is inflation?" asks Jimmy
Carter, who is said to be our president.
"WHAT IS fashionable?" asks the
curious college student. Fashion, you
know, is all in the description.
Example: what are the nouveau-riche
drinking these days? "A fine beverage
created in the glorious time of King
Frederick VIII, it is a magnificent
drink made with rich and natural
ingredients and minerals, stirring the
senses with the thundering
reverberance of its presence. After
dinner, sit back with a glass of it and
enjoy its rich aroma and taste." (I
mean, what's so great about describing
Perrier water as "Sparkling Water"?)
Those reporters with a passion for
1920s journalism have had lots of fun
describing a recent-celebrity divorce
trial in fashion-style:
See THE, Page t t
Our new Spring and
Summer Clothing and
Furnishings are now ready.
Shop early for the best selec-
tions of sport coats and slacks.
Sport coats and slacks in both
plain and pattern fabrics.
Tailored in blends
of wool & polyester
and cotton & poly-
326 S. State _ Ann Arbor