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February 26, 1998 - Image 11

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-26

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12B Ahe Michigan Daily WeekId Magazine - Thursday, FAruary 26, 1998

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CHILDHOOD
Continued from Page 2B
lege. "There are more drugs, drinking
and 14-year-olds having sex."
Alyssa Brody, an LSA sophomore,
spent last summer working with 13-
year-olds at a summer camp. She
expressed concern about the change
in attitude of young adults.
"Young kids party now," Brody
said. "My 13-year-old campers are
already smoking pot."
Dave Jackson, an LSA sophomore,
said he thinks the '90s is riddled with
skepticism. "There was a lot of posi-
tive energy in the '80s," he said. "In
the '90s, it's more like, 'Nothing's
going to work, why even try?' My lit-
tle brother is in high school. He does-
n't see the point. It's easy to succumb
to that."
Carol Midgley, an associate
research scientist in the School of
Education, said life might not be as
bad as some students think.
"It almost seems as though in every
decade there is a nostalgia," said
Midgley, who said the '30s, '40s and
'50s have all been seen in a different
light. "Other people I know look back
on the '60s as great, when everything
was in ferment."
Midgley studied early adolescents
in Michigan in the '80s. Then, she
said, researchers "found a decline in

motivation and performance." Her
current research shows thatealthough
not all students are adequately chal-
lenged, school environments have
become more conducive to learning.
Eric Burnstein, a student at
Community High School, said the
challenges students face today are not
too different than before, and he
doubted that the decade characterized
by a notorious "War on Drugs" has a
more prevalent drug scene. "There
weren't drugs in the '70s?" Burnstein
asked.
Perceived changes in societal
behavior may just be relative.
"Diseases are more prevalent,"
Jackson said. "But it could be that
awareness is more prevalent."
And Brody said the same skepti-
cism haunts both generations.
"The '80s and '90s are similar
because there's nothing true to believe
in," Brody said. "The disillusionment
is the same; there's just a different
style."
Whether the '80s were truly a sim-
pler decade remains a question. And
in two years, students can begin com-
paring the '90s to the zeroes. A new
century and millennium are approach-
ing, bringing many more decades and
the potential for more nostalgia. But it
also brings the potential for change.
As Ann Arbor resident Scott Gravelle
said, "We're constantly evolving."

Fashion reels from '80s faux pas

By Diana Grossman
For the Daily
When we think of the '70s, strobe
lights, disco balls and John Travolta in a
white suit probably come to mind.
Having been toddlers (if that) in the
'70s, many of us tend to dismiss the
entire decade as one giant eyesore
belonging to our parents' generation.
Unfortunately, the '80s are not as easy to
escape. Fluorescent bows, rubber
bracelets, and a look reminiscent of the
Brat Pack plague our grade school pic-
tures. Can that be our fault? But we were
still young ... right?
So here we are in the '90s, thinking
we finally have this fashion thing down
to a science. "1 often wonder if we will
look back on the styles of today and
laugh 10 or 20 years from now," said
L SA senior Allison Teich. But no matter
how we eventually regard fashions of
the '90s, there is no doubt that they are a
change from - and perhaps an escape
from - those of the '80s.
Fashion has changed drastically over
the last 30 years. Nadja Gaeta of Ayla &
Co., a women's apparel boutique on
Main Street, said that "fashion has
changed and evolved over the last three
decades to suit the consumer's tastes and
demands."
"Designers can't dictate styles today
as in the past decades" Gaeta said.
"Rather, they must interpret new styles
in ways that somehow relate to peoples'
lives on a realistic level."
Although bright green nail polish still
plagues the University campus - along
with an enormous number of North
Face jackets whose colors resemble
those found in a pack of Life Savers -
there can be no denying that the general
trend of the '90s has been toward more
subdued, muted colors.
Ed Davidson, owner of Bivouac,
remembered how styles have changed
throughout his days in retail. "The '80s
were bigger, brighter, baggier and had
more bold geometric patterns,"
Davidson said. "Now we are back to
organic, muted colors and bell-bot-
toms."
Fashion, like all other art forms, has
not remained untouched by the chang-
ing society that encompasses it.
Theories abound as to why fashion
changes the way it does, why trends
evolve and then die out so abruptly.
Steven Francone, a Business senior,

Photo Mustration by ADRIANA YUGOVICH/Dady
'80s fashions like stonewashed jeans and high ponytails live on in our memories.

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said that the current trend toward earthi-
er colors can be best explained by
heightened environmental awareness.
"People are just now beginning to appre-
ciate the beauty of the Earth and imitate
its colors," Francone said.
Gaeta put forth another theory. She
said she has witnessed a move toward
more individual styles, which she attrib-
uted to women's entry into the work-
place.
"As more women went to work, fash-
ion followed suit to accommodate new
lifestyles and needs," Gaeta said.
But are today's fashion trends entirely
a reaction to and rebellion against the
'80s? Although there seems to be a gen-
eral consensus regarding color trends,
many followers of fashion believe that
current styles are anything but new.
Nicole Ozanich, retail manager of Rag-
O-Rama, gave her point of view:
"I really don't think fashion has
changed," she said. "Those styles have
been recycled in the '90s. They might be
modified, but they are basically the
same."
Davidson agreed, and attributed style
revival to a lack of fresh ideas in the
fashion world. "People are wearing a lot
of the same stuff. Fashion has come full
circle in 20 years,' he said.
Another influence on fashion trends

is music, as it has become increasingly
difficult to separate one from the other
on any level. Beginning with its first
video, "Video Killed the Radio Star.
MTV has basically dictated styles to its
public through videos, which often bear
a striking resemblance to models' run-
way shows. Obviously MTV is more
than aware of the power it possesses, as
it broadcasts such programs such as
"House of Style."
Does this mean that the '90s are not
about individuality? Are we mere pup-
pets of the media? Teich is more hopeful
than that, seeing the decade as a time for
style refinement. She described how
shoppers have sifted through the styles
of the past three decades and recycled
only those that somehow proved them-
selves worthy. The final result has been
a refinement of fashion -the necessary
and expected evolution of any art form.
It is possible to look to couture fash-
ions in magazines and runway shows as
an example of newness and individuali-
ty. The push toward androgyny certainly
can be used as a rebuttal to those who
believe fashion is only reliving its past.
Flipping through magazines, it can be
difficult to tell if an item was designed
for a man or woman, never mind trying
to assess the gender of the models in
advertisements.
But androgynous styles might not be
making if off the runway. Although
Ozanich does notice that both high
school boys and girls tend to buy big,
baggy clothing, she does not see any
general move toward androgynous
styles in her store. Davidson agreed,
adding that unisex styles are "not in our
store!"
Whether wobbling down the street in
platform shoes or skipping our way
across town in Birkenstocks, few on
campus live life trend-free. What the
future holds for fashion remains a mys-
tery. But there is no doubt that whether
we end up walking around the streets in
Star Trek suits or running down the-
street in our skivvies, we will look back
on the '90s - as we do at the '80s - as
a time of fashion crisis. But you just
may want to save a few of those pictures
you're taking - don't burn them all,

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