Denim Shorts: A Brief History of the Daisy Dukes

Daisy Duke denim shorts are a vintage fashion staple, but when did they become so popular? Have a read through this week's "Brief History..." to learn Daisy Dukes shorts' origin and how it became such a summer essential... An infamous shoot of Debbie Harry at Coney Island in 1977, shot by Bob Gruen, sealed her place as a style icon; mixing New York punk and her own rebelliously sexy styling. The original Daisy Duke, named after the character of the same name in The Dukes of Hazzard (1979), caused hormones to rage as she cruised around in her Jeep and worked as a waitress in the local hangout 'The Boar's Nest'. Throughout the '70s & '80s, Lemmy from Motörhead was famed for wearing arguably the shortest shorts a man can sport without breaking public decency laws! Guns'n'Roses front man Axl Rose made Daisy Duke jean shorts cool for men to wear and appealing for women to look at through the high point of '90s slacker rock. In 2003, Beyonce launched herself as a solo force to be reckoned with. In her 'Crazy In Love' video the Duke was reborn for a new generation... Shop all denim shorts here 

A Brief History Of... The Paper Dress

A little ripple of excitement travelled through Beyond Retro HQ this week. Why might you ask? Well, our amazing sourcing team found an original 1960s paper dress (tag and all!); it's now being safely stored in the Beyond Retro vintage archive. This little gem is very rare as you probably might have already guessed, not many lived past 1969, you know with the whole being made of paper thing... capture_175 The sixties signalled exciting changes in pop culture, music, art and of course… fashion! In the '60s fashion became fast, fun and affordable, the artifice and prestige that had previously surrounded the production and purchase of fashion gave way to a new breed of consumer, hip young things who had some disposable income and wanted to spend it! capture_178 The paper dress characterises this fast, fun and affordable attitude within 60’s fashion. Paper clothes and accessories had been around since the 19th century but it was the American Scott Paper Company that first mass-produced paper fashion in 1966 as part of a marketing stunt. Customers could send in a coupon and $1.25 to receive a dress made of "Dura-Weve". “Dura Weave” is a cellulose based material, which had been patented in 1958. The dresses of course had their many pitfalls they ripped, you couldn’t wash them, and there was the distinct possibility of being turned into a human fireball if you per chance dropped your cigg on yourself - talk about disposable fashion. capture_177 The 1960s paper dresses were often covered in bright, colourful psychedelic and floral patterns. The king of consumer art, Andy Warhol, of course got in on the trend, creating a design based on his famous Campbell's soup can print. capture_176 There was a resurgence of the paper dress trend in the 1990’s. Throughout this decade designers such as Hussein Chalayan and Sarah Caplan (of the company MPH) experimented with Tyvek technology to create a washable, tear poof, water resistant and recyclable paper clothing. Bjork wore one of Hussein Chalayan’s paper jackets trimmed with signature airmail stripes for her Post album cover in 1995. bjork post Hussein Chalayan, Airmail Dress, 1999 This partnering of fashion and technology typifies much of the excitement that surrounded the concepts of sustainable fashion and technology at the turn of the millennium. Perhaps, it was (and still is) the 1990’s rebellious answer to the fast fashion of the 1960’s.

A Brief History of... Fringe Benefits

Fringe has made numerous comebacks over the past few decades, and the tassel has once again shimmied its way back into the fashion spotlight. Designers such as Elie Saaab, Versace, Rodarte and Bottega Veneta all featured some variation of the tassel in their SS13 collections. Fringe fashion history highlights included Rodarte's fringed rock star leathers in jewel tones and Versace's metallic glitzy little tasselled numbers. Looking for something similar? Find some similar styles with this summer top and this vintage dress Baz Luhrmann’s hugely anticipated adaptation of The Great Gatsby hits cinema theatres next month (are you excited? I know we are!), and of course everything tasselled, beaded and feathered is back and bang on trend. One of the most iconic styles of the Gatsbian decade was perhaps the fringed Charleston dress. The garment takes its name from the popular 1920’s dance of the same name. Some of the most noted actresses of this period were fans of fringed dresses, from Joan Crawford to Claudette Colbert; tassels were draped, glitzed and decorated to create glamorous cocktail dresses. Check out a brief history of fringe and our edit of 1920's Great Gatsby inspired pieces here flapper dress 1920's Tasselled Flapper Dress (image courtesy of Designers of the decade such as Madeleine Vionnet and British designer Charles Worth pioneered the trend. In 1927 Worth created a jazzy little number in fine silvery tasselled tinsel and Vionnet utilized a dramatic floral print and long sweeping fringe into her 1924 designs.   The trend resurfaced again in the 1950's when fringe appeared on none other than the king of rock and roll, Elvis Presley. His fringed leather jackets attracted a legion of copycat enthusiasts. In the 1960’s fringe returned to its original roots and took on a Native American influence. Originally Native Americans put fringing onto the bottom of their sleeves and jackets to help prevent rain droplets from soaking through (well whaddya know). '60s celebs such as Twiggy, Jane Shrimpton, Penelope Tree, Sonny and Cher, were all fans of fringed clothes that had a Native American feel to them. elvis Elvis Presley Fringe Jacket in 1973 (image courtesy of native american Traditional Native American Jacket (image courtesy of Jean shrimpton Jean Shrimpton in 1960's Vogue (image courtesy of Bohemian belles and fellas of the 1970's adopted fringed suede to offset gypsy dresses and hippy tie-dyed tees. Looks which are still ubiquitous summer staples and festival favourites. In the 1980's designers such as Azzedine Alaia, Christian Lacroix and Giorgio Armani all championed the tassel in their collections. Alaia designed a beaded fringe dress for Tina Turner, which she wore for both Vogue Italia and Vogue America. jimi hendrix Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock (image by Henry Diltz courtesy of tina turner dress Tina Turner's Azzedine Alaia Dress for Vogue (image courtesy of Throughout the mid-nineties both Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano experimented with fringing in their collections; finding inspiration from the dress of Native Americans to traditional Chinese garments. The longevity of the tassel is testament to its staying power as a detail of choice among designers, rock stars and festivalgoers alike. jean paul gaultier and john galliano Jean-Paul Gaultier's Fringe Glasses and John Galliano's Fringe Dress (images courtesy of & tumblr)

A Brief History of the Strapless Dress

We're giving bare midriffs and mile-long pins the cold shoulder this week as it's all about bearing a bit of collarbone. The strapless dress is something which we now take for granted here in the West, but let us take you back to a time where such a risque piece of attire was deemed one of the most scandalous dresses of 20th century. So what is a strapless dress and where did it all begin? Well, it's debatable it seems... It has been suggested that this elegant type of dress first appeared in the 1930's when designer Mainbocher claims to have produced the very first shoulder-less item. On the other hand, exact dates are a point of contention. In July 1938, Life claimed that the 'absolutely strapless, sleeveless evening dress' was a 1937/38 invention. That said, actress Libby Holman was indeed first photographed in what looks like a strapless dress much early in July, 1932.Libby Holman, 1932 Libby Holman, 1932 The then named 'naked look' remained popular after the Second World War with the most famous appearance being that of Rita Haywrth in Gilda, 1946. This mid-century icon showcased just how to wear a strapless dress- without the risk of it falling off!Rita Hayworth, Gilta 1938 Rita Hayworth, Gilta 1946 However, this item of choice didn't hit the big time for another few decades yet! This shoulder bearing attire caused controversy among the rather conservative and religious groups, namely the Catholics who campaigned in opposition to such 'immodest' clothing. This included two-pieces and strapless swimsuits- shock horror! In the 1950s the US army even forbid brides coming to events wearing these dresses. Strapless Dress 2 By the 1970s, the ability to weave in elastic meant that designers like Halston had the ability to design different shape sleeveless dresses... Enter the day time knitted tube top. A brief interlude towards the end of the 70's saw rise of peasant inspired dresses and the ever popular off-the-shoulder wedding dresses! But don't get too ahead of yourself, we aren't quite there yet...Pretty Woman Pretty Woman It wasn't until the 1980's when strapless dresses were truly popularised among the masses. Stretch and elastic fabrics were used in favour of boning or interior structure, therefore lending itself to a wearable and practical wardrobe- et voilà, it the became all the rage!Dior DiorChanel, Isabel Marant, Hussein Chalayan and Chloe- S/S '14 Chanel, Isabel Marant, Hussein Chalayan and Chloe- S/S '14 Whilst in the early 21st century, many schools and workplaces specifically forbid strapless garments as part of their dress code, they have become common place in our modern wardrobes. Today you can take inspiration from the ultimate risky shoulder-less piece, the uber chic Dior leather number, OR reinvent this style and embrace it at all hours with off- the- shoulder sweaters or the one-shoulder variety. Covet minimalist shapes with a pair of pumps and you're good to go. Less is certainly more in the case.

Vintage Academy: 1920s Halloween

Welcome to Halloween in the 1920s! At the turn of the century, Halloween was largely a Celtic celebration but it wasn't long before the Jazz Age made its mark and ghoulish parties were all the rage. Revellers embraced the weird and the wonderful in all their gruesome glory. Don't believe us? We've got the photos to prove it. 

Let us take you back to a decade which took spooky soirées by storm.

During the 1920s, the spooky season evolved from pesky trickery and vandalism, which had been the hallmark of the late 1800's, and churches and towns took hold. Costumed party-goers would vie for cash prizes, dance and frolic a plenty. Themes varied from 'animals' (chicken guy we're lookin' at you) or 'famous people', all with an art deco flare of course.

Need to get your creative juices flowing? Here are some of our fave snaps!

For more inspiration check out our Vintage Halloween Pinterest page.

1920s Chicken

1920s headless man

1920s Spider We