Friday, July 4, 2008

Children, Sophistication and Designing for Grownups







One of the fascinating trends I see in clothing design is the compulsion modern consumers have to dress their young children in adult clothing. More designers seemingly create adult-style fashions to cash in on what marketers see as a lucrative demographic. Personally I find modern children's clothing somewhat obscene, especially clothing that "sexualizes" the wearer. That being said, there is a long tradition of adult-style clothing for children that is both sophisticated and attractive. Often the more colorful designs reserved for the fringes of adulthood served well on the younger set, especially given the rugged durability and functionality of the clothing. Check out these amazing two-tone wool motorcycle style jackets from the 1930s. Obviously not designed for 8 year-old motorcyclists they have a beauty and sophistication that is a welcome look. Also, the rugged and fun design of the Sears fidelity youth jacket of the 1950s. Note the simple spotwork on the front half-belt which is much more about aesthetic than back support and fit.
From the design perspective it might not be the best protective design for a horsehide jacket but from a style perspective, very classy, very sophisticated indeed! This belt design only shows up on the Sears children's line of horsehide motorcycle jackets.