Perfect back to school –

Children’s fashion has evolved over the years, but some elements remain or even come back, from the small size to the gender-neutral trend. You can see that and much more at Kidorama, an exhibition on 200 years of children’s fashion that will run until March 2023 at the Museum of Fashion & Lace in Brussels. Perfect tip for back to school ambiance.

Until the 19th century there was no real fashion for children. The clothes were a miniature version of the adult clothes. From the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century, boys of better circles from the age of three wore a suit like their father’s, albeit slightly modified so as to offer greater freedom of movement. Young girls wore mamas-style dresses, but they were a little shorter – to the calf – and less dense. Over the years and thanks to new materials and technologies, children’s fashion has taken on a life of its own, more in tune with the child’s environment. However, we regularly witness the emergence of miniature versions of adult clothing, such as the “Sunday wear” that lasted until the 1960s, when the whole family would go to church or visit relatives in fine clothes. In this sense, social developments also affect children’s clothing. For example, the current revival of the mini-meter trend has to do with social media. It all started with Famous People Who were seen on Instagram with their offspring, wearing identical clothes from luxury brands. Nowadays, middle-class brands and even chains release their mini collections.

Sometimes they are identical pieces and sometimes child-appropriate versions of the same colors, motifs and styles so that the clothes of mother and daughter are in harmony.

The sailor’s suit, which was once released by Queen Victoria and is still in force. © Kidorama

Influencer Avant La Liter

Specific children’s fashion was originally a luxury phenomenon that arose in the upper class. The trendsetter par excellence was none other than Queen Victoria, who was very happy to show off to her extended family. The cute navy suits her children wore – partly as a tribute to the Royal Navy – were chosen en masse in better circles and later also among the wider population. They became classics that still appear in contemporary interpretations to this day.

“Social media is reviving the mini-meter trend”

Beautiful children’s clothing was for a long time a matter of the best category or Jean Modal bought it only for special occasions like Communion. Thanks to the democratization of fashion, trendy and adorable children’s clothing has been affordable for years. Chains often turn to designers for their creative capsule collections. For example, JBC collaborated for many years with Walter Van Beirendonck for the ZulupaPUWA group. The exhibition also includes a dress by Walter van Berendonk from his legendary collection W< (Wild and Lethal Trash). The dress dates back to the late 90s, the heyday of Belgian children's fashion. Many creative brands from that era have since disappeared and been replaced by newcomers.

Belgian sustainable jeans brand HNST is now also working with Belgian children's label Filou & Friends.  Jeans: from 34.90 euros to 45.90 euros, depending on the size, jumpsuit: from 49.90 euros to 62.90 euros.
Belgian sustainable jeans brand HNST is now also working with Belgian children’s label Filou & Friends. Jeans: from 34.90 euros to 45.90 euros, depending on the size, jumpsuit: from 49.90 euros to 62.90 euros. © HNST

gender discrimination

The show also teaches that baby clothes have long been gender-neutral: babies and toddlers wore dresses because they were more practical. After all, diaper pants have not yet been invented. From 1920, the dress of young boys gradually disappears. In this way, a clear distinction is made between boys and girls. Also, the idea of ​​pink for girls and blue for boys is very recent and was only launched in the 1950s. Originally it was reversed: blue was associated with the Virgin Mary and was used for girls. Pink, as a derivative of red, the color representing strength, was a favorite of boys. Today, we’re back in more gender-neutral kids’ fashion, a trend that’s even more visible among teens.

In addition to the gender-neutral trend, there is a growing interest in sustainability. In practice, high-quality children’s clothing has always been passed on to the circle of family and friends, and in recent years this has also happened quite often on second-hand platforms and exchange fairs. Belgian pajama brand Woody will soon organize an exchange with a repair service where you can exchange the pajamas your children have grown into for larger ones. But the new clothes are also used for sustainability. Since this season, Belgian children’s clothing manufacturer Filou & Friends and sustainable jeans brand HNST have joined forces to produce a 100% crewel jeans collection. You can’t start early enough with sustainable fashion.

The show “Kidoroma” continues until March 5, 2023 at the Museum of Fashion and Lace, Violetstrat 12 in Brussels –

Leave a Comment