20th Century Fashion: Flop or Not? 

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Jonathan Ochoa/Poly Optimist

Aimée Bonar, Editor-in-Chief

I’ll be honest, the one reason I went to the homecoming game on October 5th, when Poly HS welcomed Cesar Chavez HS, was because of the fireworks and the parade, not football.

Many people enjoyed the parade and had a blast, as made clear by the many faces smiling and gorging on candy, I’m afraid the event didn’t meet my expectations.

This year the theme of the parade was 20th Century Fashion. Although cautiously optimistic, I immediately saw the potential and was intrigued by such a bold choice––I was genuinely excited about the possibilities.

However, because the theme was so broad, it became unclear what would be included in the parade.

The HOCO parade took place between the Junior Varsity and Varsity football games: kids on pickup trucks from various clubs and sports circled the dirt track a couple of times to show off whichever fashion statement their group chose under the larger theme of the 20th century.

The colorful outfits and music matching each float’s designated theme was an immediate attention grabber, but, my spirits were let down.

I expected the parade to focus on the decades that most people from my generation are familiar with, basically anything after 1950. But the part of me that admires fashion was curious. Maybe it wouldn’t be that way at all. Maybe I’d see a “Flapper Girl” float? Or, maybe, even a float that incorporated the prolific work of the fashion icon Gabrielle Chanel?

However, my hope for a truck decorated in 1920s momentos would never be.

Most floats pulled from late-1900s fashion, centering around the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, and even then, few managed to stick to the theme.

For example, there was a “beach day float” (which transcends both centuries), a Michael Jackson float, a ‘60s float about The Beatles, and a float that cut out cardboard stereos and a Nirvana logo. The floats were scattered and, honestly, hard to recognize.

Don’t get me wrong: the floats were well-decorated. But when I heard “fashion” I thought clothes, makeup, and hairstyles from a distant past. I thought Jazz, I thought Gatsby, I thought fashion icons. With no 1920’s float, I remained disappointed.

That being said, I know personally it’s hard to organize and synchronize groups of people. I commend Leadership, Ms. Calzada, and fellow students from various clubs and sports who worked arduously on their floats for this year’s parade. The posters and drawings were nicely done and resembled each club or sport.

A more focused theme and direction would’ve made a memorable event, unforgettable.

That’s what was so great about the HOCO dance, however.

The theme was clearly the 1950s: cardboard cutouts of roller skates and vinyl records lined the walls, 50s music played from the speakers, and a photo booth set up with a backdrop of a Drive-In was available for students to take pictures with their friends. The singularity and focus of the dance made it a fantastic, fun experience.