I finally have my answer to the question, "Which Time Period Do You Belong In?"
This question has been floating around since the days of Quizilla, and likely before. Elie (Thawn) sent me another one from Buzzfeed recently, and I decided that I must come up with my answer once and for all. If I actually had to pick another place and time to live, where would it be? What would I do?
I wanted to pick something that would suit both my external and internal "vibes." Several different eras, decades, and locations crossed my mind. Some of the frontrunners were Ancient Greece or Rome, the Renaissance, the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Roaring 20s, the 1940s/1950s pinup era, and the 80s in LA. I weighed the pros and cons of each of these, and none of them seemed quite right. It was then that Elie mentioned one that I had previously overlooked:
(technically, Italy from the 1960s through the 1980s.)
The time period was both glamorous and revolutionary. It was a time of major social and political upheaval in Italy known as the anni di piombo (the Years of Lead). Starting in the late 1960s and continuing through to the late 1980s, there were several incidents of political terrorism from both left-wing and right-wing political parties. The fear and loss of life at this time were tragic, and the effects on Italy and its citizens were long-lasting. While I don’t condone what happened, I can relate to the political and emotional instability of the time, and I can envision myself handling it in my own way.
Even though the sociopolitical climate of the time was … not ideal … and the economy wasn’t great either, I would be able to enjoy living in this time period for the following reasons:
... it's Italy.
I come from a very Italian family, I grew up with the food, the culture, the wine, the traditions, etc. Although I’m 4th-generation Italian-American, my family made sure that my brother and I grew up with a strong Italian identity and knew of our cultural roots. Italy is very important to me, and when I had the privilege to experience the country for myself, I felt like I had gone home.
I like to think that if I lived during this era, I'd be in the film industry. I would be a successful screenwriter (and writer of other things, too) who would also act in cheeky bit parts and cameos just for fun. This was the time of the Spaghetti Western, the commedia all'italiana (Italian comedy) and its sexy subgenre commedia scollacciata (Italian sex comedy), the giallo (Italian thriller/horror), and the poliziottesco (Italian crime film). The popularity of both Arthouse and Red-Light Cinema soared during this era, and Sophia Loren reigned supreme both domestically and internationally. I love the way the films of the time responded to the conflict and insecurity of real life in a way that was over-the-top and irreverent, through humor, violence, and/or (s)exploitation.
This was the time when being "Made in Italy" started to actually mean something. In the 1960s, celebrities started to turn to Italian fashion, particularly Gucci and Valentino. Florence was Italy’s fashion capital in the 1950s and 1960s, when Italian fashion primarily served the wealthy (a la haute couture in France). The epicenter of Italian fashion shifted to Milan in the 1970s and 1980s when more designers started to open boutiques, focus on casual attire for the populace, and create ready-to-wear clothes.
Here is a list of some of the well-known Italian brands that were founded during this time period:
Valentino - 1960
Bottega Veneta - 1966
Etro - 1968
Armani - 1975
Versace - 1978
Diesel - 1978
Moschino - 1983
Dolce & Gabbana - 1985
So, yes, access to all this glorious fashion would be great, too.