You know those pictures of your mom from the ‘90s where she’s wearing sunglasses so small they look like she stole them from Ozzy Osbourne himself? A total tragedy to look at five years ago, but now they’re a big style inspiration!
If you’ve been paying attention to any of the fashion trends over the past couple years, it’s obvious the industry’s biggest trends are recycled from fashion’s past.
“As ephemeral as trends are, they have a way of coming back- even the most polarizing ones- years, and sometimes decades, later,” writes fashion journalist Andrea Cheng in an article for the CR Fashion book. “Fashion’s cyclical nature makes their return inevitable.”
But why is this? There’s more than one theory to it. Wearing and being the first to recycle certain vintage trends allows people to stand out from the crowd. It’s hard to shop the mainstream trends and maintain individuality at the same time, because of the fast pace world of fast fashion.
The fast fashion world includes massive chains like H&M, which according to its website, has over 4,000 locations globally. This huge amount of global coverage from stores like H&M or Zara lead to an almost instant oversaturation of the same trends. So wearing trends from past decades allows trend setters to be themselves, while rebelling against the norm of fast fashion.
Another theory is that, because some of us weren’t around to live through these trends, they seem new and fresh to us. That’s why we’re seeing so many fanny packs out and about on the streets! Fashion’s history often looks better in retrospect.
This is even starting to apply to trends we’ve lived through in the early ‘00s. Think Paris Hilton’s Juicy Couture days– we wouldn’t have dreamed of ever wearing those velour ensembles three years ago. But now? It’s the perfect cross section of glamor and pajamas.
“I was excited and surprised to see the Juicy Couture tracksuit come back around with Vetements,” says the fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue, Roopal Patel, in an interview with W Magazine. “It’s coming back for a whole new generation to try.”
When bringing back looks from the past, designers must make them their own in order to stay original. Designers are bringing back past elements of successful trends, for inspiration, but giving them a modern kick that leaves the once-old trends fresh and revamped.
The small sunglasses of the ‘90s are another recent trend to have been given another life. Goodbye oversized sunglasses of 2006, we want the tiny ones that serve no aid in our sight but look good nonetheless!
Australian accessories brand Poppy Lissiman has gained major fame over their miniscule lenses. Their most popular design, “Le Skinny,” features the small frames we all know and love, but with an angular, geometric cat eye edge to them. The “Le Skinny’s” have made it onto the faces of celebrities from Kourtney Kardashian to Bella Hadid.
In other trend-revival news, Virgil Abloh at Off-White paid homage to the late Princess Diana’s style with his Spring 2018 ready-to-wear collection, fittingly titled “Natural Woman.” Abloh transformed the classic bike shorts the Princess used to wear to as a piece of workout gear to a more formal piece paired with a fitted white blazer. From there, the amount of bike shorts on the Spring 2018 ready-to-wear runways seemed to multiply. Bike shorts were seen in shows such as Nina Ricci, Alexander Wang, Saint Laurent and even in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 6.
From sunglasses to athleisure, the vintage-revamp trend is everywhere we turn. From what we can see, there’s no stopping trends of the past from coming back around. All we can say is, keep studying your mom’s high school yearbook and rewatching your worn out “Clueless” DVD because no trend is too vintage to tackle.