One quick scroll through your FYP and you will quickly notice Gen Z’s severe anemoia (nostalgia for a time we never experienced). From 70s flares to 90s slip dresses, we would rather steal from our parent’s closet than actually go shopping. Perhaps it is due to a lack of present inspiration (and who can blame us, right) or perhaps it stems from a fear of what lays ahead of us. Whatever it is, there is no denying we are all feeling a little nostalgic with fashion’s numerous blasts from the past.
Digital fashion week has been a bit surreal for all of us. Venturing into a new and unknown way of showcasing collections has been apprehended by many. Though some have gone back to the comfort of the 2000s to ease into this new format. Take a look at Blumarine’s FW21 collection which gave us Y2K at its finest. The Paris Hilton-esque outfits became an instant hit, receiving widespread Twitter acclaim. And talking about the 2000s devil herself, Hilton has even resurrected the infamous Juicy Couture tracksuit as an it piece, creating a line of velour comfort-wear for Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS.
But our reminiscence of past fashion isn’t exclusive to the early 2000s. The 60s and 70s are also here to stay. Quiltcore, a trend made popular throughout these decades, is now making a comeback with celebrities such as Zayn Malik and Yoon Ahn sporting patchwork garments. Designers such as Marine Serre and JW Anderson are now reworking the trend but in a 2020s appropriate-fashion, upcycling and reusing old deadstock materials. And for those of us who have crafty hands, TikTok’s of DIY patchwork tops and bottoms are popping up left and right.
And we’re not the only ones feeling overwhelmingly nostalgic, as designers have also been relying on archival looks for inspiration. Raf Simons though, took ‘past inspiration’ to a whole new level when he released his new Archive Redux collection earlier this year. The Belgian designer is a master at self-referencing, so it’s no surprise that archival pieces make a comeback every now and then. This collection showcased some of Simons’ most grailed pieces over the 25 years of work at his eponymous brand, including a jacket that recently sold for US$47,000. Simons continued utilizing this creative method at Prada, bringing back the brand’s oversized buttons first seen in the FW89/90 collection.
Looking back into a house’s archive has always been a refreshing starting point, a reset button for many designers. Kim Jones, most recently appointed creative director at Fendi couture, took to Instagram to share his archival inspiration from an original Karl Lagerfeld sketch. With so many firsts for Jones – first womenswear collection, the house’s first spring/summer couture show and the first collection without fur – it seems rather logical that the designer finds his grounding and fully understands Fendi’s core aesthetics before venturing into his vision for the future.
With society’s total shutdown due to the pandemic and the lack of newness in our day-to-day monotone life, our behaviour as consumers is bound to change accordingly. In fact, resale sites have been a go-to for us since the closing of physical stores. Even we couldn’t resist scouring every corner of the Internet in search of our favourite grailed pieces. But we’re not alone in this quest for archival pieces. Auction house Sotheby has amassed some of the rarest retro sneakers ever made, amounting to a total value of US$800,000.
Fashion is known for its endless cycle of trend re-birthing once every two decades. But this past year was a comeback of what seems like an accumulation of every decade. Feeding into our unreachable desire to live in the past, designers have found inspiration from a multitude of past trends and styles for their latest collections. And we have been eating it up.