Scrolling through Instagram the other day, I was caught off guard by the number of flared pants and yellow-tinted sunglasses punctuating my feed. Even stalking through popular fashion e-commerce profiles, one only has to wade through a number of “Thrasher” t-shirts and increasingly higher-waist mum jeans to really grasp what’s going on; it’s an invasion of throwback fashion at its best.
Subtly but strategically woven into your subconscious through pictures with many, many likes attached to it, these trends pop up so suddenly that one barely has time to notice that online shops such as Asos or Forever 21 have essentially warped into time capsules, travelling back to a time when disco ruled and clear-aviators fan Jeffrey Dahmer ran wild. In fact, the slow but steady takeover of these trends sneak in so stealthily that before you know it, you’re looking in the mirror and you look like a picture of your grandmother straight out of her yellowed photo album in the heyday of her hippie youth.
There’s something about the millennium wave which embraces the tackiest of yesteryear trends, and spits it back out while impressively transforming it into something to be strutted around by the coolest of the cool. Nineties tattoo chokers that would’ve been almost blasphemous to wear just a few years back? YES. Unofficial skate merchandise covered in cartoonish flames which are essentially just a remix of those Ed Hardy t-shirts from 2010? YES. Flared pants that make you resemble a walking tribute to highly revered 70s pop group ABBA? YES. Chunky, clunky platform heels that would make even the Spice Girls green with nostalgia? H-E-Double Hockey Sticks YASSSS.
I’m not dismissing these trends as anything to be shunned, neither do I condemn their revival as they evolve back into mainstream fashion once again. In fact, it speaks volumes of the abilities of the modern market, not only to breathe life back into these overdone trends but to also make them wearable again.
Thinking of this brought into mind the nugget of knowledge departed by Mark Twain in his own autobiography, where he confidently states that “There is no such thing as a new idea”; apparently, old ideas are simply given a turn in the washing machines of our minds to create “new and curious combinations” indefinitely. Whether or not it is 100% accurate, there’s no denying that this upcycling approach (If only the term had existed in the 1920s, I’m pretty sure Mark Twain’s life would’ve been much easier) is definitely the direction that modern fashion is heading towards.
This phenomenon which Vogue itself has dubbed as “throwback cool” is also attributed to the millennial’s infatuation with anything and everything nostalgic. The very same sentimentality that every nineties child reserves for the era they were born in (and even before that) is reflected in this “new age” wave of clothing which takes up valuable rack space in stores.
Ladies, gentlemen and everyone else in between, the year is 2017 and it is officially cool to ask our grandparents for fashion advice.
BRB going to shop online for some yellow-lens sunglasses so I can relive a golden era when the Olsen twins weren’t camera shy and when 3D butterfly clips reigned supreme.