There someone once said, about fashion today, that nothing is really new or original. No matter what era we are in or how much fashion has ‘progressed’, it seems that we can never turn our gaze from the past. It’s natural! Humans are nostalgic beings—we love the idea of comfort and knowing where we came from, so why wouldn’t our dress express that? As imperfect beings, we are also either constantly fixated on the past or the future, and just so it happens, our limited abilities only allow us to envision the future from the stance of someone who as lived through a past. Nostalgia is what we know at the very core of our existence.
NOSTALGIA – What is it really? Cambridge Dictionary defines it as follows: A feeling of pleasure and also slight sadness when you think about things that happened in the past. What is eye-catching about this definition is sadness as an undoubtedly crucial element to feeling nostalgic. It is never immediately clear why that sadness lingers, but perhaps it has to do with our capacity to reimagine our lives in a number of creative ways, always thinking back a time that was happier than it really was. Maybe the future is just that daunting for Millennials.
Let’s rewind and take a look at some trends that evoked our nostalgia in 2018...
…are probably the most direct form of self expression via clothing because of its explicit message through the form of a graphic. Whether it’s a sports team logo or political message, we find pleasure in showing off these graphics as an extension of us. It can flaunt our interests, political view points, awareness in pop culture and our culture idols. Best yet, it’s the most effortless thing to pull off.
The Wind Breaker
Dubbed as the new bomber, the fluorescent jacket that constantly makes shuffling noises brings out a heavy 80s-90s vibe that could be a response to athleisure increasingly entering high fashion. It is a nostalgic and ironic take on sporty—as our generation has totally embraced the idea of wearing athletic for comfort and style.
It’s the name. Essentially, a grandpa sneaker is characterised by its clunkiness and perfect balance of both cute and ugly. Yet we don’t simply call them “clunky, cute-ugly shoes.” We’ve somehow collectively decided to attribute the shoes to our Grandpas, and that is endearing.
Most trends we dub from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s themselves are nostalgic takes on bygone trends. When we think of our earliest impression of fringe we might think up The Great Gatsby, or the 1920s, but its roots go back further and show up in a number of cultures as a means of decoration. These cultures include Native America, Mesopotamia, and Africa. And no wonder. It is really a simple way to harness boldness.
Though these trends have had their iterations in the past, their revival and newfound relevance to people today is compelling and certainly worth celebrating. Go ahead, embrace that nostalgia, and even that element of “slight sadness” – it does drives us to be all the more creative and expressive.