Friday, January 15, 2010

recycled fashion

The fashion world keeps on turning and I have little doubt about where we’re headed.


Many years ago I suggested that it works on a 20 year cycle. Twenty years ago I was wearing ra-ra skirts and leggings and trying desperately to wriggle out my denim jacket (I still can’t stand the things). I had plastic aviators (with Alf on the side of them, no less) and we wore bangles galore.

Ok, so maybe it’s a bit shorter than 20 years. But about 5 years ago I predicted the revival of grunge and it is happening before my eyes. So much more than the 80s I had love for the 90s grunge style. I wore petticoats over bootleg tights with Doctor Martin boots, I wore old-man pants and cardys like they’d been delivered from grunge god Kurt Cobain himself. I listened to Hole like the words were meant for me and my generation – dark, moody, sarcastic and real. Those were the days.

So. Early in the new millennium we saw the 80s revival. Tights were a must, the skinny jean overtook bootlegs or flares and hyper-colours reflected the bubblegum 80s. Remember Full House? This was the returning era. Slightly refined, mind you, as it should always be, and minus the big hair.

Then the mid-2000s gave us the revolution that was emo. Only a revolution of course to those who hadn’t already seen it before in the new romantics/nu wave scene. Those of us who grew up listening to The Cure saw a significant similarity in the look of emo bands like My Chemical Romance. But the youngsters thought they had started something entirely new. Young people *sigh* How wrong you were.


There’s basically nothing new in fashion these days. Unless we head towards the predicted shiny silver jumpsuits as seen in poorly-made “visions of the future movies” (Logan’s Run is a great example here), we’re going to see old fashions reworked over and over again. Of course they are modified to cater to the new year, but the formulas remain the same.

We’re now heading back towards the greatness that was grunge. The fashion cycle already churned out flannel shirts for girls and guys – reworked to incorporate the long-staying tights. Now we’re seeing “rock chic” – glammed-up versions of the dark fashions seen in the 90s. Think Taylor Momsen and you know what I’m talking about.

I can only hope that the cycle tears itself off the track about here. The later 90s brought us the Spice Girls and their platform sneakers, Britney Spears (pre- contamination) and tummy tops and Clueless, along with long sock short skirt and pastel golf sweaters. But how do you stop the world from turning?

Fashionistas once thought the 80s were a questionable blip on the style radar, but now they’re all over that shit. Maybe the cringe that is the late 90s will soon become the latest fad to be reworked. One can only hope that Victoria Beckham now uses her influence on the fashion world for good and never lets us go back to her darkest platform-sneakered days.

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