A recent New York Times article stated that for every step fashion step forward, fashion took three steps back. This theory got me thinking, is it true that every new trend is actually a revamped version of trends past? While there is certainly no lack of innovation in fashion, very few styles are completely fresh and unseen. Even the most outrageous shapes and lines have often been seen before, possibly centuries before. Don’t believe me? Don’t those Grecian dresses look familiar? Haven’t you seen Oxford shoes in some period movie? Aren’t corseted women in every museum around the world? Oh yes, every runway show has at least a few items that harken back to the good old days. Taking inspiration from the past is hardly a minus on the creativity scale, as long as the styles are not taken too literally. Rather, I take comfort from the fact that I can predict the fashion future. With the arrival of a new decade, new president, new economic climate, etc., there are bound to be dramatic shifts in style. Instead of blindly stumbling into the fashion of a new era and decade, I have taken a cheeky peak into my fashion fortune telling ball to study the secrets of the fashion future inspired by the fashion past. Read what trends from olden days will make big come back after the jump.
- The Parasol: These dainty umbrella-like accessories were all the rage in the days of Jane Austen and managed the impressive feat of remaining current and relevant until the second world war. The reason for the parasol’s enduring fashionableness: the combination of utility and style. The parasol was first and foremost used as protection against the harsh rays of the sun. Even if the Victorians in foggy London didn’t understand the aging effects of the sun (maybe because they didn’t have all that much sun) or its skin cancer causing potential, they were very aware that the sun made your skin darker. How declasse! The parasol also reached heights of fashion the umbrella never could as the umbrella had to be waterproof and sturdy. The parasol suffered from no such constraints and therefore allowed ladies of all ages to deck them out as they wished. Why do I suspect the return of the parasol? We are now even more aware of the need to protect ourselves from UVA/UVB rays. We have been doing so with sunscreen and sunglasses for decades, but I think we are beginning to get a tad bit bored with the standard quo. The parasol will get a modern sleek edge as it is paraded about the streets of 5th Avenue.
- The Bonnet: I am talking old school “Little House on the Prairie.” Why, you may ask? When was the last time you have scene a new shape or silhouette when it comes to headgear? Hats and caps are always sort of in, but besides for the blustery days of winter, hats are rarely seen and even more rarely, rocked. The bonnet might seem too old school to make a grand re-entrance, but here is why it is coming back in a serious way. Bonnets are tied with…ribbons, and ribbons are everywhere, or they will be soon. Metal clasps and closures are a snore and tie closures are all the rage. A hat with ribbons? Too cute for words. The Bonnet also works well with modern hair which tends to lie flatter and have a slightly rumpled just rolled out of bed look. The real major appeal: the mixture of sweetness and sexiness. The bonnet is traditionally sweet, but I am willing to bet that future designers with saucy it up a bit or pair it with high sex appeal outfits.
- The Pocket Watch: Between watches, cell phones and blackberry’s we are hardly at a loss of ways to tell if we are on time. The myriad of options has bred a certain apathy towards fashion pieces that also have this functional characteristic. I don’t want watches to disappear, there is something undeniably sexy about them, something the eludes the digital androidness of an iphone. May way to keep them around: trade your boring watch for a pocket watch. Perhaps the watch is going the way of the American Bald Eagle because it is too similar to it’s digital counterparts. The pocket watch is so antiquated it will serve an entirely different purpose than your mobile. The pocket watch will be the fashionable way to tell time and make a style statement.
- Long Skirts: Floor length skirts are no strangers to the world of fashion, but it has been a while since they were considered high fashion. I think the next reincarnation of the floor grazing skirts will be more like the structured early 1900′s version than the 1960′s prototype. The 1900′s style was nipped at the waist (how of the moment!) and was far more body conscious than it’s flowy flower child cousin. I think after so many years of short and mini everything, our sense of style is ready to move on and our legs could use a break from grueling spinning classes at the gym.