Fashion Flashback: Now-Stalgia

Fashion Flashback: Now-Stalgia

In a world where #tbt (Throwback Thursday) and #fbf (Flashback Friday) are leading social media hashtags, it’s clear that we are living in a world of nostalgia. From Buzzfeed articles such as 45 things from your 90s childhood you probably forgot about, to #flashback Instagram accounts, there is a constant desire to return and idealize childhood memories.

This nostalgia phenomena is not new, especially to the fashion industry where current trends often borrow those from the past. Whether it’s 90s sportswear making a comeback, 1960 and 1970 florals shaping up a Spring 16/17 collection, or the Kardashians bringing a return of chokers, fashion trends are constantly being recycled and updated.

Juicy Couture for @vetements_official ❤️

A video posted by Miroslava Duma (@miraduma) on

But what are the reasons that fashion is stuck replicating past decades? One reason can be predictability – and designers and buyers choosing fashion they know will sell. People seek out familiarity, which is why “now-stalgia” is making a comeback. Designers continue to borrow fashion statements from the past and make them current with modern tweaks and embellishments.  

Some of the classic revivals include denim jackets, long jewelry influenced from the renaissance and 90s rappers, high-waist bottoms, and of course leather jackets, which have been a fashion symbol of “cool” for over half a century.

Even designers are replicating their brand with updated versions of their own styles. For example, during Paris Fashion Week, Chanel showcased its Spring 2016/17 Ready-to-Wear collection combining its classic tweed and pearls with 90s colorful baseball caps and makeup. Other examples include Ralph Lauren’s denim and USA-style, Roberto Cavalli’s prints, Calvin Klein’s minimalist casual looks, and Michael Kor’s totes. People look for similarity and continuity – and they can find this in brands that continue to create “timeless” pieces with a modern twist.

#DataCenterChanel #SpringSummer2017 #PFW

A video posted by CHANEL (@chanelofficial) on

Then comes the element of street style where people crave the inspiration of different decades, mashed up with modern pieces. “The idea of stylist has caught on at the street level. You’re revered now because you know how to put clothes together,” says Valerie Steele, director and chief curator at the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology. “Which means clothes from the past look cool.”

They say history repeats itself, and it seems the same is true for fashion. Although we may not be experiencing a total flashback to a previous decade, it’s definitely a “now-stalgic” version of our past with an updated style twist.

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Dana Soffer

Dana Soffer

Director, Corporate Marketing
Dana has over 15 years experience in international marketing and communications for leading global B2B and B2C companies. She currently develops and executives corporate marketing communication strategies, builds brand identity and manages public relation efforts. Dana has a BA in Human Behavior & Marketing from Colman College of Management.