Fashion is a cyclical business, and with both the ’80s and ’90s tapped up heavily in recent years, it seems there’s only one place left to turn for trend-seeking nostalgia hunters. But just what would be in store with a return to post-millennial fashion? Here are a few trends that could be making a comeback soon…
There’s a theory that every worthwhile creative idea has already been realised in some shape or form already, so all the art or music or film that you see these days is simply a re-iteration of something that came before it. Even the collective backlog of human literature can apparently be reduced to six basic plotlines, suggesting that every narrative is recycled and the differences between, say, Kafka and Franzen are merely cosmetic.
Obviously all this is open to dispute, but if there’s any field where the theory holds true, it’s fashion. Just as enough time passes for one generation to finally get over their collective embarrassment at the ill-advised clothes that defined their youth, the fashion cycle comes full circle and they’re suddenly cool again. What’s more, in the fickle and frivolous age of the internet the turnaround time is getting shorter and shorter, as the nostalgia bank is raided with increasing frequency in search of “new” (i.e. old) ideas.
While fashion has been caught in the grips of ’90s revivalism for a couple years now, with Doc Martens, high-waisted, ill-fitting jeans and tracksuits surely set to reach over-saturation point any minute (if they haven’t already), it’s perhaps time to cast a rose-tinted glance at the post-millennium wardrobe in preparation for what may be the next wave of sartorial revivalism. To save you the trouble of re-watching latter-day Friends seasons or analysing the crowd in Papa Roach’s Last Resort, we’ve compiled a list of items that may or may not be coming to a lookbook near you soon.
Image via allisvintage
At first glance ‘poppers’ might not look that different to any other adidas track bottoms, although perhaps slightly wider than tracksuits of previous decades. However, a closer inspection reveals a row of metal buttons running from the hip to the ankle that offers a multitude of ventilation/disrobing potential. Although adidas tracksuits of almost every variety have enjoyed a certain level of popularity ever since they appeared on the backs of Run DMC in the ’80s, poppers are confined to that small MSN messenger window of millennial history that pre-dated the indie explosion and the general shift away from sportswear in general.
Particularly popular in the UK, they’ve never yet enjoyed a resurgence in the modern wardrobe. However, their inherent gimmickry has all the hallmarks of the perfect nostalgia revival piece –especially in an era when brands like Palace and Cottweiler are indulging all the guiltiest elements of British street style and taking them to the rest of the world.
Image via Complex
Despite their much-publicised beef, Eminem and Britney spears could find some common ground – a fondness for velour tracksuits. Although pretty much everybody could share that affection (or should that be ‘affliction’?) back in the Y2K. Everyone from P. Diddy, to Nas, J.Lo, Justin Timberlake, David Beckham and Fabolous (to name but a few) could be spotted rocking velour at some point or another in those early millennial years, while Juicy Couture was said to be have earned some $200 million from their velvety loungewear in 2003 alone.
Perhaps the most vulgar embodiment of trashy nouveau riche fashion, few lamented the demise in popularity of the fabric towards the end of the last decade. Although, with Kanye rocking a deep merlot-toned velour two-piece to the Grammys earlier this year, don’t bet on this particular look being gone for long. Something tells us it’s not far off a luxe reinterpretation.
Image via Boombox
The past 15 years have been something like passing through puberty and entering the real world for hip-hop. Not only has it become the staple template for pop music of almost every kind imaginable, but the business antics of figures like Jay Z and Dr. Dre have normalised the hip-hop mogul archetype to the point that we’re more likely to equate “ballin’” with a healthy stock portfolio than slinging crack.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the rap-wear fad of the late ’90s and early 2000s, where brands like Phat Farm, Sean John and Rocawear allowed Russell Simmons, P. Diddy and Jay Z to find their entrepreneurial feet respectively. With Drake and Kanye currently looking to create a whole new luxury-inspired generation of artist-affiliated fashion (not to mention the cult success of oddball rap brands like Golf Wang), it’s certainly not beyond the realms of plausibility that other style-conscious artists might seek to diversify their portfolio in a similar manner.
Or, we’ll see a retro revival of FUBU. You never know…
Image via Youtube
Back in the era of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Green Day, footwear frequently resembled a pair of leather cushions strapped to your feet. Originally designed to protect skateboarders from ankle-shattering kicks, flips and falls, most padded skate shoes were rarely subjected to anything more extreme than a leisurely stroll around your local suburban mall.
You might think that their association with such cringe-inducing music scenes as pop punk and nu-metal might make this one a long shot for a return to our streets. However, in an era of clunky, chunky high-fashion footwear from the likes of Raf Simons and Rick Owens – both of whom are renowned for referencing obsolete youth cultures – it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine some kind of modern re-interpretation of the classic ’00s skate shoe in some highly ironic premium format. After all, Buscemi used to work at DC Shoes, so it wouldn’t be the first time such a leap has occurred.
The tsunami of lithe indie bands prefixed with “The” – coupled with the ubiquitous trendsetting of a certain Hedi Slimane – lead to the rise of skinny jeans as a fashion staple ten years ago. Yet, with such bands having fallen largely out of popular favour, and biker jeans (the bastard offspring of skinny and stonewash denim) seeming woefully dated these days, trouser legs are once again getting wider… and wider and wider.
What peaked in the late nineties with the popularity of JNCO’s ludicrously roomy jeans carried over into the new millennium with the workwear boom and a preponderance of combat pants and cargo shorts. Now it seems like both high fashion and its trickle-down disciples are inching back towards the waft of big, baggy bottoms – not least via the news that JNCO is set to re-launch later this year.
Image via Salt Water NE
Workwear was BIG in the early-to-mid noughties, but in the years that have followed there’s absolutely no doubt that sneakers have ruled the footwear game. That said, as crown prince of the sneaker Ronnie Feig himself confided to us in an interview recently, boots are ready for a comeback, and they could be about to disrupt the hegemony of sporty footwear.
Around a year ago news began circling that stocks of LL Bean “Duck Boots” were sold out across America. Then, as glimpsed in the impending YEEZY Season 1 collection, they were given a modern, street-ready makeover that looks to have set a new winter paradigm. With copycat brands everywhere rushing to emulate this more rugged aesthetic, it seems those workwear-inspired styles might be braced for a return to feet everywear – perfect to match those wide-bottomed jeans you’ll be wearing…
Words by Aleks Eror for Highsnobiety.com