For an industry that is always on the pulse of what’s the next big thing and loves to look forward, fashion is feeling rather nostalgic these days. Not that it is a bad thing. The throwback mood sees designers digging deep into their archives, rehashing iconic designs, and reviving lesser-known aspects or codes of the house they represent.
The way the brands utilise these old school motifs in their designs is telling. On one end, their vintage-quality falls into the trend of ironic fashion – the whole movement of is it-or-is-it-not actual designer goods.
But these entrenched design icons from the past is not just a way for designers to romanticise the past – it’s a smart way of marketing a brand’s “best of designs” to the Gen Z and the millennial bunch who might not be familiar with them.
To set the record straight, turning back to the archives for new designs is not a wholly new enterprise. What’s worth noting is the prevalence of these retro redux in 2018.
Earlier this year, Burberry started the ball rolling for this fashion archives reboot in a big way. Its February show, and the last for its long-running chief Creative officer Christopher Bailey – was literally a mash-up collection of former Burberry designs.
There was the historical Burberrys slogan (yeap, it’s not a typo) that was a nod to the way the licensed items from the brand was marked in the ’90s. The vintage crest and the spliced up prints from the past was another way Bailey unleashed his ultimate tribute to a house he has led for 17 years. A series of reissued items from the past were also launched, including a striped cardigan from 1986 and sweaters with the Burberrys crest from 1991.