Every few months I have this incessant urge to look through old photographs of my parents, young and rebellious as they were, and then even further back to the lustrous images of my grandparents, also young but more reserved and fashionably attentive. It is probably this acute consideration of their attire that makes reminiscing about an imaginary time so appealing, that and the glamorous supper clubs they attended in Tehran and the candid, unexpected shots from their travels to Paris and San Francisco. How can we not look back and pine for our parents’ lives, when our own depiction in twenty years will be transmitted by images of cutoffs, converse and arm parties? Perhaps this is why designers have begun to look back to those years as well, between the 50s and 70s, because they too are tired of today’s fashion esthetic. Maybe they are reverting back to these years, because even in the midst of chaos, our parents and grandparents looked like they had it under control. We, however do not.
The most humorous thing about fashion these days, is that even as the internet has expanded its reach, people’s interest in fashion has not. Less people seem willing to take fashion risks, less follow the season’s biggest trends and even fewer people care enough to wear something other than jeans and vintage rock t-shirts. See, the thing is we’ve insulated ourselves, so that fashion bloggers rehash the same uniforms, shop at the same big box stores and capture the same street style icons. Then a slightly larger group of people read these blogs and recreate the urban ensembles, leaving the fundamental constitution of fashion as wearable creations from a designer’s imagination, in the proverbial dust.
So, in the last few seasons of fashion we’ve gone back to an era when women dressed to exude some perfectionist ideal that was expected of them, a time when they were absolved of their wartime careers and packaged perfectly for their wifely duties. A complete variation from today’s overtly dispassionate wears. Nostalgia is what fashion, and we, are yearning for today.
This was all a not-so-subtle introduction to the sweeping direction towards textiles favoured by our grandparents. Luxe jacquards and tenacious brocades mark this return, to a time when women would polish themselves to wait on and for their husbands. When going to the movies didn’t mean bundling up in a hoody and wearing a top bun. It meant celebrating the rare occassion of enough time or money to see a film, savouring the brush of a date’s fingers on the nape of your neck and gently wiping a tear away when love was lost once again.