fashion . Trends & Shopping

Nostalgia In Fashion: Childhood Icons Turned Style Icons

The comeback of previous trends and icons

Ah, the good ol’ days. We don’t know about you, but it seems like fashion brands are catering to people’s nostalgia with their latest releases and shows. If you’ve been active on social media the past few months, you would notice some very popular childhood icons present in the previous Fashion Weeks.

But before we get into that, let’s talk about nostalgia. We’ve already discussed the presence of nostalgia in beauty, but it’s not quite the same when it comes to fashion. You see, fashion trends come and go over the years; often, trends repeat after several decades as people take inspiration from past fads. It could also be said the present trends are developments that occurred from previous ones. This is called the “nostalgia pendulum”, a theory in fashion and pop culture where what’s old and passé becomes new and on-trend again every 20 to 30 years. You could just look at the resurgence of floral sundresses, VSCO-worthy scrunchies, and Adidas track pants of the ‘90s in present-day social media to see this theory in action. Even the grainy, film-filters in photos add to the whole nostalgic experience.

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a certain style that triggers the nostalgia. It could also be simple things we associate with happy days in our childhood that make us feel warm and cosy inside. Just take a look at Nina Ricci’s Spring Summer 2020 runway show in Paris Fashion Week. Models were decked out in oversized plastic hats that eerily look like sand buckets. Bags in the same shape and style also featured during the show. Who wouldn’t be reminded of warm days on the beach playing in the sand with that image?

But undoubtedly, it was Hello Kitty that became the star of the Fashion Week runways this year. Coinciding with Hello Kitty’s 45th anniversary, a lot of brands took inspiration from the beloved Sanrio character’s iconic sense of style.
First, Balenciaga had male models carry Hello Kitty leather bags down the runway in New York Fashion Week. Lined with black satin with the brand’s name embroidered on top, this luxury brand turns the notion of Hello Kitty being only for young girls on its head. The models confidently strutted down the runway with their Hello Kitty handbags in pink, white, and black — all with Hello Kitty’s trademark red bow.

The next time we saw her, she made her catwalk debut in London Fashion Week as JimmyPaul’s muse for his SS20 collection. The line showcased wearable pieces such as blue Hello Kitty-print tracksuits and T-shirts, a chic tweed coat-dress ensemble, and an eye-catching plush toy-covered dress. The mixture of bizarre features and the familiar Hello Kitty details somehow work together to create picture-worthy eye candy.

She’s also present in streetwear through a limited-edition collection collaboration with Levi’s earlier this year. The collection made shirts, hoodies, denim jackets, jeans, and bags so ladies can come up with a purr-fectly stylish outfit. (We just had to!)

If you’re into jiujitsu, Moya Brand is partnering up with Sanrio and they’re coming out with an online-exclusive, limited-edition collection of kimonos, apparel, and accessories on 8 October 2019. We might as well call 2019 the Year of Hello Kitty, don’t you agree?

Whether it be a marketing ploy, a natural occurrence in time, or a homage to an icon of our childhood, fashion is always there to memorialise the innocence and playfulness of youth. In our opinion, there’s nothing wrong with that.

(Cover photo from: @lovejimmypaul)

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