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It was the moment that Kaia Gerber came marching down Yves Saint Laurent’s most recent runway show in a tiny black waistcoat and shorts that I thought: this looks familiar. The subtle statement of the androgynous waistcoat dates back to Glastonbury 2005, when Kate Moss donned the garment in question with a pair of minuscule grey shorts, and gave a classic nod to the music festival scene in Hunter wellies.

“Trend-led culture leads us to want the most coveted items, without contemplating their cost-per-wear, or the longevity of our wardrobe’s latest addition.”

With fashion month having just passed us by, we were given a glimpse of everything new. Fashion is, after all, about what’s current and readily available. Fast-fashion churns out stock quicker than a Cambridge term, and consumers are expected to keep up with this inundation of pieces. Trend-led culture leads us to want the most coveted items, without contemplating their cost-per-wear, or the longevity of our wardrobe’s latest addition.

“It appears as though re-wearing garments, or taking inspiration from looks past, is becoming something of a trend on its own”

Yet, with vintage and second-hand shopping rising in popularity, people seem to be turning to the old for those archived gems that just can’t be located on the high street. There’s something special about knowing the piece you’re wearing has a history attached to it, and you’re merely the next owner in a succession of people. The fact that pieces dating back twenty or thirty years ago are cropping up once again on the fashion scene contests the idea that fashion is about what’s trendy: fashion is actually cyclical. Ten years ago, skinny jeans appeared to be the uniform (at least at my school), and now, a day doesn’t go by where a ’90s inspired, light-wash pair of baggy jeans isn’t in my periphery. Everything comes back, even if it was once shunned as outdated.

It appears as though re-wearing garments, or taking inspiration from looks past, is becoming something of a trend on its own among some of fashion’s most notorious faces. Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, brought back some iconic garments in his most recent collection. Naomi Campbell’s statuesque strutting down the runway in a sparkly black suit was, undeniably, a highlight, but it was Kaia Gerber’s homage to Kate Moss, circa the Pete Doherty saga, that brought back a decade’s past fashion memory.

“Fashion is enduring, and can be brought back as if operating on a timer.”

It seems like garments were rebirthed on multiple runways, most notably Jennifer Lopez and Versace’s revival of their famed green silk dress. Lopez turned many a head when she debuted the jungle-esque, exotic number at the 2000 Grammy Awards, but brought the vibrancy and shock-factor back this season, where the gown was given a second chance at life (not that it needed it). Maybe it was the fact that J-Lo appears to have forsaken 19 years of ageing, or maybe it was the exquisiteness of the original design, but the dress is as compelling now as it was then. Versace and Lopez seem to be advocating that fashion is enduring, and can be brought back as if operating on a timer.

instagram/kimkardashian

A day doesn’t go by nowadays without an echo of ‘Kardashian’, and for adding to that, I apologise. But, amidst Kim’s glorifying of cycling shorts, she seems to have recently developed a penchant for all things vintage. From the likes of Versace to Thierry Mugler, Kim has decided that it’s the older, the better when it comes to fashion. Earlier this year, she went to the 5th Annual Hollywood Beauty Awards dressed in a black, cut out gown, courtesy of Mugler. The dress was made for modern-day Kim, with its risqué detailing on the bodice, and its elongating thigh split, yet it was sourced from Mugler’s Spring/Summer 1998 collection. For Kourtney’s 40th birthday celebration, Kim took us back to 1997 by donning a black sequined mini dress from Versace’s archives. While designer vintage may still be off the cards for the best of us, Kim’s nod to the past reminds us to shun trend-led fashion culture, and seek decades-old fashion inspiration.

You may not even have to splash the cash to find the perfect vintage item. Rising star Lily-Rose Depp has spoken many times about her love for shopping her mum’s wardrobe. Granted, Vanessa Paradis modelled for Chanel, so definitely has better pieces than, say, my mum, but the sentiment rings true. I have certainly rummaged through the chaos of my mum’s closet, finding pieces I never would have dreamed of her wearing. Dresses she wore back in the day actually fitted the style of clothing that I would wear now; in fact, I wore one of her ‘going out’ dresses that she bought in 1996 for my matriculation. It was a black, velvet mini dress, something that could easily be accessible on the high street now, yet it felt so much more special. Wearing the dress felt like my mum was with me, plus being easy on my then-burgeoning student bank account.


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The idea that fashion has no expiration is an oddly ambiguous thought: who knows what will happen to the garments we are buying now? It’s certainly comforting to know that, whatever happens, our pieces will hopefully evade the horrible destination of the landfill site. That’s one of the many beauties of timeless, vintage fashion: we’re finally putting a stop to ceaseless and destructive clothing production.

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