A nation of hypebeasts turned their eyes to Milan for the Prada show in spring 2021, which featured Raf Simons’ very lively debut as the brand’s co-creative director, drawing in a whole new audience. This was just one of many fashion déjà vu instances this season. Versace has given a new twist to the Trésor de la Mer aquatic prints in its Spring 1992 collection; Gucci reissued the looks from Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s first collection in 2015; and Coach have reintroduced pieces from past seasons, including fall 2020. Certainly, designers moving through archives are not a new phenomenon. But usually they look at the biggest hits of the 50s, 60s or 70s. The wave of more and more recent reissues seems to tap into the quality of increasingly seasonless fashion, time is a flat circle, amid pandemic uncertainty. The distinctions between the fashion seasons melted like Dalí clocks, the need for novelty replaced with a desire for the familiar.
It also speaks to the way we dress now: looting our personal “records” to reexamine what we already have with new eyes. Rather than the post-2008 recession hobby of ‘closet shopping’ (can you imagine anything more boring?), We’re taking stock of our wardrobes and remixing them with everything new. , vintage, recycled and on consignment.
“Everything we do must make people live better.” – Miuccia Prada
For Miuccia Prada, the reboot of the motif from 1996 came from the concept of dressing reducing decision fatigue.
“This exercise allows us to do a few things. The first is to reiterate that fashion can indeed be eternal – that an idea that was good in the past can be translated into something equal for generations today. But, she said, a revival like this must also reflect the current moment and the evolution of the brand – to make it feel as fresh on, say, Precious Lee for spring 2021 as it does on Linda Evangelista in Spring 2021. 1991.
At Gucci, Michele asked in her show notes what happens “when fashion leaves its comfort zone.” One response seemed to be to breathe new life into existing clothing, imagining “what happens to them when the runway lights go out.” Thus, pieces he created six years ago, such as a floral-print dress and a faux fur coat, were once again in the spotlight. Likewise, during the lockout, Coach’s Creative Director Stuart Vevers found himself reflecting on his tenure with the brand amid the intimidating new reality of fashion.
While designer self-examination has partly fueled the retrospective-is-20/20 phenomenon, the resale boom (embraced by some fashion houses, with Gucci and Anna Sui recently in partnership with The RealReal and Depop, respectively) had the effect of making “so last season” a thing of the past.
“If you want to stay relevant and be part of the cultural conversation, you can’t just go back to the archives,” Versace emphasizes. “Archives can be the starting point, but then everything should be looked at with today’s eyes. The questions I always ask myself and my design team are, “Is this new?” Is it modern? Is this what people need now? For me, fashion is a way to make people dream and escape reality, but I have to make sure that what I create has its place in the world.