Each Spring magazines and designers trumpet the new fashions and scream from the rooftops, “Florals are in!” Clearly there is no surprise there, there isn’t a Spring on record where florals, ruffles, and dresses haven’t earned a headline. The same is true for Spring 2011, but there is a lot more being offered this season that has nothing to do with the Easter Parade.
It is said that if you wore a trend on its first go ‘ round, that you are too old to participate in it when it returns. This might be true if you were in high school and chose a heavily shoulder padded prom dress, and then twenty years later decided to wear a Dynasty style blazer to work (did anyone see the Oscars? Shoulder pads were EVERYWHERE). That said, it used to be that it took decades for a trend to return, making sure that the original wearer would have aged substantially by the time it came back around. If you haven’t noticed, trends now cycle back through within 2 or 3 seasons of each other. And wherein designers used to focus on one decade to re-interpret per year, I can tell you that for Spring 2011, for example, the 70s, 80s AND 90s are all represented. So if you have any interest in clothing yourself, you are loath to find things in the stores that aren’t at least inspired by a decade of yore. Whether you wore it the first time simply isn’t of any concern.
The good news is, there are only elements of each decade that are brought back around, not an entire nostalgic ensemble. Designers often show a head-to-toe look on the runway that is more theatrical than reality-based, but this is to get their inspiration and fashion message across in eleven minutes, not to have you wearing birds on your head or up-to-there hemlines. By the time that teeny tiny skirt is shipped to stores, it has miraculously grown 4 inches longer.
This season the 70s are interpreted with higher waist flared jeans and kaftan inspired maxi dresses. The 80s come home with bright colors like cobalt and acid green, neon yellow and saturated orange. Color-blocking and gold accessories make this look modern but not dated. The 90s are brought back with white on white on white minimalist suiting, often shown with sheer underpinnings. Which decade you decide to revisit should have more to do with your lifestyle than how old you are — kaftan to the office? Power suit to the playground? I think not. So enjoy. Spring Forward while going back.