Fashion is an industry that is known to be continuously evolving and changing. With each new season, new silhouettes, cuts, and styles are introduced by creatives in the industry. However, recently with the resurgence of what is known as ‘Y2k’ fashion (styles and garments which were popular in the early 2000s) dominating the industry, it is interesting to observe that trends forgotten years ago could come ‘back to life’ and re-enter the mainstream.
However, this leaves many to wonder: who decides which trends come back and when? And why are these trends making a comeback seemingly out of nowhere? Though from an outsider’s perspective this may appear unclear, the answers are quite simple.
Firstly, trends within fashion have a tendency to repeat every 20-30 years, which is helpful in explaining the recent revival of flare pants, bucket hats, or mom jeans. This ‘20 year cycle’ does not only apply to fashion but to music, media, and even art as well. Additionally, high fashion luxury houses such as Chanel and Dior have a certain control over trends with their fashion shows and collections. Creative directors and designers of high fashion houses tend to look at past house collections and archives for inspiration, which allows for older silhouettes and garments to make a comeback, creating ‘new’ trends. Most of these past looks are brought back out for the public eye after being reinterpreted and altered for a larger modern appeal.
Yet today, it is evident that it is no longer the major fashion houses that held the reins on trends. Social media’s boom has led people such as bloggers, influencers, and other personalities to have a larger influence on trends. An influencer on Instagram can post an image of them wearing something unusual and have it catch on and gain popularity within hours. Platforms such as Pinterest have had a huge impact on recent trends as well.
This also leads most to wonder: do trends have an expiration date? The answer is most likely no, as trends are continuously recycled from the past. However, the duration of trends has decreased. For example, popular trends in the past used to last for years, whereas today's trends are only ‘in’ for a few seasons. This is probably a good thing for some that dislike current trends such as flared pants, as we all know that in a year or so, they will lose their popularity and recede from the mainstream again.
We are often used to our parents and even older generations telling us: “Those pants were popular when I was young!” or “I can’t believe this is what’s popular nowadays”. However, it is interesting to know that one day in the future, we will be saying those exact words as current trends are revived again.