Legacy of the Past: Fashion History Echoes, n’est pas? Part 3

There have been significant shifts in technology, politics, culture, and social norms in the intervening years, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic. Fashion has reflected that in its ever-changing cycle of trends.
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Fashion collage: Lesya Pakharyna

The longstanding opinion that fashion is complex and might be even painful doesn’t stand any longer. With athleisure and home wear as outwear, those concepts are not on the agenda of millennials ways of dressing. However, the historical influences of the past are intelligibly visible in the present-day collections.

Let’s have another look at the references of the past that we observe nowadays. See also part 1 and part 2 on this topic.

Cage skirts from the Victorian era are still making their not rare appearances on the runway and eventually on a red carpet. The 1800s crinoline, also called a hoop skirt or extension skirt, was inspired by the open cage or frame style of the 16th and 17th-century farthingale and the 18th-century pannier. The Victorian crinoline developed various appearances over its fashion lifetime due to new designs and methods of manufacture.

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Mid-19th century crinoline or hoop skirt © MET
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Hoop skirt © Getty Images

The crinoline has allowed John Galliano, another keen student of history, to experiment with extreme volume. More recently, Thom Browne’s deconstructions have revealed the architectural and cage-like aspects of this silhouette shaper. The visual impact of the crinoline is undeniable, and there is plenty of proof of it in recent designs.

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Thom Browne Spring 2020 Menswear © Alessandro Lucioni,
1630998331410190 chantal thomass fall 19911631009583073313  marine serre spring 2021 rtw
Chantal Thomass Fall 1991 © Getty Images / Marine Serre Spring 2021 RTW © Marine Serre
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Rei Kawakubo, Commes Des Garcons: Art of the In-Between © REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
1630998394631173 alexander mcqueen spring 2013 rtw 21630998394705099 alexander mcqueen spring 2013 rtw
1630998394766498  yohji yamamoto fall 2011 rtw
Alexander McQueen Spring 2013 RTW / Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2011 RTW © Monica Feudi,

Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton’s creative director and his own label Off-White, reinvents the concept of hoop skirts in his collections. The idea reinforced Abloh’s pursuit of high fashion. And Off-White tops the list of the hottest brands in recent years.

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Virgil Abloh © Alessandro Lucioni,
1630998561037425 off white fall 2020 rtw 21630998574472517 charles james
Off-White Fall 2020 RTW © Alessandro Lucioni, / 1947 Charles James Evening dress at the MET ©
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Betty Threat in a 1947 Charles James evening dress © Louise Dahl-Wolfe / Off-White Fall 2020 RTW © Alessandro Lucioni,

The new reinvents the old and fashion influences of the past will continue to inspire future generations of designers for years to come.

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Victorian fashion 1860s

To be continued…

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