Nostalgia keeps trending

Katie Ward

Generation appears to hold on to the past


I will always remember one of my many odd fashion obsessions.
I had this itching need for it, so I made it my mission to find one while at Disneyland in 1999: a vibrant, pink fanny pack with Minnie Mouse sewn on the front.

I searched and searched, or rather my parents searched, all over for my ideal fanny pack, and sadly, I never did get that Minnie Mouse fanny pack.

Good thing I didn’t, because after the 2000’s came into full swing, all I ever heard was people joking about fanny packs.

No one “cool” ever rocked one of those. Only tourists, old people or that random guy out
on the town sported the pack; he was the only one that made them almost seem cool again.

So you could imagine how very surprised I was to see that, while not quite on every runway, most runways had one or two models strutting down the catwalk with bright, quirky and almost fashionable fanny packs during this last fashion week.

It doesn’t end there.

Fashion blogs have been whizzing with the rather shocking announcement of the fanny pack, cargo pants, low-rise blue jeans and all other quintessential 2000’s fashion items coming back.

Most of us either went through the phase, knew someone who did or perhaps even planned an intervention for someone who’s still dabbling with the ’90s aesthetic.

Not that it was bad; I for one was deeply invested (even without consciously

It did however, begin to make me think: just as we are told to learn and understand history because it tends to repeat itself, similarly clothing and trends can do just the same.

Blue mascara? My mom did that in the ’80s.

High-waisted jeans? Try remembering when they were once deemed the poster pants of “mom jeans.”

So how is it that designers and stores, like Urban Outfitters, release “new” fashion lines featuring chokers, infamous Baby Phat tracksuits and Champion hoodies that tend to be
way over-priced. Can they now confidently bring back the fanny pack?

“Neo-nostalgia” is yet just another name to be given to millennials of the 2010’s.

With the constant itch to capture the moment and hold onto memories for months to years on computers or phones, we have somehow managed to live in the now yet continue to nurture the past in the palm of our hands. And now we do so
on our bodies.

“A much larger proportion of 20-somethings are college-educated, which means that they
have had more time to explore their identity, their interests, their dreams than previous
generations,” Ursula Diamond, an assistant professor at NYU’s Child Study Center, said in an interview with Fashionista.

Through web searches, Instagram posts and Tumblr reblogs, fashion companies and
designers have absorbed this generation’s needs for something new and something old, and has successfully made the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s come alive again.

Jeremy Scott, Moschino and Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air are just a few designers to
have banked off of the wave of “neo-nostalgia.”

The only difference when approaching those certain styles we all thought were gone for
good – they have expressed the irony in the clothes with new styling and humor.

Just last year at the Paris Couture Week, Vetements and Juicy Couture released their
collaboration of grunged-out, velour jumpsuits we all love to bash on, but added a new spin: wide legs and single sleeved silhouettes.

“A nostalgic version of the past is never an accurate depiction of the past. It’s always
a sort of stylized, idealized, sterilized version of it,” Alison Landsberg, professor of history and cultural studies at George Mason University, stated in her book, “Prosthetic Memory: The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of
Mass Culture.”

Apparel, at times, has the magical touch of communicating so much more than what words can hold.

We find meaning through a single shirt, sweater or fanny pack because it not only reflects a different time in our lives, but also how vastly different the world was at that time.

We all have a certain era of time that fascinates us, whether it’s due to the music, fashion, the culture or the people.

The rise of nostalgia in fashion isn’t about people trying to escape reality, but rather about bringing back the energy of what those iconic fashion items created throughout the years.

So, it looks like my dreams will finally come true; I will have that pink, vibrant fanny
pack. Just maybe minus the Minnie Mouse stitching.

We haven’t reached the point of Disney nostalgia in fashion, at least not yet.