Fashion designers are being forced to dig further and further back into the history books for their inspiration, and it's only a matter of time before many of history’s most infamous trends, from top hats to Elizabethean ruffs, find their way into our wardrobes, says a new report by influential New York fashion industry think tank Future Cloth.
The report’s author, industry analyst Marcus Van Aaholt, highlights how fashion collections in 2015 alone have featured styles from the 1930s/40s (double-breasted suits), 1950s (wide-legged trousers), 60s (floral print shirts), 70s (safari jackets), 80s (white sneakers) and even 90s (pool slippers).
“Every decade in the 20th century has now been milked dry,” he writes, going on to describe it as ‘inevitable’ that the next decade will see designers “plunder clothing styles from the industrial revolution and beyond" for creative inspiration.
The fashion industry has always been derivative, with certain styles and cuts coming in and out of favour as the tastes of both designers and consumers fluctuate.
What’s different this time is that a now mature global industry worth £26bn in the UK alone may actually have reached ‘peak derivation’ and that the only place left to ‘source’ ideas is back in time.
This, combined with the international success of hit TV shows like The Knick, Downton Abbey and Wolf Hall, has created a consumer that is finally ready to take these ideas on. "Historical outfits have become part of our visual language in a way that they never have before" concludes Van Aaholt.
And he's not a lone voice. “We’ve already seen historical grooming trends hit the mainstream from handlebar moustaches to the explorer-style beard,” says New York streetwear blogger Noah F. Chance, “so for me it was only a matter of time before the fashion industry woke up.”
Which trends will take off and hit the mainstream remains to be seen, though as ever, a handful of fashionistas in a few key destinations hold a lot of power.
Chance has already spotted spatz shoes and bowler hats being worn in his home neighbourhood of Williamsburg, and confirms that one shop in hipster-heavy LA district Abbott Kinney has been selling sword sheaths since 2013 and is urgently looking for stockists of velvet falconry gloves. So it begins.
Read the full report nowhere.
Also read 'None Of The Best Robin Hood Tights For Spring' at no point in the very distant future