The 2013 Fashion Landscape
It may feel like the future, but in 2013, fashion took a step into the past, with haircuts, colours and clothing styles evoking the excesses and indulgences of the decadent first half of the 20th century.
The backward looking trend may have something to do with popularity of cultural phenomenon which reference periods like the hedonistic twenties and the roaring forties. Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby offers a hallucinogenic, thrill-ride through a fantasy version of 1920s America, while television shows like Downton Abbey and Parade's End showcase these eras' beauty, drama and decadence on a weekly basis.
The stars of these period pieces appear on magazines, in full costume and make-up, showcasing buttoned-down elegance and plain, simple style. It's the antithesis of recent, elaborate trends... Ballroom chic for the dance-music generation.
For women, 2013's heralded the return of timeless classics, including hats, clutches and dresses with glittering sequins and tassel fringes. The 'flapper girl' look shot back onto the catwalk - with designers, including Gucci, Marchesa and Nina Ricci, creating art-deco, vintage inspired dresses for their 2013 ranges. The decadence of the early twentieth century is a big part of 2013's palette: shining golds and silvers, tropical and floral prints, eye-catching necklines - all interpretations of the innocent flamboyance of an era revived by modernism.
On the high-street, these classic styles can be found everywhere as lower hemlines, midi skirts and sequined shifts take customers back in time. The trend is broad and, as we move into summer, expect to see vintage bathing suits, bright floral blouses and garish ruffles appear on warm weather outfits.
The appeal of vintage and retro fashion is just as applicable to men. The smart, sharp looks of the 20s, 30s and 40s have found a foothold in men's style - suits, shoes, ties, dress shirts, all feature prominently in magazines and the celebrity circuit. Think crisp whites, pin-stripes and vivid colours, on what might be described as 'preppy' looks - including sporty zips, cuts and designs.
While women's looks have embraced the flapper girl aesthetic, men's designs offer modern reinterpretations of their own classics, including the brooding, rebellious movie stars of the 30s and 40s, made famous by leather jackets, bomber jackets motorcycle jackets and sports jackets. Moving into summer, light pastels and bright, bold colours are featuring in slim-fit trousers and short-sleeved buttoned shirts. Stately, sophistication over loud, lurid impact.
An eye on the future...
The resurgence of vintage fashion may be a natural cycle of retro-chic - but it's also be a reaction to broader societal trends. As the world moves out of the doldrums of an economic crisis, the sense of hedonism and hope which prevailed in the early part of the last century is starting to resonate again. Re-visiting its motifs of repressed exuberance is a popular theme and a way of tapping into undercurrents of guarded optimism for the future.
What are your opinions on the current fashion landscape? Will you be donning the vintage style this summer?
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