Every season we are told of the “new trends” yet more often than not some part of the new always has an element of the old. This season we are living in the 60′s and 80′s. Yet in the early nineties I remember the 70′s making a comeback. The “platform” was so fashionable, I wanted a pair so much and I could have easily taken my grandma’s and worn them if my feet hadn’t been so small.
Designer’s often say that they look to the past for inspiration, or is it that they simply can’t let it go. Often when I create I like to incorporate parts of historic fashion which I like. I enjoy adapting and creating a place for it in today’s world. An article in The Times entitled “Is there a future in fashion’s past” looks at the views of two very opposite people in the fashion industry (Valentino and Russell Simmons) who have totally opposing view points. Valentino believes that
“The reason for the “staying power” of the house of Valentino for so many years is that my work has been anchored in the lessons of history, art and study. Fashion history taught me those skills.”
Fashion history is very important, you learn from its mistakes and achievements. You can see what works and what doesn’t and most importantly reaching out to the past can often trigger creativity.
Nevertheless Russell Simmons is also correct in is opinion that,
“Our view is that the future is now. If you miss what is happening today in urban communities across the nation and throughout the globe, then you will surely miss a “Phat” opportunity.”
This is true; I am so hung up on the past that I forget to look forward to the future. I am trying to train my eye to pick up on the “now” for inspiration to create the “new”. This is incredibly hard, it is so easy to look back with nostalgia and try and recreate what we had before. The fact of the matter is that history will always play a major part in fashion.
The question is can we ever have a year without any traces of old or will the past haunt every season?
For me personally the most credible designers are those who are able to appreciate the past but craft the future.