– Text by Dennis Braatz
Four long-forgotton fashion highlights for men and women which are just being revived after a long sleep.
Let’s start with the surprising news that sales of ties are up for the first time in years. Second-hand marketplaces and department stores like Macy’s with traditional menswear departments have reported rising sales figures in recent months. At first sight, it is unclear why. Since the late 80s, smart menswear has become increasingly casual. First, the boom in cheap flights led to more business trips and comfort for suit wearers. Then, tech CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg in hoodies became style icons. Nowadays, even politicians hardly wear ties. No one needs them anymore. That is precisely why they are making a comeback, however, because they can now be redefined. For the last two seasons, designers like Gucci, Canali and Kenzo have been incorporating ties into all sorts of outfits on the catwalks. As well as appearing with two- and three-piece suits, they have featured with casual, untucked shirts worn with wide trousers, underneath denim or varsity jackets, and tied around bare necks like scarves. Far from being a remnant of outdated dress codes, ties are a new-found accessory.
If someone asked what type of footwear was attracting the most attention in the fashion world right now, the answer would have to be platform shoes. From pumps to peep-toes and sandals, platforms are everywhere – sometimes even teamed with a block or stiletto heel. The platforms measure at least 11 centimetres, and some designers are going even further, with Valentino and Tom Ford reaching the giddy height of 16 centimetres. Your initial reaction might be that footwear like this is out of touch. After all, didn’t feminism finally bring about a shift towards more wearable fashion for women a few years back? That’s true, but women still get to decide how elevated an impression they want to make and the coronavirus crisis with its lockdowns has left people longing for elegance, parties and sexiness. This is filtering through into the wider fashion scene: figure-hugging dresses, ultra-short skirts, cut-outs and bling galore are currently de rigueur. Donatella Versace proves just how well all of this can be combined with a modern image of women in her latest collection, which features oversized blazers, denim skirts, latex leggings and vertiginous platform shoes. She said after the show that she found contrast invigorating. “It’s an irresistible feeling.”
In the mid-90s, teenagers adopted a style of dress that riled parents, teachers and other members of the establishment: wearing baggy or loose trousers which left the top of their boxer shorts clearly visible. It wasn’t unusual for their trousers to slip down all the way beneath their bum cheeks, but that was far from accidental because this look was borrowed from hip-hop icons like Tupac. Gangsta rappers walked around like this because prisoners in the USA had their belts taken away so that they couldn’t hang themselves or use them as weapons. The message was: look at me, I’m a tough guy! Odd fashions from the 90s are making a huge comeback right now – and peekaboo boxers are one of the looks that are back on the catwalk. Miu Miu has corresponding styles for women, while Dior, Prada, Y/Project and Givenchy have incorporated the look into their menswear collections. This time around, the trousers are neither baggy nor low – they are conventional jeans or even suit trousers with a front crease. The bad boys of yesteryear must have grown up.
White tank tops
Prada’s winter show opened with Kaia Gerber sporting a delicately embroidered skirt worn with a white tank top featuring a heavy logo plaque. The fashion world went crazy at the sight of this luxurious vest. As a result, fashion magazines soon started publishing online galleries with vest tops that could be bought straight away – and in many places, sales figures went through the roof. This many white tank tops were last sold thirty years ago, when they were a big part of a megatrend known as minimalism. Nowadays, different factors are making vests popular as a piece in their own right again. Today’s fashions are dominated by two styles. The first is comfort, as seen in the prevalence of loungewear and sports clothing. The second is a new trend for accentuating the figure. White tank tops combine both. They hug the figure without being restrictive, accentuating the wearer’s body and showing plenty of skin. Very few garments are a better fit for the current vibe.