Homage To Fashion History: An Ode 8 Timeless Designs

We’ve all heard the phrase, “fashion repeats itself,” but what does that really mean? Doesn’t that contradict the notion of trends alltogther? As we see bold cuts and stark hues strut down the runway season after season, one must note that some of these designs aren’t in fact trends by textbook definition, they are, rather, reincarnations of past works.

Historical Fashion Looks

Let’s talk the basics. Wrap dresses, mini skirts, LBD’s and more. Where did they come from, and what makes them so timeless?

1. Wrap Dress – Althogh Diane von Furstenberg is credited for the invention of the wrap dress, her 1974 design was preceded in the 1930’s by Elsa Schiaparelli and again in the 1940’s by Clare McCardell. This ultra-flattering silhouette disguises imprefections and creates a flattering shape while being super easy to style.

2. Mini Skirt – Straight out of the swinging sixties in London, this flirtatious classic has been credited to Mary Quant as the first designer of the mini skirt. With the recent revival of tall boots, this simple sassy skirt has an alluring impact. Styled with a long coat or duster channels it’s retro roots.

3. A-Line Dress – This wardrobe essential emerged from Yves Saint Laurent’s Trapeze Line in 1955 for Dior. Christian Dior coined the term for this staple after its debut on the runway. This classic shape flatters almost all body types by bringing proportional balance.

4. LBD – On October 1, 1926, Vogue showcased Chanel’s “Ford Model T.” The claf-length dress was created to be a simple, accessible and uniform piece for all women. Not only is black a flattering color on everyone, but a simple, modest cut gives all-occasion wear. Modern interpretations feature lace, tulle, cut-outs, laser cuts… virtually anything you can imagine. This brings a bit of personality to the originally simple design.

5. Hosiery – Following the demand for shorter hemlines, designer Allen Gant developed pantyhose in 1959 to replace garter-held stockings. Let’s be honest, where would we be without hosiery? Not only does it lend a little modesty (or quite the opposite, I’m looking at you fishnets!) but it totally polishes off looks in a way that socks just can’t.

6. Pillbox Hat – Orignally headgear for militants, this brimless hat was revived by Halston mid-centry, iconically becoming Jackie O’s signature look. Although American’s aren’t on their hat game quite like the Brits, this iconic hat still resonates as a sophisticated look.

7. Peplum – Dating back to the 1800’s, this faux shelf detail was revived in the 30’s and 50’s by the House of Dior. The silhouette became prevalent again the 80’s during the height of volumnious dresses, tops and shirts. Modern interpretations from Burberry, Zac Posen and Armani have confirmed its staying power. Flattering, fun and festive, you really can’t go wrong with a little peplum. A peplum waist amps up simple sheath dresses and tanks with a curated approach.

8. Knee-High Boots – Another military-rooted design, these sassy essentials once protected calvary while they rode their horses, or hid their alcohol. Balenciaga revived the look in the 1960’s, and Chanel breathed in new life in 2009. They’ve been a cool-weather staple ever since. The faux paux of looking like, well, a night walker is a thing of the past. With a mix of textures, hues and fabrics, knee-highs have been spotted on coutnless celebrities and stylists which confirms, that yes, you do in fact need a pair.

What’s your favorite key-piece on this list? Do any of the origins surprise you? What trend do you wish wouldn’t be revived? Share below!


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