The power of nostalgia is timelessly strong; as newfound fashion trends may come and go, each season brands & designers continue to source inspiration from the past. With vintage fashion trends establishing a permanent residence in the present day; subculture in the 20th Century significantly shaped style identity and provided us with a fashion archive fit for the future.
We take a look at some trends that have been recycled over the years and give you a contemporary guide to achieve a unique balance of style credentials.
It was an original subculture that heavily influenced a youthful generation in the early to mid 1960’s; mod-culture dictated uncompromising fashion choices through a special uniform tailored to its followers. Smart two-tone suits, polo shirts, rolled up levis and desert boots complete with parkas and a scooter (if you were lucky) favoured this iconic socially constructed image. The 1977 film Quadrophenia explored the fashion, culture and lifestyle of the Mod.
Fashion remnants of the style and the cut of garments, inspired by the modernist approach are still present in the current trends of today.
A contemporary palette of unexpected pastels and primary colours highlighted Burberry Prorsum’s SS14 collection in a Sixties take on smart daywear. Simplistic clean-cut lines in the form of overcoats, Harrington style jackets and modern tailoring paraded the runway, evoking memories of mod nostalgia. Staying true to its roots, this trend hasn’t been altered all that much; simply re-designed with high quality fabrics and workmanship to give it a newfound edge.
The key to achieving this look in the modern day is mixing colours and pairing coloured shoes with a toned down coat for an interesting contrast.
Styling in the mid eighties was a refined combination of effeminate details, tailoring and work-wear that was essentially inspired by the New Romantics music scene. Following this transition in pop, shortly afterwards came New Wave. Men’s style smartened up considerably with many wearing suit looks as a daily style essential. Duran Duran; trendsetters of this decade, adopted a clean-cut group profile of bespoke designer and high quality tailored pieces.
Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs SS14 collections debuted a nostalgic range of formal wear, experimenting with florals, pastels and colour contrast all over prints. Monochrome themes were implemented with block shapes and relaxed fit suiting. The classic image of the 80’s suit was revitalised with a sensitive yet contemporary approach to design.
Look out for floral details on shirting, this can enhance your personal look and give some edge to a plain pair of trousers. A good quality neutral blazer will be a great transitional investment piece for this year, its versatile and will carry you through the warmer months. Dark mahogany tones in accessories or garments compliment a light torso.
A reaction to the disco, decadence and synth-pop of the eighties triggered a strong reaction to culture in the nineties producing an anti-socialist era of grunge and Britpop. A relaxed approach to fashion put ripped jeans, basic tees, oversized jumpers and leather bikers into the spotlight. Dance rave culture shaped and influenced trends adapting a casual and eclectic appearance of mismatched plaid, prints and acid colours. The suit made a comeback and was intrinsically worked with shorter relaxed length and exaggerated jacket details.
Julien Davis’s SS14 collection paid homage to the 90’s fashion scene, with a slouchy exaggerated approach to daywear. Onesie style workman overalls were given a smart makeover and took centre stage along with graphic print knits, rolled up denim and sportswear inspired separates.
Taking inspiration from the collection, try your hand at loungewear with trainers. Keep things smart with a shirt but layer a chunky knit to add grunge appeal to your look. Don’t worry too much about mixing colours, prints and texture; the 90’s look is all about embracing eclectic style!
With so many vintage trends making a mark on fashion these days, it is sometimes hard to keep track of what stays and what’s re-invented. When shopping for new pieces, take into account your personal style, colours, shapes and styles that suit you well. Here at MFM, We hope you have enjoyed our style guide to classic subculture attire. Enjoy translating these new nostalgic trends into your daily look.