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Nostalgia – Reinvention is the Latest Trend


Nostalgia is a useful tool for fashion brands and designers borrowing classic trends and redesigning them for the modern day. After all, fashion is cyclical, with reoccurring styles becoming definitive of eras decades apart.

Nostalgia is not just limited to fashion. Its influence is far reaching, becoming a key element in film, TV, and music.

As the trends that will shape pop culture in 2022 become more apparent, we’re seeing nostalgia being used in new ways. This nostalgia doesn’t just replicate classic trends and ideas; it reinvents them.

Nostalgia has changed, being used to create meaningful trends and definitive moments. Film, music, and fashion are champions of nostalgia, and in 2022, we’re able to look back while heading forward.

Cinema has made a triumphant return after being put on hold during lockdowns. While streaming services have gone some way to satisfy our love for the big screen on the small screen, nothing can replace the experience of popcorn buckets, booming sound systems, and wall-to-wall projections.

The highest-grossing film of 2021 was Spider-Man: No Way Home, which featured not one, not two, but three Spider-Men, with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield reprising their roles as Peter Parker alongside Tom Holland’s current incarnation.

Meanwhile, filmgoers would be thrilled to see the return of the original Ghostbusters in last year’s continuation of the series, Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Both franchises are series that have been remade before, but recent adaptations have utilised and incorporated the legacy of previous films into a new and unique storyline. Arguably, love for these franchises has never been greater.

Even more so, these cameos and callbacks do not limit the future potential of film series, instead, heralding a new era that can continue in the future. And, of course, their influence creates waves for people of all ages. Young Peter-Parker-wannabes will be satisfied with the spider logo on a boy’s long sleeve top. More experienced fashion lovers can incorporate subtler nods to their superhero inspiration in outfits that emulate figures from these long-lasting film series.

Technology delivers nostalgia on demand. Music streaming services don’t just give us access to new music, but generations of albums that are only accessible online. But that’s only half the story. Access to music is helping drive sounds and trends in modern music, with sampling being used now more than ever before.

Doja Cat’s ‘Kiss Me More’ samples Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Physical’, clarifying the song’s affectionate theme. Dua Lipa’s and Elton John’s ‘Cold Heart’ remixes samples from four songs of the latter artist. Music from the ‘70s and ‘80s continues to have a monumental impact.

But while music has been sampled for decades to create new songs, nostalgic trends in the past year have gone even further than taking a slice of old tracks. Reinvention is the new sound on the radio.

The return of ABBA and their ninth studio album Voyage reignited love for Swedish disco 40 years after the group’s last album. The new album inspired as much nostalgia for their music as it did fashion, with high-rise denim jeans also rising in popularity at the time. But the fashion of music from this era has been redefined for the 21st century, offering something new instead of looking back. High-rise jeans offer incredible comfort, a feeling that is favoured now more than ever. ABBA’s addition to their discography isn’t just a passing novelty for older fans, it contemporises the group for the modern age, using augmented reality in their performances.

2022 is becoming a year of comfort fits. For inspiration, brands and designers have turned towards the late 80’s and 90’s. While 90’s styles favoured baggy fits, minimalism, retro revivals, and environmentalism were also key themes.

These ideas have transformed into modern wardrobes, as much out of necessity as it is out of personal fashion taste. Simple wardrobes in pastel colours ensure a timeless simplicity that can last throughout seasons. The ability to buy minimalist garments also helps to ensure that consumers buy less clothing, further boosting the environmental aspect of the ‘90s  nostalgia that has become so dominant in the modern age.

Retro revivals also double down on nostalgic reinvention. As the 20th century came to a close, fashion became a montage of the style successes from the previous 100 years. While appearing restless, retro- or vintage-inspired looks came to the forefront, contrasting against each other to demonstrate individual styles that differed from person to person. In the 2020s, we’ve come to accept that what makes us different can bring us together.

Borrowing retro revival from the ‘90s has redefined how we view nostalgia. Wearing outfits from decades gone by is not intended to be imitative of older fashion trends, instead, they are reinventions to emulate who we are and how we feel.





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