SOver the past few years, we've watched Hollywood starlets activate their flux capacitors in order to bring back trends from the deepest, darkest fashion pits of the 80's. Leggings, leg-warmers, headbands, and logo t-shirts have been all the rage as of late. Some of us have embraced these trends, some of us have shunned them, and some of us already had our fill of looking like an extra in Olivia Newton John's "Physical" video the first time around, thanks very much. And though the 80's revival is still going strong, it's hard to ignore the signs that a 90's revival is also well underway.Mary-Kate Olsen is roaming the streets of NYC draped in flannel shirts, Agyness Deyn is often photographed in her Doc Martens, and the fall collections at your favorite stores all look a little too familiar for those of us who rocked wide-leg jeans in 1997. Even a simple wardrobe staple, like corduroy pants, has become impossible to track down lately, as the GAP is currently pushing bell bottom cords in their fall collection. That's a 2008 revival of the 1995 revival of 1977's bell bottoms! Fashion, it seems, wants to take us back to another time, and really, who could blame it right now? What the 90's revival truly represents is a generational desire to return to better days. The idealization of a time period generally comes about 20 years after that time period ends, and as scary as it seems, we're getting pretty close to being two decades out from 1990. Strangely enough, the economy is in the same crappy state it was in in 1990, when the recession hit and grunge style began to take off. Could this explain the return to flannel shirts, combat boots, and dark red lipstick? Or are younger fashion designers simply reminiscing about an idealized youth, when mid-90's prosperity meant that everyone had a job, gas was a .99 per gallon, and George W. Bush wasn't a blip on the presidential radar? Or is this just the way of fashion: things are in, and things are out, whether you're ready for it or not? Nostalgia is a way to celebrate the past by removing all of the difficult aspects of it. The trick, I think, fashion wise, is to embrace the revival by adding a new and current spin, something that says, "I remember yesterday, but I'm aware of today, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow." Like most things, I guess, fashion serves as a means to represent pieces of our lives that meant something to us. That's not to say that we should all run out and buy snap bracelets and NOT! t-shirts, but there has to be a happy medium somewhere, right?
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