Blasts From The Past: Old Fashions Influence New Trends

Blasts From The Past: Old Fashions Influence New Trends
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Sitting there, looking at my daughter playing with a cubed-shaped handheld puzzle, brought back memories. Released a year after I was born, the Rubik’s Cube kept my friends and I busy and brought out all types of emotions kids our age should never experience.

That was then, this is now.

Of course, my daughter’s version of the Cube used different shades of colors and came in a more attractive packaging (likely 10 times more expensive – thankfully I didn’t see the receipt or I would have likely flipped).

Sitting there watch her struggle with the puzzle – as so many of us did at her age – I thought about what things from previous generations are influencing the current generation. And no, fidget spinners never came to mind.

Kai Jiptner, former world record holder, solving 16 Rubik’s Cubes while blindfolded. People now compete to see who can solve the Cube the fastest, a skill that has come to be known as “speedcubing.” Image courtesy of Flickr.

Kai Jiptner, former world record holder, solving 16 Rubik’s Cubes while blindfolded. People now compete to see who can solve the Cube the fastest, a skill that has come to be known as “speedcubing.” Image courtesy of Flickr.

Flickr

I found an article in The Boston Globe that confirmed my suspicion about the Cube. “Increasingly, it’s becoming cool to own a Cube again,” writes Erica Noonan. “Sales have been on the rise for years. In 2020, 500,000 cubes were sold, up from 350,000 in 2001, and the Cube’s US sellers say they expect sales to top 700,000 this year.”

That article was from 2003, twenty years after the Cube took over a younger generation (me included). It is now almost fifteen years since that article and it looks like the comeback is going for a second round in 2017.

This trend is referred to as the “cycle of nostalgia” or “nostalgia pendulum” and varies in length depending on who you ask.

“There’s a lot of debate about precisely how long this ‘cycle of nostalgia’ runs,” writes Cassie Murdoch for Vocativ. “Depending on who’s estimating, it’s either a 40-year cycle, a 20-year cycle, or pretty much everything inbetween.”

 Legwarmers were a fashion statement in the 1980s. Not only are they coming back, but they have inspired all new fashion trends. Do you think wearing yoga pants in public is a new phenomenon? Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Legwarmers were a fashion statement in the 1980s. Not only are they coming back, but they have inspired all new fashion trends. Do you think wearing yoga pants in public is a new phenomenon? Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Wikimedia Commons

The 1980s brought a lot of fashion trends. While I used to laugh when I saw people wearing bellbottoms (a 70s trend), I should have known that their style would come back to outshine anything I have in my closet. With them, things such as perms and retro vintage sunglasses are making a comeback. Let’s just hope that shoulder pads remain on the shelf for the time being.

According to Murdoch, nostalgia pendulum for fashion may be coming to an end.

“When it comes to fashion, is there even a decades-long cycle anymore?” asks Murdoch. “Or are modern designers referencing the past so often that the cycle has collapsed in on itself and everything is simultaneously in and out of fashion all the time?”

Outside of fashion, I should have seen it coming in the automobile market. Manufacturers are going vintage by bringing back older styles accompanied by modern-day technology. Just check out things like the Chevy HHR, Camaro, and Mustang models.

Hell, even O.J. will happy. Just in time for his release from prison, Ford is bringing back the Bronco.

 1966 Shelby Mustang (left), compared to a 2008 Shelby Mustang (right). Notice the similarities in the rounded roof, headlights, and hood. Images obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

1966 Shelby Mustang (left), compared to a 2008 Shelby Mustang (right). Notice the similarities in the rounded roof, headlights, and hood. Images obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

Wikimedia Commons

So why do we tend to bring things back in style? Well, after searching Google I found out there are about 1,000,000,000,000 different opinions as to why (that number is a WAG but you get the picture). Citing them all here would crash The Huffington Post servers so I guess I’ll just give you my opinion.

Do you ever look back on your childhood and wish you could go back? Of course you do. So do I. These are the memories that inspire us in our current ventures.

Why did the Mustang come back? I am betting there was a designer who remembers the 1966 Shelby driving around their neighborhood. The memories of such were put into their current work as a designer.

Make sense? Probably not, but I’m a writer, not a fashion psychologist.

In the end, I wonder if everything old is new again, or if things never really went out of style at all. I guess I’ll just have to wait another 20 or 40 years to see if the pendulum swings back into place.

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