Past and present meet on the Fall 2020 runway as today’s designers explore the trend of modern vintage.
The trend is characterized by a return to the past through utilizing details such as Victorian and Peter Pan collars, designs straight out of the Victorian era, or fabrics such as lace and chiffon. Stately court dresses lend an aristocratic air to the runway; elsewhere styles inspired by those that might have been worn on the Mayflower turn heads. It seems that houses like Gucci, Chanel, Celine, and others are interpreting “vintage” not merely to include styles from the last several decades, but seem especially focused on styles that are many centuries old.
But don’t be fooled: what we are seeing is distinctly modern. While these styles have vintage inspiration, nothing about them feels antique. Designers are incorporating these old-timey elements with contemporary techniques, finding new forms of expression through the intersection of various temporal elements. The trend feels related to the modern idea of deconstruction in fashion, which challenges the idea of when a piece is finished by using elements that are not obviously cohesive and including artifacts that point to the process of the piece’s creation. But while deconstruction reveals the history of a single piece of clothing, the trend of modern vintage encapsulates the entire history of fashion. Thus, it forms an important modern moment, an intersection that could open up infinite possibilities for the future. Designers look back to look forward.