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HomeRunwayRunway Rewind: Nostalgic Looks from Fashion History

Runway Rewind: Nostalgic Looks from Fashion History

Fashion has the power to influence popular trends and set the tone for global culture. From the angular looks of the ’20s to the flamboyant designs of the ’80s, runway looks over the past hundred years have been a source of inspiration for the generations to come. Take a trip down memory lane with this Runway Rewind, where we explore the timeless designs that still graces the catwalks decades later.

1. A Blast from the Past: Examining Fashion History’s Most Iconic Looks

Fashion is constantly evolving, but sometimes an iconic look is so timeless that it remains relevant and recognizable no matter the year. Today, as we look back on some of the most impactful fashion trends of all time, let’s take a moment to appreciate the fashion history that brought us to where we are today.

The Little Black Dress: Perhaps the original timeless fashion staple, the Little Black Dress was popularized by designer Coco Chanel in 1926. The style revolutionized women’s fashion, as it is versatile, elegant, and flattering for any season or occasion. The classic look remains an essential to this day.

Shoulders of the ’80s: The 1980s were renowned for their shoulder-baring, statement-making fashion. Shoulder pads added bulk to dresses and blouses, transforming garments to include impressive volume and form. Popularized by fashion icons such as Madonna and Princess Diana, the trend soon made its way onto runways and into everyday wardrobes.

Grunge of the ’90s: A ‘90s wardrobe wasn’t complete without some grunge – think Nirvana, flannel, and combat boots. Flannel shirts and ripped jeans created a distinct look of anti-fashion that reached beyond the music scene. The style was incredibly popular among teens and young adults in the decade, and could be seen everywhere from fashion shows to high school hallways.

The Low-Rise Jeans of the 2000s: Low-rise jeans hit peak popularity in the 2000s, one of the most iconic fashion trends of the decade. Famous fashion houses and labels embraced the style, and even made it acceptable for women to wear them. There were many variations to the style, including capris, boot cut, and even flares.

  • The Little Black Dress
  • The bold shoulders of the ’80s
  • Grunge of the ’90s
  • The low-rise jeans of the 2000s

From the Little Black Dress to the low-rise jeans of the 2000s, fashion history has brought us some of the most iconic looks of all time. While these classic styles remain timeless and relevant, they are also a reminder of how fashion trends have changed and evolved over the years.

It seems nothing can stand the test of time better than fashion; whether in the form of a timeless classic or a outdated trend that makes a grand comeback. From accessories to clothing, trends have an uncanny way of recycling — with a modern twist.


It’s no surprise that key wardrobe staples have seen several makeovers over the years. Whether it be a timeless trench coat or an iconic pair of jeans, clothes from the past are back in style in all their glory. A style influenced by the classics, vintage pieces have infiltrated the fashion scene with finesse. From midi dresses to crop tops, new silhouettes allow us to explore the resurgence of traditional fashion.


Jewellery and accessories have gained a new appreciation when it comes to nostalgia-inspired fashion. An upsurge of statement pieces from the 1970s such as large beaded necklaces, bright feathers and snakeskin-textured bags are a symbol of the vintage aesthetic. But the most prominent piece of them all is the iconic headband. Be it a satin one or a velvet headscarf – headbands of the era are creatively reinvented and thrown in the limelight.


The classic shoe shapes that our parents used to wear are regaining their popularity. From the classic flatform sandals to chunky platform shoes of the 70s, vintage silhouettes are becoming increasingly popular among the masses. With these comfortable pieces of footwear, all-time favourites such as plain Mary Janes, patent leather shoes, huaraches and loafers have been updated with millennial redesigns.

3. Timeless Styles: Taking Inspiration from Vintage Outfits

Whether you’re a fan of the sixties mod look, the forties fashion revival or the flapper era for its boho-style, there’s no denying that vintage outfits still inspire today’s trends. It’s why we see nods to bygone eras all over runways and catwalks.

Here are ways you can add a touch of vintage chic to your wardrobe:

  • Infuse Passion and Playfulness: Vintage style calls for bold and vibrant colors and pieces. Think statement pieces with bright patterned or offbeat fabrics. Paisleys, stripes and bold prints look great on vintage styles. Add drama with gingham or checkered dresses.
  • Incorporate Patterned Blazers: Blazers are having a moment and vintage patterns add to the chicness. Choose fabrics and patterns with rich textures for a vintage look. Have fun with tweeds, tartans and floral prints for an effortless vintage-chic outfit.
  • Mix Prints:Adding prints mixing florals, stripes and polka dots is a fun way to add a hint of vintage to your wardrobe. Take inspiration from seventies-era styling to master this look. Think platforms or ankle boots and big earrings to complete the look.

Accessories are key when adding vintage elements to your everyday look and the right hat or bag can create a timeless feel. A vintage hat in rich materials like velvet or fur can add a dramatic effect to any basic outfit or be an unexpected touch of vintage with a modern mini dress or jumpsuit. Clutches and satchels in muted tones add a chic and elegant touch. Or go bold with colorful fabrics and obvious patters.

Vintage style can be a lot of fun to incorporate into your wardrobe today. Head to your local thrift store or vintage shop for more inspiration and find perfect pieces for a timeless look.

4. Reimagining the Classics: Contemporary Takes on Vintage Fashion

Retro fashion is making a big comeback on both the runway and the high street. As fashion trends continue to move in circles, it’s time to take vintage looks and give them a modern makeover. Think statement suits, tartan trousers and neon puffers – all with a contemporary update that still feels classic. Here are some fresh ideas on how to recreate those nostalgic looks for today:

  • Replace flares with wide trousers – look for soft textures and slouchy styles for a modern touch. Team with a cropped top or sleek bodysuit for maximum wow factor.
  • Experiment with accessories – add a belt to your coat to make a bold statement, or go all-out by adding a beret or a pair of round vintage-style sunglasses for a timeless look.
  • Give your wardrobe a monochrome update – the 1970s saw the rise of the classic black and white combo, which is still a popular choice. Reach for a tailored coat and mini skirt combination for a modern twist.

Layer up like a true style maven. Layering was a popular trend back in the day, so why not add a touch of drama to your look by layering up? For a classic feel that won’t go out of style, opt for a faux fur coat over a cosy knit. Wear with wide-leg trousers for added impact.

Invest in bold statement pieces. From tweed to tartan, the high street is full of vintage-inspired pieces that are screaming out to be worn. Take a trip to the thrift store to pick out some genuine vintage gems or hit the pavement to get a contemporary take. Whether it’s a puffa coat or a cute dress, you’re sure to find something to fall in love with.

From Boho-Chic to Burberry, Runway Rewind took us on a nostalgic journey through some of the most iconic looks in fashion history. From being flirtatiously feminine to commanding class and grace, these throwback designs continue to defy the laws of time and still manage to remain timeless and chic.



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