By  on July 6, 2005

NEW YORK — The Nineties had minimalism, and the Eighties, excess and shoulder pads, which leads to the question: What will the double-zeros be remembered for?

Historically, the defining trend of a decade emerges in its second half, which makes this the time to watch closely to determine what fashions will shape the first 10 years of the new millennium. So far, vintage has been a key theme with designers, who jump back and forth each season between decades such as the Seventies, Forties, Sixties and Eighties. Celebrities, too, have embraced the vintage trend, with stars such as Mary-Kate Olsen, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair and Julia Roberts favoring it on the red carpet.

At a recent seminar on color and trends, however, J.C. Penney's trend director for women's apparel and accessories, David Hacker, said fashion is "on the brink of something new" after years of retrospective influence. "We're starting to see a departure," he said.

Others remain convinced vintage is here to stay. "Fashion since World War II moved so quickly that we simply did everything possible with it," said David Wolfe, creative director at The Doneger Group. "There is nothing new to do unless we produce new textiles or find some new way to construct clothing. Since that's in the realm of science fiction, all we can do is keep digging into the past and finding things that are relevant for right now."

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