For spring, retailers are playing up the dreamy, free spirit of the Seventies; the glamour and glitz of the Eighties, and the streetwear influences of the Nineties, all topped off with a large dose of logomania.
It’s hard to pinpoint which decade will be getting the most play come spring, but those three recent decades loom large.
That’s the opinion of the fashion directors at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-porter, Harrods, Galeries Lafayette, Barneys New York, Bloomingdale’s, Net-a-porter and Macy’s. They were asked which decade their customers most relate to and why, which decade is most influential right now and what items are customers requesting from the various decades.
Here’s what they had to say:
Ken Downing, senior vice president, fashion director at Neiman Marcus:
“The Seventies is always a popular decade with our customers because of the free-spirited, wanderlust, the wistful idea of a maxiskirt and a maxidress, the dreamy romanticism of a ruffle and a flounce, and the crafted quality of so many of the clothes, be it fringe, embroidery, crochet or lace. With the Seventies, not only do you get that great, hippie, free-spirited bohemian girl, you also get that touch of Victoriana, which was an important influence in the Seventies — that puff sleeve, a beautiful detail on a yoke, and all the lovely embroidery for the Gibson Girl that has such enormous influence during the Seventies as well. We always find the Seventies bohemian moment is really popular with our girl.
“Interestingly enough, the mid-Eighites is always popular because of the overt opulence, the abundance of adornment and the importance of gold and shine and statement-making clothes. It’s less about a shoulder, though certainly we like to define the Eighties by a shoulder, but the idea of the abundance and audacity of adornment, and complete and utter opulence that really ruled that decade is something the customers always respond to.
“For spring…I’m really obsessed with all the sequins and paillettes that were all over the runway. Even this idea of a rainbow motif in jewelry from earrings to necklaces, rainbow sequins on ready-to-wear which just looks so right for the moment. So I’m all about a good paillette for day or for night on a shoe or a bag.
“I think denim is always having a moment. What’s really having a bigger moment than denim is velvet. And I think that velvet proved itself, that it’s more than an evening fabrication when the Seventies hit. I think that many designers today are really giving denim a bit of a run for its money for a 24/7 wardrobe. We’re seeing velvets for spring and summer velvets as well as fall and winter, it’s really becoming a fabrication that’s not just going to be relegated around the holiday table. It’s a fabrication that’s on handbags and on shoes, and we’re seeing it 12 months a year, 24 hours a day, and I think it looks great.”
Linda Fargo, senior vice president, women’s fashion director and store presentation, Bergdorf Goodman:
“The decade that looms really large for me is the Seventies, especially the late Seventies. I think we’re in a moment for that right now, don’t ask me why. I feel like it’s almost the same kind of syndrome that happened when the Roaring Twenties came in. The world had come through World War I, and there’s a bit of a pendulum that happens. We certainly know that the world, the U.S. and in many places, we’re stressed. A lot of designers are tapping into this decade right now because it’s very festive. I think it started with the fall and resort runways and particularly in the spring season that’s coming up — sparkle. Sparkle, gem stones, feathers. Not just evening pieces, it was pervasive. I could not believe the number of collections this showed up in. I felt that this late Seventies, disco era for me is the era. That era drew on some things that came from the Forties; a lot of decades lift a little off the prior decades.
“I think one of the leading people in it is Michael Halpern. He is the modern, happy, festive, party go-to. He’s from London and Bergdorf’s launched him in New York. They’re a riot. These are clothes that just want to have fun. Even Chanel did a disco bag handbag on the spring runway. I think another look inspired by the Seventies is the pantsuit. You look at Bianca Jagger and Saint Laurent. It’s another look from that period that feels really good.
Roopal Patel, senior vice president, fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue:
“The two decades I think are most relevant recently are the Seventies — the glamour, the sultry allure, across all categories, ready-to-wear, shoes. We’re seeing a lot of that Seventies reference. Between ready-to-wear and shoes in particular, the platforms, metallic, the shimmer and shine so prevalent on the runways last season. The Seventies were all about glamour. There’s been a lot of Eighties references as well. Last season, we saw a lot of the logo — logomania dominated the runways. We’re seeing the resurgence of branding across those houses that was so strong in shaping the Eighties. Whether we’re looking at Verasce, Fendi, Dior, Valentino. We’re still starting to see that return of logomania as well as this whole ath-leisure, coming from music references in the Eighties.
“Customers don’t want to feel like they just walked out of a decade. They don’t want it to be so literal. They don’t want it to be so vintage or retro. They want it to look relevant for today’s day and age and time. For some customers, it’s the first time they’re seeing it. That’s the beauty of the decades making a comeback for a second time. It’s also attracting a new customer and a new demographic. There’s a whole new generation of women out there who will have their first CC Chanel bag or logo T-shirt, or their first Dior with this logomania trend.”
Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director, Net-a-porter:
“Seventies boho chic is a customer favorite. Chloé does this aesthetic very well. Disco-inspired party dressing is a holiday-season favorite. We just launched a series of party capsules from Stella McCartney, Roland Mouret and Emilia Wickstead, which all demonstrate jewel-tone and metallic-color palettes. We bought into several Eighties- and Nineties-inspired styles from the spring 2018 runways. We loved Versace and Isabel Marant’s sport nylon. Off-White’s Princess Diana influence and Saint Laurent’s miniskirts and lamé blouses. Almost all of the shows had Eighties and Nineties music, creating a very fun atmosphere. Our customer is constantly looking for the perfect vintage style T-shirt from brands such as Gucci and Madeworn and perfectly worn denim from Re/Done, Grlfrnd, Vetements and Balenciaga.”
Maria Milano, general merchandise manager for women’s wear at Harrods:
“Customers don’t reference specific decades but we’ve had phenomenal success in Eighties-style categories across our contemporary and international designer departments, through items such as denim jackets, acid-washed jeans, oversized hoodies, cropped T-shirts and novelty Ts such as Moschino’s My Little Pony collection.”
She believes the Harrods customer most relates to the Eighties and Nineties. “The Eighties via bold color, sequins, denim and trainers and the Nineties via combat boots and brands such as Fila, Fiorucci and Kappa, whose iconic logo has been reworked by Faith Connexion.
“We won’t be doing anything decade-specific but we have bought into sequins, polka dots and dressy, feminine pieces, which are all on-trend and imbued with Eighties nostalgia, although they have been reworked to updated proportions.”
Jeffrey Kalinsky, vice president, designer fashion, Nordstrom:
“In fashion, a lot of people criticize looking back. They just want to look forward. I enjoy looking back. I enjoy the various points of reference to the various decades. Is there one decade that feels a little more top of mind? Maybe the Eighties. There’s a lot of strong shoulders back. Things that feel a little more Eighties. It’s complete logomania. Logos are impacting our sales in a positive way for both men and men. Anything from shoes to bags to clothing. More streetwear-inspired clothing from Gucci or Balenciaga. It’s definitely having a very positive impact on sales. To me, it’s more of a throwback to the Eighties and the Nineties. There was a lot of logo in the Seventies. We were in such a quiet period for a while when it was all about discretion. Now it doesn’t seem to be about discretion at all.”
Marina Larroudé, fashion director of Barneys New York:
“I think right now a lot of our clients are gravitating toward the Nineties because basically that’s where fashion is right now. A lot of slipdresses, track pants. They like that attitude — the easy, sleek sexy look. We have seen that a lot. From Narciso [Rodriguez] to Nili Lotan sells really well with the slipdresses and a very sleek and modern silhouette. That’s what we’re seeing translating right now.” Also, Lisa Perry in the Sixties is great. It’s a mother and daughter. They could be 60 and 30 and they’re buying the same kind of dress. That silhouette looks really good on every type of woman.”
Asked why logomania is so important now, she said, “It’s a modern twist on the logo. I think for a very long time, it was about luxury items, the crocodile bags, that polish, refined expensive type of look. Right now it’s a moment happening. The kids are grown up women and they’re wearing sneakers to the office. On the Céline runway, there are a lot of sneakers on the runway or Valentino. There is a pared-down moment that is happening in fashion. You can tell the world you’re wearing an expensive item. It’s not a luxe refined look, but is in with the blended content. There’s a lot of fanny packs and logomania happening in the spring collections. There are pool slides, and a lot of sheer and Helmut Lang type of looks are coming back strongly.”
Alix Morabito, fashion editor at Galeries Lafayette:
The most requested items from the various decades “are the power suits from the Eighties and the puffy jackets and sports items from the Nineties.”
“At the beginning of spring 2018 we will twist the Sixties. It will be about acid pastels color, mixing Vichy and flower prints. The overall mixed with modern architectural references and volume from the Eighties. The second part of the season will be about party and music, mixing glitter disco from the Seventies and sporty rave from the Nineties.”
Cassandra Jones, senior vice president of Macy’s fashion:
“The key to decades-related product for the Macy’s woman is keeping it subtle — anything too obvious is a no-go for her. We like to mix the influence of past decades, such as the late Eighties and early Nineties, with up-to-the-moment, trend-right merchandise that is anything but literal. Strong shoulders and volume sleeves are balanced in casual styles like fashion Ts and sweatshirts that give off a contemporary Princess Diana vibe. Statement jeans — with embellishments, embroidery and dye effects — nod to the lighter-wash, higher-rise denim of the Nineties. And shirting and shirtdresses are making a comeback with ruffles and asymmetric details that make for the ultimate ‘Working Girl’ of the modern age. Similar to women’s, men’s fashion is also seeing a resurgence of the early Nineties because it reflects a nostalgic moment for our customers who have lived through this time period. Logo fleece and active-inspired streetwear have become the staple fashion for our male customers. Logo products and light-washed jeans in rip and repair, acid wash and patchworks have been most requested and we will continue to see these products throughout next spring.
Heather Shimokawa, vice president of fashion direction, ready-to-wear, Bloomingdale’s:
“What is uniformly understood is that this Nineties streetwear has hit us right at the right time. The throwback sensibility of bringing back iconic sweatshirts and T-shirts and logo styles is almost a newer version of the norm core is a really strong performer for Bloomingdale’s. We had a pop-up of that with Tommy and Calvin in the fall that was really great. We are seizing on this logo return, which is interesting for us at all price points. The Nineties streetwear hits us at the contemporary core, the heart of the Bloomingdale’s customer. The interest in that return to archive logos and archive prints, and logo reintroduction, we’re seeing in men’s, high-end designer shoes and bags. We’re really seeing that across the board. That particular logomania is pervasive in Nineties and part of that throwback. We have a great boho business that one can argue can dip back into the Seventies, if it feels right and on trend at the moment, then it has the urgency she needs. She’s very trend savvy. Logomania is hitting all the families of business in the spring. We’re seeing the logos come back in our Levi’s presentation. Our customer responds to it. We’re investing in our core presentations within Adidas and tracksuits. We see it across all the different categories. From the designer side, at Burberry, we’re seeing a reintroduction of their heritage check. From our accessories partnership with Dior and Fendi, we got behind some of their logos as well.”