Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Flashback: Vintage Vogue September 1998

Fashion's voracious appetite for novelty means that it is often cyclical and cannibalistic - feeding off itself and often looking to the past for inspiration. I love looking through old magazines, comparing past trends to current trends to see which had staying power, and which hilarious missteps quickly disappeared. Sometimes it's a reminder not to over indulge in any quirky trends of the current season lest you one day look back and regret looking like a fashion victim.

I had purchased a whole stack of old magazines from the '90s and early '00s ("noughties"? "Ohs", "Oh Ohs", "Double Ohs"...? Even now I am still perplexed over how to name this decade) for HKD 1 each, guessing correctly that one day they may be of use to me. I've been ripping out fashion editorials since my early teens and collecting my favorite ones anyhow. Queue photos of embarrassingly cliched wall stuck with magazine tears of 90s pop icons and Kate Moss. Sigh. The folly of youth and poor taste. Except the Kate Moss bit, she's still kind of cool.
Focus Natalie! As I was saying, as soon as I had access to a scanner, I selected the oldest magazine I had in my possession and uploaded the best parts. And so I present, British Vogue September 1998. 12 years is a LONG time in the fashion industry. I'm not sure if it's old enough to qualify as 'vintage', but anyway. As a teen during the '90s, I survived baggy jeans, cropped tops, chokers (remember those stretchy plastic black ones?!! ) and the super-thin eyebrow trend. And now, pre- ballet flats and skinny jeans, such trends are forever preserved in cyber space pixels, on my blog. I wonder what the blog equivalent of a Pulitzer is. Just sayin'...
In this issue, we still see Kate Moss as the face of Calvin Klein, Carla Bruni when she was still a model and not the first lady of France, kitten heels, chokers, beaded tweed (!!!!), some (quite frankly) very ugly shoes, Adriana Lima with a short fro, and the days when Carmen Kass and Gisele Bundchen were just new faces, before the whole realm of modelling was taken over by Eastern Europeans. Oh, and Kate Moss naked on Donatella Versace's toilet. You're welcome.

Note the list of trends above: especially juice bars. Chortle. Bright colors, however, has seen a revival of late.

Burberry campaigns, however, look EXACTLY THE SAME. Except the Burberry check was still proudly displayed in its ads, before the chavs took it and made it their own (absolutely love the idea of a lower income group almost destroying the reputation of a famous brand by re-appropriating their most trademark print. Gives me the LOLs every single time. Power to the people! Side note: In another vein, kudos to Christopher Bailey for steering the brand in another hugely successful direction).

Long skirts: once again, very in season.

Above: the pre-ballet flat era.

A very minimalist Versace, almost unrecognizable.

Above: Lima with the aforementioned 'fro. Giggidy.

Angela Lindvall was still a newbie at this point. Some models really do endure: 12 years later, and she still stars in Prada campaigns post baby. Kudos, especially in a very fickle and ever-changing modelling world, to last that long!
Perhaps in 12 years, we will be looking back at magazines in 2011 and laughing at...who knows which trends?