men’s vintage accessories Retrofuturism

What Is Retrofuturism In Vintage Fashion?

The beauty of vintage fashion, and one of the many reasons so many people will wear retro clothes and vintage accessories is that there are very few rules for what counts as a vintage style other than the age of the clothes.

There are of course some vintage styles that are extraordinarily popular, from the flapper dresses of the 1920s, the paisley psychedelia of the 1960s and, more recently, the baggy clothes and bright, clean styles of Y2K.

However, there is a rather fascinating subset of vintage fashion where someone takes inspiration from the past’s vision of the future.

This is the confusing contradiction at the centre of retrofuturistic fashion, or vintage fashion inspired by a future that never happened.

Part of its popularity comes from the same place vintage fashion in general has; people who do not want to take part in the constant fashion churn look for more rebellious ways to express themselves and what matters to them, and retrofuturism stands out more than most.

Whilst there have been retrofuturist styles for as long as there has been science-fiction and a fascination with futurism, a lot of retrofuturism is inspired by the 1960s, in no small part because this was the decade a particularly vivid vision of sci-fi broke into the mainstream.

Designers such as André Courereges took advantage of the Space Race and how it drove the public’s imagination wild and created a lot of unique and vivid designs, and whilst it was hated by the likes of Coco Chanel and had no place in a more deconstructivist view of fashion, it always had fans.

In the 1990s, retrofuturism returned in earnest alongside practically all of the excesses of 1960s fashion, evolving slightly with age to incorporate elements of cyberpunk fashion from the 1980s and 1990s.

There is a freedom in a lost future; because these styles were intended to capture a future that ultimately looked very different, it is escapist in a way only the best vintage looks can be.

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