Fashion, one day you’re in, the next you’re out, and every now and then you make a comeback. Fashion archives explain the tale of the brand’s origins and are frequently used by designers to recall the brand‘s identity and develop new versions of the pieces.
Dior Archive Exhibition. Image: World Architecture Community
Luxury fashion firms have recently created a new application for historical fashion pieces. Previously, they were stashed away for protection; labels such as Dior kept their vintage clothing in dress storage beginning in the 1980s. The Parisian label used the archive as a resource for the design department as well as a learning environment for internal personnel, high-profile clientele, and fashion students. As we noted in our previous post about Kim Jones‘ debut collection, he drew inspiration from Dior’s heritage in order to create a new Dior silhouette while being true to the brand’s traditions. A resurrected style from previous collections helps fashion businesses to showcase their rich heritage in dressmaking while being related to the present.
Today, luxury labels are showcasing these vintage and out-of-date clothes on red carpet events like the Met Gala, pairing them with new pieces and anticipating the concept of consolidating classics. The Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton‘s womenswear, Nicolas Ghesquière, opted to have the stars dressed in the house’s dated apparel. The notion of mixing legacy with current style on one of the world’s largest stages serves as a tool to push the idea that previous items are here to stay. In some ways, it is also a marketing endeavor by the company to look back in time and remember the workmanship as vintages in order to promote the business’s lineage as a perk.
Burberry, too, has a capsule of iconic hallmarks updated by creative director Riccardo Tisci in its previous show. He redesigned the shape of several archives to be contemporary, and kept on top of the game with new designs while honoring the brand’s past. Prada, Celine, and Coach have all recently launched reinvented vintage handbags. This highlights the value of archives, which may be used to create looks that return to the concept that great works are here to stay.
When we look at the known model Bella Hadid, who had the opportunity to wear vintage outfits, we can see how she contributed to the “old meets new” notion. She wore a Fall/Winter 2004 Jean Paul Gaultier gown to the 2022 Met Gala, which she chose from the company’s archives. By displaying archives, it enables people to style or build the appearance they wish to accomplish while also appreciating the works of late designers from various houses.
Image: Vogue UK
Hadid expanded on the concept when she appeared at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival with a series of historical garments from Versace’s archives from the 1980s and 1990s. The model enlisted the assistance of her stylist friend, Law Roach, who was in contact with the legendary Donatella Versace, who opened up the brand’s vaults for them. These gestures support the revival of “classics” and emphasize that premium vintages may be strongly associated with today’s fashion. Furthermore, it generates conversations at these gatherings, which might help Versace’s brand recognition.
Because the media ignores these vintage items worn at high-profile events, the public uses these looks as inspiration for their own outfits. It elevates fashion to a higher level by introducing innovative or previously unseen styles. The power of the archives alters people’s perceptions of the brand. Many people value archives because they represent so much more than the newest advertised collection since they hold the weight of history and legacy. Celebrities wearing classic things generates interest and popularity for the company. This becomes interesting since many individuals can visually connect to how people view vintage apparel, and companies can curate the future of fashion.
Paco Rabanne’s dress NFT. Image: Trendsmap
Fashion has reaffirmed its place in modern society, and firms are reconsidering their archives as they recognize the value of old timeless designs. Paco Rabanne said that it will sell NFTs of its most imaginative pieces and utilize the proceeds to finance its archive. This involves purchasing vintage clothing, drawings, picture rights, video and radio recordings of the designer himself, as well as better preservation and storage. Retrieving archives helps to preserve the legacy and basics of the brand’s early years. Brands value archiving because it monitors their journey and offers documentation of their work. It aids in the identification and comprehension of brand cultures across time.
To suit the luxury fashion market’s love for timeless items, brands now highlight and reintroduce past timeless pieces. Although the industry is expanding and many firms are striving for better methods to develop items, it is always enjoyable to reflect back on these experiences and reconnect with the past.