Just like plastic, fashion is recyclable.
At least that’s how it’s come to be.
Though off-the-shoulder tops, high-waisted Levi’s and wedges are at their highest peak now, they’ve been here before.
Whether people realize it or not, trends weave their way in and out through the decades. Just look through some of your parents’ photo albums.
Kimmy Bartner, a rising senior at Pennsylvania State University, was an accessories intern for Elle magazine in New York City. Working in the accessories closet, Bartner was responsible for what went on and off of the shelves, reaching out to different companies and taking on a PR role.
After working in the fashion industry during her internship, she said it didn’t take long for her to see that fashion is “constantly repetitive; it definitely is a cycle.”
She said she likes the fact that she can grab something from her closet from five years ago, and start wearing it again.
“Cut it, tear it and it’ll be in style again,” Bartner said.
Bartner said she believes that another reason for the reincarnation of fashion trends comes from designers’ inspiration.
“Designers want to bring back what inspired them from the start,” she said. A designer can take a look that he or she really liked, such as costume-like garments from the ’20s and redesign it for everyday wear.
“A fashion designer or a stylist is an artist, and all an artist wants to do is inspire and teach others,” she said.
Flouncy shirts paired with a tight-fitting bottom and boots are Bartner’s favorite. She said she loves the ’60s-’70s transition period of fashion.
But in Bartner’s eyes, there is one major problem with the cycle of fashion. It saddens her that new, independent designers have to struggle with staple companies like Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
“There’s always going to be someone new with a new idea, and what’s upsetting is because they don’t have a name, they’re not going to be seen,” she said. “It’s a shame that it’s so hard for new people to be on that level.
“It sucks that you have to die to be appreciated,” she said.
Manouska Jeantus, who will graduate from Penn State in August, was a fashion closet intern for Teen Vogue in New York City.
Jeantus, too, was responsible for keeping track of what was in her respective closet, as well as communicating with PR companies and designers. She was also allowed to sit in on a couple of shoots.
It is no surprise that Jeantus, too, was constantly around the newest, freshest trends. However, it was clear to her that much of the “new” that came in somewhat resembled previous seasons’ clothing that had already headed out the closet door.
Jeantus said she feels that the constant flow of fashion is a good thing, for it challenges designers to face the question of how many times a style can be reinvented. It also allows them to take their creativity to the next level.
“There’s so many different ways that you can revamp a trend,” Jeantus said. “People like what they are wearing, but they want different ways to wear them.”
She said that yes, at least some type of repetitiveness is inevitable, but there is something “always new [and] always fresh” about some of these re-made ideas.
Jeantus is a fan of the high-waisted bottom; a skirt, shorts — anything.
“I just feel like there’s something so classic about it,” she said. “It just complements a women’s frame.”
The combination of different colors, textures and fabrics brings a new look to any woman, she said, by accentuating a woman’s curves for whatever shape she may be.
Will trends like bandanas and spaghetti straps ever make their way to magazine spreads again? Will we be wearing highlighter splattered T-shirts and TOMs in 20 years? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
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