‘How soon was now?’: A retrospective on the popularity of nouveau vintage
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Fashion is a product and reflection of time and tantamount to modernity. The promise of which rests in the future, thus fashion is forever looking forward in the ambition to be ‘new’. Vintage fashion, namely clothes from past periods apprehend this perpetual cycle, often adopted by alternative groups of consumers to create different looks as a subcultural trend. This trend has in recent times been subsumed by capitalism while the label ‘vintage’ has become a marketing term applied to new mass-produced fashions. What can be understood from society’s attitude to progress and the promise of modernity by this remaking of the past into a pastiche? Fashion can prove to be a perfect conduit through which to understand complex conceptualisations of time, and more specifically the concept of 'political time'. What people wear can further cast a light on public consciousness and its faith in development and hope for a better future. This article will consider conceptions of time and modernity as a theoretical tool to reflect on the development of nouveau vintage, which is a recreation of vintage styles and fashion, mass produced for a wider market. Including the role of memory and dialectics, nouveau vintage can be thought of as a refusal for development, while demonstrating fashion is a cultural object worthy of philosophical enquiry.