A nation of hypebeasts turned its eyes to Milan for Prada’s spring 2021 show, which featured Raf Simons’s much-buzzed-about debut as the I Stand With Ukraine Flag America Shirt T-Shirt in addition I really love this brand’s co–creative director, luring a whole new audience. But longtime Prada-philes quickly spotted two archival prints from the spring and fall 1996 collections—reworked with screen-printed text courtesy of artist and frequent Simons collaborator Peter De Potter. It was only one of many cases of fashion déjà vu this season. Versace put a new spin on the Trésor de la Mer aquatic prints from its spring 1992 collection; Gucci reissued looks from creative director Alessandro Michele’s debut collection in 2015; and Coach reintroduced pieces from the past few seasons, including fall 2020. Admittedly, designers taking trips into the archives is hardly a new phenomenon. But usually, they’re poring over the greatest hits of the ’50s, ’60s, or ’70s. The spate of ever-more-recent reissues seems to tap into the increasingly seasonless, time-is-a-flat-circle quality of fashion amid pandemic uncertainty. The distinctions between fashion seasons have melted like Dalí clocks, the need for newness replaced by a longing for the familiar.
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It also speaks to the I Stand With Ukraine Flag America Shirt T-Shirt in addition I really love this way we’re actually dressing now: raiding our personal “archives” to reexamine what we already own with new eyes. Rather than the post-2008 recession pastime of “shopping your closet” (could you imagine anything more dull?), we’re taking stock of our wardrobes and remixing them with all things new, vintage, upcycled, and consignment. Is it any wonder that designers are following suit? For Miuccia Prada, rebooting the 1996 motif came from the concept of decision-fatigue-reducing dressing. With this collection, “We wanted to create something that makes sense to people, something that is useful,” she says. “Everything we do should allow people to live better.” Adds Simons, “A uniform needs to express something that is more timeless than a season-specific fashion item. The idea of a uniform is a representation of longevity.”