It doesn’t take a genius to see that a lot has changed in fashion since noted historian James Laver devised the law by which we once measured the lifespan of a trend. According to Laver’s Law (1937), a trend that’s currently in fashion is ‘smart’. One year before that it’s ‘daring’. Ten years before that it’s ‘indecent’ and 10 years after the event it’s ‘hideous’.
By that same measure (and bear with us) it’s not until 70 years after the trend first rolled around that it once again becomes ‘charming’. Add another 80 years (so 150 years after we first started counting) and it’s once again considered ‘beautiful’. Then modern fashion (and its best #frenemy, social media) happened. In 2016, as sectors of the fashion industry struggle to keep up with the rabid pace of it all, Laver’s Law is no more.
CREDIT: Getty Images, NOWFASHION
Today, style hunters take their cues from anywhere and everywhere; from the 40s right up to as recently as the early-00s (we see you, $310 Saint Laurent jacquard trucker hats). The only common thread among all is our love of the comeback. The unexpected resurgence of an old favourite made new again. The return and triumph of the underdog. The rediscovery of a forgotten icon.
Enter GRAZIA 2.0 – tailor made for a new era. You can’t keep a good woman down (especially when she’s wearing killer shoes) and like the proliferation of puffer jackets on the Autumn/Winter 2016 runways, the principle is the same, but we’re returning in a new cut, fabric, colour palette and proportions.
On occasion of GRAZIA Australia’s second coming, here are four of the best fashion comebacks (in our opinion) that happened in the 2.5 years we’ve been away. Absence, after all, makes the heart grow fonder.
1. Gemma Ward Ending a six-year hiatus during which she popped up in films such as The Black Balloon and The Great Gatsby, but in nary a magazine or show, Ward’s return to the Prada Spring/Summer 2015 runway, where she debuted 11 years earlier, elicited a tremor throughout Instagram timelines around the world. Ward has since gone on to walk for Calvin Klein menswear in Milan and Ellery locally, while landing campaigns for Prada, Givenchy, Country Road and Alexander Wang. Forget Zoolander; Ward’s is the indisputable modelling comeback of the decade.
2. John Galliano After three years spent in the wilderness as fashion’s persona non grata, John Galliano’s appointment as creative director of Maison Martin Margiela remains a pivotal comeback in an era largely characterised by an industry-wide game of musical chairs. The pinnacle moment in a redemption narrative that also included a residency at Oscar de la Renta’s New York atelier, Galliano’s first Artisanal collection for the newly-christened Maison Margiela saw one of this generation’s most creative designers once again find their footing, with Galliano since going on to produce dazzling collections that balance his natural inclination for showmanship and glamour with the house’s signature subversive twists.
3. The return of YSL haute couture One of the more divisive comebacks in recent memory, Hedi Slimane’s tenure at Saint Laurent was coloured by controversy and cash in equal measure. While Saint Laurent (née Yves Saint Laurent) enjoyed new heights of revenue growth under the former Dior Homme designer’s supervision, his vision of California grunge blended with Parisian chic wasn’t without its critics. Amid mounting rumours of his imminent departure, Slimane issued a striking swansong with the first haute couture offering for the house since Yves departed – a fitting conclusion to a revolutionary time in office.
4. First in, best sweats Blame it on normcore, athleisure, health goth or the insidious influence of Silicon Valley start-up culture, but the comfort dressing industry, fuelled by the sports luxe trend, has developed enormous cash and cache alike. Consider this: 15 million pairs of Adidas’ signature shell-toe Superstars were sold in 2015, making up one in every ten dollars the company made last year. That Vetements signature reworked hoodie, with its arcane proportions and unabashed nostalgia? It sells (out) at as much as $1000 a pop. All proof positive that comfy dressing is having something of a renaissance. (Actual exercise, optional.)
COVER IMAGE: Getty Images, NOWFASHION