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Fashion Nostalgia: How Soon Is Too Soon?

18/07/2014 11:58 BST | Updated 16/09/2014 10:59 BST

Spring/Summer 2010 was a game changer. That cyclical beast we call fashion threw us out of our comfort zone and gave us a '90s revival a mere 10 years after the decade end. 'It's too soon!' we cried. 'Laver's Law - y'know, that theoretical model of a trend's lifecycle - dictates that mood rings and bike shorts won't be en vogue until 2060!'...Or something to that effect.

But here we are, four years on, still channelling Angela Chase, proving that they were right to bring the '90s back all along (damn it, why are they always right?!). We all learnt a valuable lesson in fashion nostalgia that season; the style cycle we had come to rely on - that emergence of unique design, subsequent distaste for it and (decades later) its eventual regurgitation - had been sped up. Laver's Law was pumped up on Red Bull and we were digesting trends faster than ever. Also, we probably shouldn't have thrown away our beloved collection of tattoo chokers.

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'90s grunge icon, Courtney Love

It's been suggested that the reason for the (perhaps premature) re-emergence of '90s looks is simply a result of a generation feeling left out. There's a horde of 20 year olds who watched their older sisters and music idols swan around in oversized plaid shirts and dungarees looking unbelievably cool while they were barely out of nappies. Now, armed with a student loan and their first pay packet, they can finally have a piece of the action. If this is the case, surely there's a gaggle of 10 years olds currently looking longingly at the very same trends, thinking 'one day, you will be mine' - the result of which can only be an endless re-run of the '90s. When does it end? Will we be stuck in a perpetual loop of the '90s like a broken VHS? Hopefully not (there's only so much reliving of my teen years I can take), but there's no doubt that its current reign will draw to a close only to come back around again faster than you can say Tamagotchi.

So, with the fashion lifecycle going pedal to the metal, what does this mean for future trends? How long will it be before we look back on the early 2000's and pine for asymmetrical skirts and velour sweat suits? While I can't imagine a time in the near or distant future that I'll want the word 'Juicy' emblazoned across my jogging bottom-clad rear again, this is simply a sign that the noughties are in the 'Hideous' phase of the sequence. And, if the '90s revival is anything to go by, we are just six years away from the 'Romantic' stage, where we start getting warm and fuzzy feelings for 2002 (the year we wore neckties as belts and our thongs higher than Simon Cowell's waistband).

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Girls Aloud looking soooo 2002.

While we are simply too close to post-2010 trends to take an objective punt at which looks will leave us cringing in the future, it seems inconceivable that in say, five years, I will gaze back at my current wardrobe of vintage finds and clean modern pieces and gasp 'Oh, what was I thinking?' Which begs the question: what present pieces are strong enough to grab the attention of fashion designers of the future? Will it be the oxymoron that is hobo chic (à la Mary Kate)? Cut out boots? Or perhaps skinny jeans will soon fall from grace only to be a fashion fad of 2024? While there are certain modern trends that are best forgotten (we're looking at you, furkenstocks), surely much of what we wear today has the capacity to live on in the realm of the "classic", never really leaving the fashion conscience?

Indeed, looking down at my tan sandals, sheer cream blouse, and ripped skinnies, I wonder how these stylish staples could ever fall out of fashion favour. But perhaps this is exactly what our mothers thought when they looked proudly in the mirror through their milk bottle specs at their freshly prepped perm...

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"You're a good cop, Velez" by Daniel Oines is licensed under CC BY 2.0