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Pulling from the Archives: The Pieces My Mom Should’ve Held On To

With a rather cliché beginning to this op -ed, I think it’s my duty to give you some insight about my high regard for fashion and where it all started. I grew up having the utmost admiration for anything and everything to do with fashion, whether I was comically illustrating an Elie Saab gown at the young age of four or admiring the editorial photography scopes by major visionaries like Irving Penn or Patrick Demarchelier in rarely spotted international magazines or on TV. Despite my moth-to-a-flame attraction with the help of my mom who, in my opinion, was my quintessential style icon when I was growing up.

Flash forward to a casual Sunday afternoon 18 years later, I stumbled across multiple photographs in a precisely dated album, proving that the fashion pendulum has, once again, begun to swing. Familiar with catch phrases like “borrowing from” and “inspired by” and having worked in fashion with the privilege of knowing the expected trends, I think it’s safe to say that the '70s, '80s and '90s are here to stay for a minute, precariously taking silhouettes, prints, hues and textures and making it into fast, accessible fashion with a social awareness hinting at the categoric importance of a Throwback Thursday and a Flashback Friday. 

In a high-pitched screech, a statement escaped out of my mouth, starting with “I wish you…” and ending with “kept ALL these clothes for me!” I watched her let out a light giggle followed by a humorous comeback, defending herself as I sat there, wide eyed and virtually dumbfounded. Thinking to myself how great it is that I have to invest in these items that have the slightest variation to the actual clothes in the photographs because my mom was unsure about taking her high-waisted pants with her from the '80s, into the '90s and finally dragging it into the '00s in hopes of it making a miraculous re-appearance on the fashion trend front. Little did we know! 

As an individual with a sense of personal style often described as mature or somewhat “dated”, you can understand why I feel so deeply about this particular trend representation. this is why, when walking into many fashion-forward stores available to South African consumers like myself, it’s safe to say that I begin to regret that my mom had not achieved certain pieces for me. 

The Denim Dungaree

GETTY IMAGES

All forms of the Slingback

IMAXTREE

High Waisted Trousers and Denims

IMAXTREE

Dramatic Earrings

IMAXTREE

Skirt Suits

IMAXTREE

Snakeskin Everything

IMAXTREE

See, it takes every inch of my existence to avoid a sudden hit of anxiety over these vintage styles. Forever suitable and fashion forward (even if it comes from the decades preceding), I will forever be the girl to ask “why?” instead of just accepting the reality. The duplicated styles never seem to hit that accurate vintage factor and the feel of the contemporary interpretations definitely don’t hit the mark. But what do I do, for I am just the girl who wishes that my mom would pull from the archives and hold on to the styles that are undeniably great?

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