Archival style: Red carpet's favourite style statement - Hindustan Times
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Archival style: Red carpet's favourite style statement

ByShweta Sunny
May 21, 2024 04:38 PM IST

From the Oscars 2024 to the Met Gala and the ongoing 77th Cannes Film Festival, archival fashion is having a moment

At the ongoing 77th Cannes Film Festival, model Naomi Campbell pulled out all the stops as she restyled a black haute couture Chanel sequin dress. Campbell wore the dress on the runway, as part of their Autumn/Winter 1996 collection. Actor Zendaya, too, strutted down the Met Gala 2024 red carpet wearing a never-worn-before Givenchy couture corset gown by John Galliano from their spring 1996 collection.

Naomi Campbell re-wore a black sequin Chanel dress from their Autumn/Winter 1996 collection(Photo: Reuters)
Naomi Campbell re-wore a black sequin Chanel dress from their Autumn/Winter 1996 collection(Photo: Reuters)

Zendaya in a never-worn-before John Galliano gown from 1996, at the recent Met Gala (Photo: AFP)
Zendaya in a never-worn-before John Galliano gown from 1996, at the recent Met Gala (Photo: AFP)

Often confused with vintage style, archival fashion would be rightly defined as clothing from a designer’s older collections, especially picks that influenced the world of fashion in an unprecedented way. “It gives us a historical record of rare materials and the popularity of luxury goods at large. These are preserved for the generations to come, that provide a sense of identity and understanding of the past culture,” says designer Pawan Sachdeva.

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Margot Robbie arrived at the annual Oscars after-party in a gold corset bodysuit from Thierry Mugler’s Spring/Summer 1996 collection(Photo: Instagram)
Margot Robbie arrived at the annual Oscars after-party in a gold corset bodysuit from Thierry Mugler’s Spring/Summer 1996 collection(Photo: Instagram)

Actors Hunter Schafer, Margot Robbie, models Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid and singer Miley Cyrus, too, have embraced pieces from the past from designer collections for the red carpet, recently.

Hunter Schafer slipped into a strapless liquid shine dress from Armani Prive’s Spring 2011 collection at Cannes 2024(Photo: Instagram)
Hunter Schafer slipped into a strapless liquid shine dress from Armani Prive’s Spring 2011 collection at Cannes 2024(Photo: Instagram)

The trend can be credited to Gen Z and the pandemic, a time when fashionistas shifted their focus away from streetwear, and TikTok users boasted about their second-hand Margiela picks online. Noting that fashion is cyclical, designer Nachiket Barve says, “Returning to the ’90s offers the same kind of allure for Gen Z that the ’70s and the ’80s did for the previous generation. There is an element of nostalgia and discovery — it’s exciting for them to see something for the first time.”

Miley Cyrus picked this Bob Mackie beaded dress from 2002 for her Flowers performance at the 2024 Grammys(Photo: Instagram)
Miley Cyrus picked this Bob Mackie beaded dress from 2002 for her Flowers performance at the 2024 Grammys(Photo: Instagram)

The dominance of fast fashion also has made consumers choose pieces that are high-quality and environment-friendly. “With today’s fast-paced fashion industry, with its AI-generated touch, the beauty of slowly made pieces is seen and appreciated rarely. Hence, there is a pulse for antique marvels featuring handwork with time-consuming detailing,” says designer Anju Modi.

For many Indians, archival pieces could come from their mothers’ sarees or jewellery. “Pair vintage jewellery with a white shirt or dress,” says stylist Isha Bhansali, adding, “Make sure the accessories blend with it, or go minimal.”

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