2014 year of…#nostalgiaddiction

As we move toward the new year, i-D looks back at the year past and dissects the trends and events that defined it. From Jean Paul Gaultier’s farewell trip down memory lane to Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic, what did we learn in 2014 from looking back?

by Emily Manning
28 December 2014, 3:10pm

Photography Martin Zähringer

When it comes to this year's absolutely inescapable phenomena, every Ice Bucket Challenge video combined couldn't hold a candle to Kim Kardashian's Paper cover. Consider it an object lesson in some of the larger themes of 2014. Debates over representations of the female body, the science of "going viral," and the evolving notion of mega-celebrity all came crashing together in the form of one very large, well oiled ass. But even the one image that seems most representative of the new world order is plucked squarely from the past; it's a near exact recreation of photographer Jean Paul Goude's original "Champagne Incident" from almost 40 years ago.

Kim's derriere is but one example of how large nostalgia has loomed in fashion and culture this year. At i-D, we've explored how designers from Prada to Dries Van Noten have employed nostalgia on the runway as a commentary on fast fashion's ever quickening pace, as well as the nostalgic leanings of #normcore, one of 2014's most prominent trends (and consequently, most Googled terms). We traced how nostalgia shaped another of the year's key trends, the new lad casual, a look strongly influenced by past eras' East Coast skaters and suburban British blokes. But when it comes to cracking the causes of this "nostalgiaddiction," Kim K is right about something: the Internet is the perfect place to start.

Although the Internet has propelled us into the future by creating increasingly global information exchange, it's also what's keeping us sauntering down memory lane. Between our collective #tbt obsession on Instagram, YouTube uploads of every single episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark, and digital uploads of magazines past from Sassy to BIba, plugging into and sharing the past couldn't be easier, and it's affecting our cultural climate like never before.

While this year saw nostalgia creep up everywhere from the announcement of a Jurassic Park reboot to the (even scarier) Aaliyah Lifetime biopic, no one area of culture experienced a blast from the past in 2014 quite like fashion. Between overalls, crop tops, Doc Martens, triple stacked platform sneakers, flannel, baby buns, bindis, and scrunchies, who knows how much Urban Outfitters raked in this year serving as a one-stop-shop for all Tumblr goths and would-be Clarissa Darlings. Both on and off the runway, nostalgia reigned supreme.

Big branding made a huge boom at Moschino and DKNY this year; Jeremy Scott revitalized the Italian house by pairing 90s era logo-mania with unexpected pop references like McDonald's and Barbie while Donna Karan's 91 offshoot got back to basics with the continuation of its highly coveted archival Opening Ceremony collaboration. Jean Paul Gaultier bid goodbye to ready-to-wear with "Miss Jean Paul Gaultier 2015," a mock pageant that showcased sections of the the designer's most famous work from le smoking to lucha libre, as well as included nods to the pantheon of iconic fashion editors from Suzy to Grace.

As models with big personalities booked even bigger jobs this year, 90s era supers began returning to the runway and landing campaigns left and right. Stella Tennant and Linda Evangelista got back in front of Steven Meisel's lens for Moschino, while Naomi Campbell and Amber Valetta stomped spring/summer 15 catwalks including Diane von Furstenberg and Lanvin.

Calvin Klein Jeans and MyTheresa made lightning strike twice with a reissue of the label's most iconic designs and a corresponding campaign modelled by OG CK star Kate Moss' half-sister Lottie and lensed by Richard Avedon's grandson Michael. But Jonathan Anderson took fashion's nostalgic fixation one step further when he completely re-appropriated a 97 Meisel shoot starring Maggie Rizer and Kristen Owen as Loewe's spring/summer 15 campaign.

But not everyone is a fan of reminiscing; Nathalie Olah argues that in constantly glancing back, we're turning a blind eye to real responsibilities of the here and now: "While the world is facing some of the biggest crises in its history, the young, creative minds of the Western world are busy regramming scans of The Face and writing think pieces on the cultural significance of Winona Ryder in Mermaids."

2015 is right around the corner. Which booty-centric tracks from 92 will Nicki Minaj sample on her new album? Which long lost outerwear offshoot will Supreme team up with this time around? Which long-forgotten fashion photographer from the 70s will start shooting campaigns and editorials once again? When it comes to our future, where will the past take us next? 


Text Emily Manning
Photography Martin Zähringer