There’s another way of understanding revivals: as a form of historical research. I suspect this is rarely discussed because fashion’s connection to youth and femininity makes us overlook it as a form of knowledge and politics. If we re-imagine this fashion revival as an inquiry into the past, examining what it means to wear the ’90s then and now becomes a critical conversation. The fact that our clothes never became costumes can be an asset, helping us analyze how we left the gate open for some bad stuff to creep in, and how we did some things right without recognition. Most importantly, this knowledge can help us dismantle boundaries within and among generations.
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