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Evolution of winter fashion trends

Words by Noora Sobhani

Visuals by Brithi Sehra & Jerry Zhang

Since the first fashion magazine’s publication in 1672, print has dictated what we wear by covering designers’ seasonal collections and deciding whose creations will shake up the industry. Magazines have been the ultimate source for all things fashion, setting the monthly guidelines for what’s hot and what’s not. Let’s face it—we fashionistas are always ready for the new rules in this ever-changing industry. Flipping through the pages of a brand-new issue of Vogue is an inimitable feeling. I myself have a Vogue subscription and I’m always prepared for the latest trend rulebook to land on my doorstep. Below are this winter’s coolest trend predictions pulled from past magazine archives with a chilling twist as we delve into their print origins. 

From Pirouettes to Motorcycles 

As the ‘90s fashion trend and the original “It girls” of the decade resurface, the moto-boot is expected to kick ballet flats to the side as a more practical candidate for the upcoming winter season. Fashion icon Kate Moss’s past fashion looks overwhelm social media today. With that, her numerous magazine photoshoots, including Elle France November 1992, have influenced 2023’s fashion trends majorly. The moto boot is directly associated with the “supermodel rockstar” look and is often worn by Moss in her signature grunge-chic style. Designers like Celine are remaking the ‘90s shoe as the fashion trend picks up. 

In contrast, Scandinavian designer Ganni has created a ballerina flat-biker boot hybrid using patented leather and many edgy buckles. As the weather gets colder, we’re looking for fresh ways to style this chic boot. It might be the perfect soulmate to the circle skirt of the fall or even a friend to some sheer black tights and an oversized cable-knit sweater for a more festive option. 

When Will Gossip Girl Let Us Go?  

Or more like, when will we let go of Gossip Girl? It seems we will never see the end of bright-coloured tights, thanks to the 2007 show. When the teenage drama debuted, magazines such as ELLE and Teen Vogue could not get enough of the preppy Upper East Side style—and we can’t either! The fashion industry was in a chokehold by the show’s bold style, full of bubble hems and colourful tights paired with kitten heels and chunky headbands. Vogue’s infamous September 2008 issue featured the bright red tights seen on lead character Blair Waldorf. Thus, the trademark preppy style of Gossip Girl began its rule over the fashion industry. 

Today, with Zendaya sporting the bright-coloured tights for the cover of Vogue March 2020, it’s clear the out-there accessory has not ceased to rule the fashion industry all these years later. The vivid opaque tights, paired with Blair Waldorf’s signature red, are everywhere this season, reminding us Miss Waldorf still holds our fashion choices in her palm. The iconic tights are seen paired with—you guessed it—a bold headband and delicate heels. Current fashion icons such as Linda Sza and Anne Hathaway sport a similar look, including the vivid tights and heels combo. 

The Equestrian Walks into an Opera House  

You might not expect it, but an all-too-familiar sight in a ‘90s fashion magazine are horses. Whether it be a classic Marlboro cigarette ad featuring visuals of cowboy hats and saddles or a Polo Sport ad involving a variety of colourful leather goods, equestrian-inspired fashion has been around since the beginning of time. One common denominator among centuries of equestrian-inspired fashion is the leather gloves—a must-have this winter. 

Leather gloves are reimagined in different lengths, shapes and sizes every few years as an unavoidable winter staple. Vogue’s 1997 November and 1998 November issue feature thick brown leather gloves lined with shearling, worn with a cream-palette outfit. November 1998, the gloves are seen with a more playful and posh twist, in a long length and light green colour. December 2014 features Blake Lively in a mountainside setting—horses in the frame—wearing a dark polished slim leather glove, paired with a dark fur coat and dusty neutrals. This year, long leather gloves are being reimagined once again—but opera-style. Owned by Queen Elizabeth I of England, the long gloves were indicative of status and were worn to extravagant events such as operas and balls. Now, the elbow-length gloves are seen on red carpets, flaunted by K-pop star, Blackpink’s Jennie and Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence

All Scarlet, Everything

While red is commonly associated with the approaching holidays, this year, it’s seen as the colour of the entire season. Red has been seen everywhere, from bags, leather trench coats, tights and even lips and nails. However, this is not red’s first takeover of the fashion industry. The colour has been appearing in fashionistas’ closets for a while, as we can see from Vogue’s June Issue 1994, which announced the “return of vivid colour.” The 6-page photoshoot displays supermodel Kate Moss wearing many different tomato-red garments from sheer blouses to risqué slip dresses. Now, red is making a comeback once again in its most original, classy, natural, bright form: scarlet. 

This winter’s fashion trends prove that Justin Timberlake’s wise words were nothing short of reality. What goes around indeed does come back around, especially regarding fashion trends. Now we’re left with one question: which issue from the Vogue archives will the origins of next season’s fashion trend?

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