COMEBACK KIDS

Today’s designers frequently give a nod to the past with refreshingly modern results. US brand GANT is one of those taking inspiration from the archives.

F ashion, from the catwalk to the high street, has a habit of harking back to years gone by. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t remember their youthful days with a touch of nostalgia and perhaps just a hint of a feeling that things were better then?

Designers regularly pick up on our yearning for those, seemingly, idyllic days and give us just what we want. In 2014, the ’70s were everywhere; in 2017, it was the ’60s. And, thankfully skipping the ‘80s, the decade that style forgot (or perhaps ran screaming from!), this year it’s time for the ’90s to make a reappearance!

High-fashion brands such as Dior and Balenciaga have been digging into their buried treasure troves. While high-street veterans have also been hard at work looking back to their own inspiration to take us forward.

Admittedly, with fashion in a constant state of flux, some brands have been less than assiduous when it comes to keeping track of their company histories. But the heritage movement has excited an impetus to better chronicle and curate those personal stories. Case in point: Gant. The company, which was founded in New Haven in 1949 and is currently owned by a Swiss firm, has been slowly rebuilding its clothing archives under the direction of designer Christopher Bastin.

Today that archive holds numerous examples of classic stripes and Madras shirts, checks and other original fabrics. It is a reminder of GANT’s true heritage and serves as a never-ending source of daily inspiration. “Having a legacy is something that sets you apart and gives you authenticity and credibility. And, most importantly, it gives you a platform and security as a brand,” says Christopher.

This year’s spring-summer collection is a true representation of how heritage is blended with the latest trends. GANT has reclaimed the preppy style, a look it pioneered 70 years ago. Taking inspiration from the angular, geometric shapes found in Brutalist architecture and the boldly coloured, coastalinspired garments from the brand’s archive, GANT has created a collection that reinvents the iconic preppy look from the late 1980s and 1990s for today’s streets.

The result is a collection that showcases retro preppy heritage in garments that not only look good but are comfortable to wear. Think bucket hats, striped sports-inspired cardigans, checked-trenches in bold primary hues and painterly pleated skirts in bright yellow, bold red, crisp white and jet black. Take inspiration from our pages to help put together your own fashion-forward summer look. ✤

SHOP THE STORY AT GANT.COM