Pardon us for arriving late to the party, but when did Betty White become the hottest actress in Hollywood? Of course, we love a good comeback as much as anyone who teared up when Britney shaved her head, but lately seems there’s just no stopping the 88-year old. And for that matter, old things in general.
Chalk it up to a drought in the well of creativity or us finally internalizing all that green-is-good, reuse, recycle eco-babble, but we can’t help feeling like White is the oto-generic poster (or was that golden?) girl for a pop cultural love-fest with all things slightly wrinkled and passe.
Not that we’re bemoaning the flashback fad. Quite the contrary. In fact, inspired by the Betty’s SNL endorsed second coming (white halo of hair included) we’ve done some digging and rounded up a few of our favorite fashion-forward comebacks. Sure these PTPT’s (past their prime things) have been around the block, but what was that about old being the new black?
Halston Heritage: Talk about a sexed-up sequel. If once a sartorial symbol of everything that was right and wrong with 70′s — think: drugs, disco and a vintage Trans Am – the iconic Studio 54-approved brand is ready ready for another close up. With a documentary set to premiere at Tribeca and SJP tapped to breathe new life into the archival label as both a designer and product endorser, we can already feel this beat turning around.
Polaroid Film: Like a cup of Folgers, it used to be nothing said instant like a Polaroid. Thus its usefulness in the quick fix world of fashion. But due to a no fair! embargo on the film, a few years back the classic cam joined the ranks of the rarified things you search for on eBay. Until now! With the vanishing act officially lifted, modeling agencies, casting directors and low-fi-vores alike will no longer have to stock pile the stuff and we can all once again relish in all the grainy gorgeousness.
The Garment District: Remember when Project Runway moved production to Los Angeles thereby hammering the final nail in the well-lined coffin on NYC’s garment district? Well, your can take off your black veil and count your blessings because word is there’s a resurrection in the works. Coming June 2nd, the Design Trust and the C.F.D.A. will open a pop-up shop at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, touting the district and championing local production. Complete comeback it’s not, but we think it’s safe to remove this one from the endangered list.
Denim on Denim: To be totally honest, we definitely didn’t see this one coming. But riding the red, white and blue-hued resurgence of Americana, the industry is a wash in indigo. If once a fashion no-no (right up there with socks and sandals) reserved for Wal-Mart shoppers and Brit-Brit, flip open any glossy and you’re likely to see models doing denim head to toe. Even Simon Doonan and Joe Zee are on board. Got to give it to Ralph Lauren — financially jean-ius.
The Gap: We’ve been noting the return to cool of mall stores in general, but sorry J.Crew, we think fashion is about ready to fall back in love with The Gap. In fact, with design guru Patrick Robinson set to co-host Vogue‘s annual Met-Ball seems the chic-ening chain will be making an appearance on more than just the invites and will actually be spotted on the fashionable backs of the eve’s attendees. Pardon us while we go back to the future and revisit Sharon Stone‘s epic Oscar ensemble for red carpet cues.
Aqua-Net: Like peanut butter and jelly, nothing goes with denim on denim like a sky-high bouffant. So we can’t say we’re all that surprised by the buzz around return of the beehive — in fact, this is one oldie but goodie actually did see coming (thanks in no small part to Robbie Meyers’ “Citified” endorsement.) And now that J. Lo (read: U.S. Weekly style icon of the decade) has stepped out in favor of the retro coif well, we can already smell the aerosol.
Last but certainly not least…The Backpack! What — did you think we’d leave out a perfectly good opportunity to champion that which has, with two straps, made our live all the better? In fact, if Betty White had a sartorial equivalent we think it would be the backpack: they’re both prone to sagging, have wide, cross-generational appeal and can perform remarkably well in a number of tricky situations. Only unlike the dear Mrs. White, we’re not going to let this one die.