Historical Fashion

Historical fashion refers to styles of dress that were popular in times past. It differs from vintage and retro in that it is not considered to be having a comeback or revival. In fact, in most cases, it is no longer worn and is unlikely to be reinstated as a common mode of dress. However, it may inform contemporary design, with catwalk collections frequently drawing on past eras of fashion. Some street fashion subcultures, such as Romantic Goth and Japan’s Lolita fashion, draw heavily on historical influences that are not necessarily seen in parallel mainstream fashion. 

Occasionally, a stylistic feature of historical fashion will surface in mainstream design. An example is the Empire line dress, or Empire silhouette, which originated in the late 18th century and made repeated comebacks in popular fashion since the 1960s. The original design was itself a historical throwback as part of the neoclassical movement, which revived aesthetics from Greco-Roman art.