Luxury Retro

Luxury Retro

Remember when we were kids and we thought our Girl Crush Magic Hair Beader made us the coolest gal in our class? Or the acrylic Clikits customisable totes we carried with much pride even though looking back they basically looked like a flowery version of the plastic vegetable baskets rampant around the wet market? Well get ready to relive that glory this year – 2019 is apparently the new 90s according to these high street brands that have taken our childhood playthings and upgraded them into high fashion.

Many of us would have played around with beads as a child, either fashioning them into small pouches or bracelets. New York based designer, Susan Alexandra, shared similar memories, starting off with beading as a childhood hobby to while away time. As an adult, her first collection was a line of handmade beaded jewelry she designed and produced by herself. She quickly made it onto the radar of Henri Bendel, whom reached out to her to offer a coveted spot in their department stores. Now, the brand has reached global fame, but the designer still keeps things humble, employing a small team of about 10 women in New York to produce her purses, making sure to allow them freedom to work from home and take care of their families. Her beaded bags are taking the industry by storm for its whimsy, childlike patterns, a fun and fresh breath of air in the high fashion world. Notably, such reminiscent features are climbing up in popularity amongst the millennial generation, perhaps a nod to their childhood styles.

Fruit Salad Bucket Bag
Fruit Salad Bucket Bag, $525 USD

Watermelon Bucket Bag
Watermelon Bucket Bag, $424 USD

The 90s are unimaginable without this iconic hair accessory – the scrunchie. I recall the highlight of my schooling days in the early 2000s as picking out a scrunchie in my color of choice every morning. While scrunchies were commonly offered in every hair accessory store back then, they are a little tougher to locate two centuries later. SLIP, a brand that specializes in anti-aging, anti-sleep crease, anti-bed head pillowcases and eye masks that even the Kardashians have been raving about, has come up with 100% raw silk scrunchies to take your hair tie game to the next level. The brand uses the highest grade fibre mulberry silk with a thickness of 22 momme and only non-toxic dies for all its products, promising zero hair creases in use. 2019 however, has seen an evolution in the scrunchie trend, with many celebrities and style icons choosing to wear it as a bracelet of sorts. Victoria Secret Angel, Romee Strijd was even seen sporting one on her wrist on her Youtube channel.

SLIP Silk Scrunchie
SLIP Silk Scrunchie Set of 3, $39 USD

Other than the scrunchie, tell your mom to rejoice for the claw clips are making a comeback. Some repressed memories from high school tell me that when my mom put that monstrosity in my hair, I was teased to no end about accessorizing like a middle-aged woman. While mom my kept up her usage of the tortoiseshell claw through the century, I shied away from it. Until last month, where my style icon du jour, Chanel ambassador Jennie Kim, was seen sporting one on an Instagram lunch date. Trawling for options, I have found that Jennifer Behr makes the trendy pieces with sparkling Swarovski crystals embedded in acrylic and metalwork, handcrafted to perfection in New York City.


Lisette Jaw Clip
Lisette Jaw Clip, $175.80 SGD

Claw clips are not the only hair trend on the rise – barrettes and bobby pins are being used to hold back wayward fringes for an adorably youthful look. Kids these days are lucky – we would have been outed as nerds back then for not having the “emo-punk” bangs covering half our faces. In 2019 we have the runways of New York Fashion Week approving this trend as a fall icon.

Photographed by Asiatypek
Photographed by Asiatypek

Jennifer Behr makes these in an upgraded luxe version – bobby pins with full-on Swarovski crystals in a line, as well as hand-moulded brass for a vintage barrette.

Gwen Bobby Pins
Gwen Bobby Pins, $137.34 SGD

Denari Barette
Denari Barette, $240.36 SGD


Rounding out our finds, the pointelle knit is making its way back, so stop your grandmother before she throws out any vintage pieces in her seasonal decluttering. Pointelle’s characteristics include a punched-out look in the knit fabric, making it perfect for early fall due to its thin nature. The look has been upgraded this season by combining the fabric with updated trends such as power shoulders, puff sleeves or ruffles, perhaps to make it more appealing to the chicer crowd.

Trendy brands such as LoveShackFancy and Lovers + Friends have come up with updated offerings including the former’s Jasmine Pullover made out of mohair with a ruffle shoulder detail. Lovers + Friends’ Jo Cardigan stays true to its retro roots with tortoiseshell-patterned buttons and a v-neck, although producing it in a crop cut to match up with high-waisted mom jeans as per the casual but put together trend as sported by many models on their off days.


Jasmine Pullover
Jasmine Pullover $512.02 SGD

Jo Cardgian
Jo Cardgian, $203.36

I once accused my mother of being a hoarder and asked why she refused to throw away any old clothes, lamenting a lack of space for my fast-fashion buys. Now here I am, happily sifting through the back of her closet looking for any keepers – as I predict many of you will be after reading this piece. But for those unfortunate enough to have already cleared their hoards, perhaps while shopping for your new-old closet you will be reminded that trends really do always make their way back.

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