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Dec 13, 2023

Gen Z’s ultimate Christmas trend: Embracing the Age of Innocence

Fashion is ready for a festive fashion throwback this Christmas—it’s nostalgia with a twist! Gen Z is embracing the age of innocence trend, decked out in soft hues, delicate ribbons, and a cute vibe straight out of the child attire playbook.

So, who needs to dress like an adult anymore? Whether you’re unwrapping gifts with family on the 25th of December or hitting the town with friends over the yuletide break, this FW23 trend is set to make a sentimental statement, reminding you of those warm, old memories.

The fashion industry is witnessing a rise in nostalgia and the revival of childhood garments. The allure of revisiting cherished memories and finding solace in the past has captivated designers and consumers alike, taking centre stage in winter trends and promising to have a significant impact on the upcoming trends for spring-summer 2024. 

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Un post condiviso da SIMONE ROCHA (@simonerocha_)


Why do we miss our innocent past selves so much? 

In the past, reminiscing about childhood often meant flipping through photo albums and exploring keepsake boxes brimming with cherished items. Personal items, like knitted striped jumpers from beloved grandmothers or lace-trimmed christening gowns, held the power to take us back in time, evoking a sense of emotional longing.

In the current climate, where uncertainty and a lack of control prevail, people naturally gravitate towards the familiar to find comfort. This inclination towards nostalgia isn’t unique to individuals; it extends to the fashion industry as well. 

Fashion, a historically future-forward industry, is compelled to hit the pause button and reflect on its own history. Drawing inspiration from past decades, it adapts to the challenges of a new era.

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Un post condiviso da Cecilie Bahnsen (@ceciliebahnsen)


Fashion brands under the spell of childhood nostalgia 

Acne Studios, Cecile Bahnsen, Simone Rocha, Ganni, Sandy Liang – these brands have fully embraced the romanticism of the past. Their collections encapsulate the age of innocence with soft hues, delicate ribbons, frilled chiffon gowns, intricate embroideries, pearls, a naïve touch, and a playful, childish allure.

In fashion, many designers and brands have embraced romantic and nostalgic moods with their collections

In fashion, many designers and brands have embraced romantic and nostalgic moods with their collections

These designers and labels cleverly infuse their garments with elements of nostalgia into their clothing, creating a charming contrast between adult elegance and youthful whimsy. 

Additionally, the “coquette” aesthetics, as seen on Sandy Liang, Simone Rocha, and Jacquemus Fall Winter 2023/2024 collections, offer fashion escapism from the gloomy reality, straight into a dreamy multiverse.

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Un post condiviso da JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus)

The surging interest in nostalgia and pre-owned fashion mirrors a change in consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable approach. Gen Z fashion enthusiasts are progressively gravitating towards vintage pieces, acknowledging their enduring value and the unique stories they carry.

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Un post condiviso da Sandy Liang (@sandyliang)


Taking refuge in a romanticised pastime

Nostalgia, which was once considered incompatible with youth and innovation, has now carved a niche in the modern fashion landscape. It provides a sense of comfort and familiarity that soothes the soul in a world rife with uncertainty.

This renewed interest in nostalgia is not limited to older generations; it is also embraced by Gen Zers and younger generations, breaking the stereotype that sentimentality is only for grown ups.

As the holiday season approaches, imagine a younger cohort celebrating Christmas wearing pearls, frills, embellishments, puffy sleeves, and dramatic volumes—an infusion of childish charm into the festivities.

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Un post condiviso da JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus)

As the fashion industry turns its attention away from the endless stream of digital information, there is an opportunity to explore nostalgia and rediscover the past. This could be the key to transformation and reinvention. The time has come to delve into the memory box and uncover the treasures of bygone times. 


This article originally appeared in the first issue of Introspection magazine (Milan, June 2023), a school project created by Istituto Marangoni student Sophie Atro as its editor-in-chief.



Sophie Atro
Fashion Management, Digital Communication & Media student, Milano