"There is a universal tendency to borrow from the past" is a statement that easily could have accompanied last season’s runway, yet it actually appeared in April 1914, as part of Vogue’s coverage of the Paris collections. Clearly, fashion has been referencing its past for a long time; this is not just a contemporary phenomenon.

RetroSpective demonstrates that this practice is deeply rooted in fashion history. By presenting an overview of historical references in fashion, with a strong emphasis on the recurrence of silhouette, we can see that drawing on both the distant and recent past is a fundamental part of the design process with its own unique history.