Mark Twain has been attributed the quote, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhymee.” This seems especially true when it comes to fashion. You can see it very easily just through a cursory examination of historical trends as recorded throughout Europe over the last two thousand years. Every several decades there’s a cycle of dress styles.
The Cyclical Nature of Popular Style
Things usually tend to transition from a kind of over-zealous approach to clothing which includes multiple articles of a fancy variety, to a sort of minimalist style. Now there are also always segments of society which retain a particular style more or less continually. Consider formal dress, which has been variations on the same theme for several hundred years.
Where things differ today is the promulgation of multimedia in availabilities unprecedented. This has in a way increased the transition of stylistic ideal. Additionally, modern methods of clothing production have made colors and styles available to a greater variety of buyers. Where before, a color like purple could only be afforded by royalty, today it is ubiquitous.
So what we’ve seen in the twentieth and twenty-first century is a broad sequence of trends that seem to rhyme year by year. Like the hip-hop poetry of rap music, sometimes those rhymes are long and convoluted, sometimes short and quick; but they always come back in the end.
According to Just For Kix, hip hop pants, also called “harem pants”, “…sit high on the waist, are baggy at the thighs and tapered down the legs.” These pants are making a huge comeback, and are often used to give a performance a more playful edge.
You may remember this particular clothing style from the birth of hip-hop as a respected musical genre in the west. This was in the late seventies in part, but primarily in the eighties and through the early nineties. At that point, the sine-wave dipped, and these went out of style; but with the re-emergence of hip-hop popularity, they have came back!
Many fashion-savvy individuals who know the trend are regularly wearing these pants, and additionally, there are quite a few entertainment capacities in which they are increasingly coming into demand. As a result, there are quite a few dance agencies and personal buyers looking to keep with the rhyming trends of our fast-paced world.
If you’re going to have such a performance, you want clothing items designed to take the punishment. With any dance number, you’re going to have a lot of practice. If you’re practicing in clothing that doesn’t reflect your actual freedom of movement, then all that practice is essentially useless. You’ve rehearsed for the last eighty hours over two weeks for nothing.
It makes sense that in early stages of choreography, you won’t be in full costume; but in the days before the performance, you’ll definitely want a full dress-rehearsal. Especially if you’ve got specific numbers where costume design is characterizing a certain performance emphasis, you’ll want clothing whose engineering has come from other dance professionals.
You’re also going to want pants that stand the test of time. Since fashion is cyclical, you don’t want to have to retire them; just rotate them into a holding pattern. It’s very likely the hip hop pants trend will reach a peak, decline, and then return. Why keep buying the same pants through such transition?
Time Keeps On Slippin’
It is fascinating to watch how fashion preferences wax and wane over time, and how much they do seem to “rhyme” with one another, or echo. The next iteration is somewhat the same, somewhat different. Hip hop pants of the harem variety are certainly an essential component, often recurring in this continual cycle.