Technicolorghost, a TikTok user, says that hot girl summer is over, but Meg Ryan Fall is upon us! She shows you some of Ryan’s most memorable looks from When Harry Met Sally or You’ve Got Mail. The hashtag #MegRyan on TikTok has 9.4m views and #MegRyanFall a whopping 1.4m. Users recreate the cozy, layered looks Ryan created with costume designers Gloria Gresham. These videos feature people in oversized jumpers, tight-fitting jackets, homburg tops with bowler shirts, and owl-shaped glasses, while lip-syncing to the Nora Emphron dialogue from the romcoms.
When Harry Met Sally was released in 1989 as a tribute to Diane Keaton’s gender-redefining style in Annie Hall (1977). A different type of nostalgia is in play in 2021. It’s a longing. David Berry, author of On Nostalgia, says that the pandemic has “really robbed us from a sense of future.” If you accept this about your future, then all you have is the past. So, I don’t know whether people indulge in nostalgia more than they have to. He said that the pandemic has made us more aware of nostalgia: “Nostalgia can be really difficult. It can slip through our words and our brains, becoming a feeling that lives as a feeling. It’s hard to think critically or be thoughtful about a feeling while it’s happening.”
#MegRyanFall is intune with other nostalgic trends that have been popular recently, touching upon the classic mood of Grandmacore and the autumnal quality of Dark Academia. These, like Cottagecore and Cabincore, focus on an idealised, Americana-flecked notion of the Danish idea of hygge and themes of comfort and escape. They transcend fashion and become lifestyle.
Lorna Hall is director of fashion intelligence at trend forecasters WGSN. “In 2017, we tracked the rise in travel startups offering ‘unplugged’ wellbeing getaways in cabin accommodations in the middle of upstate New York,” she says. “Neglected cabins located in the Catskill Mountains became hot properties.” Insta imagery and influencers from Airbnb all around the globe started dressing up cabin spaces. This was due to an increase in outdoor activities and an increase in people living off-grid. WGSN declared that hiking was the new yoga in 2017, and this trend has been accelerated by the pandemic. Hall says that hiking is not only the best place to be outside, but also benefits our frazzled mental health. Taylor Swift’s Evermore was released in December during the pandemic. It featured cabincore imagery as its artwork and Swift in a Meg Ryan-esque coat on the cover.
Cabincore’s popularity continues to grow. Gina Marie, the owner of moodycabingirl.com which offers travel information and pictures about cabins in America’s midwest, said that she has seen more people visit her website than last year. The fantasy of escape is part of the attraction.
“In the past six months, my most favorite photo was of two girls walking up to a Scandinavian style cabin on a private Island.” Marie says that you only see their backs. She adds that this photo is the most loved because it doesn’t show faces. “It’s easy to see anyone in it. They can imagine themselves in the scene and experience the excitement of a cabin adventure.”
#MegRyanFall is perfectly timed. As people return to real life and urban spaces, Ryan’s timeless, autumnal outfit speaks to our longing for a post-pandemic world.