Superfly sneaks with wings keep the USA theme fresh.

From the broad spectrum of fashion runway shows to trade shows (even SXSW just announced that Bruce Springsteen is the keynote speaker), “Born in the USA” is a movement gaining moment, but not just in the USA. Done fashionably from Japanese designers showcasing in Nick Wooster’s masterpiece exhibition at Project, to European brands like Two Flags combining elements of a London-esque version with American denim and camo, the concept in many cases has been done better internationally than in the U.S. itself.

The result? A flurry of urban contemporary, streetwear, sportswear, T-shirts, footwear, dresses, and accessories with nostalgic reflections of patterns, fabrics, and styles, mixed with a 2012 sensibility from living in a digital age that allows mixing and matching to happen faster than ever. Fashion is transforming looks across the board that at first may appear complicated but actually, are completely on target with today’s mindset.

USA has made a claim on plaids on camo but top designers from Japan and Europe know inspirational combinations that turn retro classics into unique 2012.

From folk revival winning a Grammy in 2012 to the locally grown urban farmer movement, it’s cool to be American, or at least look like one. Not that we’re all suddenly patriotic, but there is inspiration to be found in trying to solve our economic crisis by figuring things out ourselves on home turf. For today’s youth culture, including a demographic that has gone through their entire teens in a recession, being DIY and EIY from which much of Born in the USA stems is the new call of rebellion. And survival.

Like most cultural movements, one of the clearest places to see such transformation is within fashion. Not only are brands touting their “Made in the U.S.A.” heritage, but if possible, even more locally with “Made in Maine” or, if you’re super core, “Made in Detroit” labels. From New England Ivy League lettermen jackets and patches, to upper-crust prep styles in tailored plaids and camo men’s jackets, to retro surfer Cali styles and sportswear with a moto-twist, many looks capture this fundamental ethos.

Levi’s denim dresses, Woolrich and Pendleton collabs, and workwear/Fall boots evolved from sneaker brands all work within this movement. Add to this the plethora of so-called vintage modernity of classic comics and super heroes on heathered T-shirts, and there’s no escaping the fact that this isn’t as much a trend, especially for Fall 2012 collections, but an ingrained evolution of a cultural revolution.

Levi's denim dresses paired with workwear boots are USA classics.
Retro flags especially those with less than 50 stars equals cred in trade show booth design.
Nautical Made in the U.S.A.
The Suffragette T.
Classic denim jacket with added USA flag patch among Fall 2012 trends.