At about this time last year, many of the world’s top fashion editors, designers and influencers were preparing for their annual fashion trips to Milan, New York and London. Little did they know that they would be the last for a long time to come. In addition to the isolation, sickness and deaths that have accompanied the pandemic, attitudes have changed as well, towards almost everything from food, friendships and naturally fashion. We’ve compiled the top 8 changes that we will be feeling most this year. Chime in with your suggestions too!
1 || Fashion and Function
This is probably the most poignant change in attitude.. The fact that fashion for the sake of fashion no longer makes sense. I am sure that it has a lot to do with finances, people simply don’t have the appetite for non-functional items. Add to that our change of lifestyle and all of a sudden a miniature Jacquemus Le Chiquito Petit handbag no longer sounds as appealing. Alessandro Michele of Gucci created an iconic reputation for himself for that specific reason, fashion for the sake of fashion. A quick stroll past any Gucci store or concession stand in 2019 and 2020 and you’d be assaulted by mismatched pieces of clothing that were; to say the least, hard to wear. That same fashion designer has just dropped his first ever collaboration, and with non-other than North Face, arguably the most functional outerwear brand of all time.
2 || Sustainability but Really
When sustainability first became a buzz word around a decade ago, people didn’t quite understand how they could possibly contribute to the cause. Fast-forward to 2021, and not only is sustainability in its many forms clearer, but also more important than ever. Things don’t actually happen in silos, and although the pandemic is certainly not a direct result of climate change, it has become clear to us all that in order to survive, we must be kinder to Mother Earth and the Animal Kingdom. We have started to respect slow fashion, check our tags for good sustainable practices and resale has become a way of life.
3 || Fashion History Matters
As the fashion world slows down, and we make more informed fashion purchases, including pre-loved items, the story behind the product starts to play a larger role. Today it matters that Gabriela Hearst’s collections are based on proud sustainable practices, her recent appointment to Chloe a testament to the importance of her work. When we consider purchasing a vintage item; who made it, and when it was made matters. Take vintage Céline for example, or Versace pre-1997 (before Gianni passed).
4 || How Many Do You Actually Need Anyway?
As we start to appreciate this new pace of life, we invariably ponder the above question. No longer on the proverbial treadmill of life, how many winter coats do we actually need? How many handbags? It doesn’t just have to do that most of us spend a lot of time at home, but also because the way we used to lead our lives was in fact excessive.. Now, when we do decide to purchase a winter coat, we think about it, consider the design, the fashion story behind it and a number of other elements before we actually press ‘buy now’. What we perhaps no longer take into consideration is the influencer wearing it. Although we still spend many hours on social media, I believe that we are no longer ‘influenced’ but what is in and what is out. Who wore what, and how.. Things have become so much more personal, and that is great.
5 || In Search of Uniqueness and Experiences
So if we are no longer influenced by what we see on the internet in its many forms, then what is influencing us? The answer is, originality and unique design. We are in search of collaborations, limited edition products and items made to order or by hand. Again it is the story that matters.. COVID has reminded us that we are all in this together, and somehow this has made ordering a fantastic sweater from a little known designer from Peru via Instagram a viable option. Actually, we can’t wait to receive it via COVID-induced snail mail. How it is made is starting to matter just as much as who made it.. No longer influenced by mega-brand’s big advertising bucks, we are given room to discover talent from far afield and take a chance on them.
6 || Local Emerging Talent Needs to Step Up
COVID has forced us all to buy local.. Equal parts a sense of unity and proximity, we have found ourselves purchasing local fashion and design more and more often, which is a double-edged sword. It is great for local talent to be discovered, but it also means that they need to step up and provide us with competitively priced, good quality products. Simply put you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.