New York Fashion Week is in the rear-view, and now we’ve moved onto London. Designers like Molly Goddard and Simone Rocha’s collections were full of flounce with ruffles and lace, while Edward Crutchley showed 18th century silhouettes and elaborate textiles. The Brit street style favorites like Alexa Chung and Susie Bubble are out and all over (my) Pinterest already. And despite my feelings and hesitations, it seems that Fashion Month is here, back, in full swing etc. etc.
As an editor most of my career, this is about the halfway point of the city to city traipsing when I would think about the trend stories. What are the commonalities across the runways we’ve seen so far that I can make an educated guess and say that we’ll probably see in Milan and Paris too? Is there a particular color or texture everyone seems to have picked up? Are poofy dresses a result of our year in quarantine? What about all the cut outs and crop tops – is that designers tapping into and anticipating yet another hot girl summer in 2022?
Luckily, I don’t feel the need to do that this season. As I talked about in my first newsletter, everything may be happening, but it’s still off. The industry is different and quite frankly, so am I. Once again, it’s as though we are going through the motions of fashion so that the industry can return to normal, and cycling trends to keep perpetuating our need for more clothing. With this in mind, looking at the runway shows as a whole, it's not like there is any style that feels all that new anyway. As much as I remain reverent to the artistry of designers and their teams, there is a sense that what’s trending isn’t necessarily starting on the runways anymore. Honestly, with five seasons a year, how could it? That’s literally just too many styles repeated over and over again to set a trend. I don’t know that it's possible to not repeat (any mathematicians want to challenge me?) exactly what’s already happening. Fashion brands are trying to make money, so to assume they aren’t taking a cue from their plugged-in customers shopping on Instagram and TikTok would be absurd.
So much of what is about to come out in new collections looks like a high end version of what Depop sellers curate in their stores. We’ve already seen dresses over baggy pants, metallics, and crochet for the last few years and all over social media. I don’t think it's that wild to imagine that after a year or two of fashion slump, brands need to go with what works. The disappointing part is that we’re making a bunch of new clothing when clearly it already exists. The best solution I can see is that we need to have fewer seasons. Designers need to think harder about whether or not showing each time there is a Fashion Month is even worth it for them.
Despite all my previous ramblings, I will always think clothing is beautiful and important. Figuring out how our trend cycle is evolving, though, is key to reducing waste and making the industry actually have a future. So, I want to know what you think. Where are the trends being set in 2021 and what do you think it means for the next phase of fashion?