Dressing down: Pantsuits, embellishments and sheer, the era of extravagance is over
The global coronavirus pandemic hasn’t spare anyone and anything for that matter. The impact is not only on the economy and politics but the social and cultural spectrum is also suffering and struggling to be relevant right now. The creative industries like fashion, design, art among others are finding it difficult to sell a dream. A dream of all things beautiful and inspired. The retail industry is seeing an all-time low and it is even difficult to make trend predictions in terms of the market and also in the context of the time-honoured styles that have occupied our wardrobes and hearts for such a long time. Extravagance has no space now as it fails to attract the masses and give them a dream to look a certain way.
Fashion media is having a tough time to even pitch ideas and make them relevant at this point of time when mere survival and managing basics mark the call of the hour. The future of the fashion week is in question and the representation or even putting forward a new trend is out of the question. Instagrammers are coming up with quirky ideas like ‘home couture’ and ‘bin isolation outing’ to keep the narrative going and generate some interest in a much loved-domain by many.
While we were already amid a long dialogue on the idea of sustainability and slow fashion, many failed to see that it was not just a case of projecting a vision but it was the need of the present and surely the foundation for the future. The consumer is getting far away from the idea of fantasy in fashion and even eccentric ideas like ‘revenge buying’ is not going to rescue anyone. Will the pandemic make the creative industries more responsible now? Will this crisis help in churning out what actually matters from a huge pile of mass-produced things? Only time will tell but certain trends that were emblematic in terms of social and cultural growth, as well as personal appropriation, will see the blues. Some trends will surrender as there will be little space to even validate them in the times to come. Professional as well as personal dressing is already going through a metamorphosis and only the simplest trends will survive as of now.
In the last couple of years, some powerful trends emerged on the top while being around for a long time. The classic pantsuit caught interest and women across the world related to it. It seems like an armour, a projection of who they really are. This feminist trend appealed to many and we saw collections from around the world selling it successfully to the aspirants. But now, the idea of dressing has changed in a matter of a month. The change was sudden and left trend forecasts tight-lipped as to the navigation of selling an idea, a product, a dream, a vision has changed.
Once in a while, we all love the idea of ‘go big or go home’. The extravagant, embellished sequin dresses and jackets lured many and party dressing became a regular thing or not only to be afforded by few. If you cannot afford a high-end label, a cheap knock-off was around the corner. But, now what? Where do you even go wearing it or even showing it off on your social media handle? The sartorial show has kind of stalled right now. Festive dressing is not even getting any space in the discussion and decisions. Jewellery, accessories, sheer ensembles, leatherwear, latex, larger-than-life silhouettes are standstill at a T-point.
As many try to figure as to what to do with a wardrobe full of beauty and style, most of us are showing big love to oversized t-shirts, pyjamas, white shirts and sleepwear. The slippers have replaced the platform wedges and stilettos. The beauty products have been replaced with home-made facepacks and a lip balm. Let’s not even get to the fascinating accessories that are proof of impulse buys. Maybe locked up somewhere in the cupboard.
The minimalist is having the last laugh. For now.