Fashion: Back To The Streets
Young progressive designers are making unisex streetwear luxe and turning it into a statement all of its own. You can too!
While you and your SO were already sharing T-shirts, shorts, hoodies, sweatshirts and pants, there has also been a global fashion movement aimed at reducing normative beauty standards and fostering self-love and confidence for all body types and genders. Read: Unisex clothing is legit and here to stay. It’s progressive, inclusive, and hopefully, the future of fashion. From fast fashion giants to upscale brands, everyone has caught on, which is why you now see so many more celebs happily being papped in slouchy sweatshirts or comfy, oversized T-shirts and cycling shorts. Once seen as rebellious or androgynous, you don’t have to be Harry Styles, Billy Porter or Ranveer Singh to jump on this trend—you can now simply walk into a store and not have to ask “Where’s the men’s/ladies’ section?”
That’s because streetwear, at its heart, is an ideology as much as a fashion style. Some of the most exciting developments in that ideology have been happening worldwide, and “a new version of streetwear designers is emerging in India with the same ethos of creativity, community, and attitude today in India as well,” notes fashion designer Nida Mahmood.
Normcore subculture style simply means unpretentious, basic, functional clothing to help you fit into the crowd. Think comfortable T-shirts, sensible-dad sneakers, baggy jeans, oversized silhouettes and baseball caps, or coordinated unisex outfits with no bling, no red carpet glamour, just staples.
Get the look
Go for boyfriend jeans, which are roomier at the hips but have a regular waist. The cow pants seen here are inspired by the illustrations seen in children’s books, while the bar code pants are a little funkier— scan it and it sends you to the brand’s website.
Graphic T-shirts add loungy comfort; leather belts and metallic chains add a pinch of punk-rock glamour. Stick to the norm and finish the look with patent leather shoes.
“Inspiration for streetwear can come from anything from the streets—street culture, street music and even phrases; fashion is just the medium to express it,” says co-founder of six5six, Avni Aneja.
Gender fluidity in prints
Brands are launching collections that aren’t restricted to specific colours or fits separate for girls, boys, men or women. Instead, they are “genderless” in that the fashion is fluid, not inherently masculine or feminine, and the styles can fit all body types.
Get the look
The term ‘gender fluidity’ might now have replaced ‘unisex’ and refers to clothing that can smoothly flow from men’s to women’s wardrobes regardless of crafts, prints and colours.
If you want to add feminine chic to a look like this, go for polka dot mules, bling glares, and danglers, along with the crop top and leggings, and you’d be all set to achieve a red carpet streetwear luxe look.
“We are creatures of change, and fashion must be exciting, or it will loose its purpose. But it should also be a seamless addition to your wardrobe,“ says co-founder and creative director of Huemn, Pranav Misra.
The gender-bender look
Gender-neutral fashion is redefining personal expression. Designers are using this gender-bender narration to add a distinct brand language to their brands.
Get the look
Restrict yourself to a black and white ensemble, and you will never go wrong in achieving a gender-bender look.
A printed T-shirt with ankle-length trousers or culottes is very on-trend.
“We perceive clothing as independent of trends, season and gender. It has more to do with the wearer’s individualistic expression and how they want to portray themselves. When picking an outfit, one must think of what message they wish to project through their clothes,” says fashion designer Rahul Misra.
The twinning phenomenon
Cringe couples that twin are cringe no more. Now, couples who make the same fashion choices and wear matching colour schemes are actually on trend!
Get the look
An oversized shirt and matching bottoms are an easy, pre-planned outfit that can be worn with any shoe you desire, whether sneakers or slip-ons.
Always go for comfortable silhouettes and simultaneously allow movement for different body types; bubbly prints add a fun element to the design.
“Unisex clothing has become the need of the hour as it’s pocket-friendly and convenient but also versatile to style. Especially street style, as the silhouettes are most comfortable and easy to switch to match one taste and wardrobe requirements,” states fashion designer Kunal Anil Tanna.
The artistic streetwear
Many new brands are working towards sustainability, upcycling dead fabrics into something usable.
Designer Dhruv Khurana fell in love with abstract impressionism and conceptual art and eventually gave birth to an artistic streetwear brand named Almost Gods.
Get the look
The powerful imagery of natural disasters of eruptive volcanos and forest fire is captured in printed trousers. It is clubbed with a black and white spiderweb print T-shirt. A pair of solid sneakers give the eyes rest from the powerful visual drama.
The look has been created from the collection inspired by a quote by Edward O. Wison, an American sociobiologist—’We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and God-like technology.
“Streetwear is a kind of casual clothing, but if handled with high craftmanship it can be transformed to statement clothing,” says Nida Mahmood.
Socially- aware fashionistas
Designers are trying different ways to sensitise fashionistas to climate change and other issues through their craft. Heat mapping is a data visualisation technique used to show the magnitude of a phenomenon as colour in two dimensions. The colour variation may be hue or intensity, giving obvious visual cues to the reader about how the phenomenon is clustered or varies over space. Remember how the weather report on the news showed the temperature across the world in red and blue?
Get the look
Go for the heat mapping details in print and show that you are an aesthetically- socially-aware fashionista.
Tell the world about the consequences of climate change—club the heat map stretch crop top with a long, body-hugging skirt. Balance this with a fine jersey-knit solid stocking. Finally, a multilayered silver string neckpiece adds bling to the look.
“It is important to invest in pieces that will stay relevant to us for many years to come and have a story of their own to tell. Eventually, those pieces become stories themselves, and that’s the most beautiful thing,” says fashion designer Rahul Misra.
From HT Brunch, June 18, 2022
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