Defying the norm defines the new rule in fashion: 12 trends that toe this line
Fashion is a craft of response; the perfect canvas to escape—from tedium, tradition and tenet. It is this escapism that finds a voice in Gucci’s Alessandro Michele’s version of colourful, “floridly embroidered, eminently wearable clothing” where “appliqué animals, butterflies, and snakes and tigers, everything is opening its mouth to scream”, where he is daring to venture out; to scream; to be adventurous. Others, like Aneeth Arora, have followed suit with Forbidden Garden, a collection where she has embroidered flowers in satin and used beads and threads to make them look surreal. Samant Chauhan’s clothes, inspired by train journeys and what lies beyond, flirt with balloon sleeves that contest the limitation of gathers and use gold embroidery to make dresses where maize and barley take other forms when embroidered on to garments. As bugs, bees and Gothic elements suggest the unreal; non-places, non-flowers and non-real mark a galactic shift in fashion. But fashion’s other response is the urban, gritty street wear running riot on the ramps, promoted by Vetements and Balenciaga, that celebrates counter cultures and sub cultures. The make up is either grunge with eyes that look like they came from the netherworld or dewy with a palette of colours hitherto forbidden for the lips and eyes, like yellow, blue and green. You can choose to escape to a world of fantasy or stay put on the streets and be the revolution.
Punks wore safety pins, sported tattoos and everything in their persona symbolised their reaction against organised government. Punk is back and it is that courage to court ugly, with menacing dark eyes and anarchy in the face that are outlining trends in makeup.
Here, the fantasy is “morally loathsome” as Philip Pullman once said about CS Lewis’ seven fantasy worlds. When iconic streetwear label Supreme collaborated with Louis Vuitton, the lines between street wear and luxury were completely obliterated.
The Gothic look with chains and black roses and everything that is “conspicuously dark and mysterious” hinting at almost morbid fashion with black lips and black clothes.
Alice in Wonderland
Escapism is a political statement with non-places and non-real becoming the ultimate escape fantasy. On the runway, travel conjures mystery lands with gigantic flowers and speaking tigers.
With designers celebrating Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamato, fashion is now more anti-pretty than ever before, with imperfections as highlights and freckles in demand.
Pink eyes and gold lips
The makeup is breaking stereotypes with colour palettes that are changing the “purpose” of makeup. Highlighting is now dissolving with everything becoming solvent.
One size fits all
Oversized clothing and unusual cuts that pay no heed to the ‘sacred’ contours of the body or vanity are reshaping body politics that have ruled the roost for long.
“Sexuality is in sex, not elsewhere”. Fashion’s biggest obsession continues to be androgyny, with men wearing flowers and frills and skirts and women sporting waist coats and laced-up military boots. The momentum is gathering towards a space where gender—which is naturally assigned—can be fixed manually, but can’t define fashion.
The art of fashion
Fashion has always maintained that it is about business and art is more about existentialism. Now, boundaries have blurred with designers choosing to express themselves in tandem with artistic freedom. A case in point is Rahul Mishra’s Infinity, a collection inspired by Van Gogh’s paintings, that was recently showcased in Paris.
Maximising Indian minimalism
Designers are increasingly harnessing the tradition of using bright colours to create a distinctive definition of Indian minimalism that defies the western monopoly of black and grey.
This trend glorifies everything handmade and handwoven to pay homage to India’s rich textile heritage. Designers are reinventing and reinterpreting traditional textiles and crafts to create a new vocabulary.
The sari remains the biggest mover and shaker in fashion after having proved that it can be as contemporary as a kimono, which Yohji Yamamato has elevated to a symbol of power. The sari unwraps itself in a new avatar.