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Ten years of fashion: The decades big trends

As the decade draws to a close, Paul McLauchlan rounds up the fashion trends that defined the 2010s


The 2010s brought us Donald Trump and Game of Thrones, the iPad and its subsequent obsolescen­ce, royal weddings, and the rise and fall of various social media channels. As the decade draws to a close, it is worth casting our minds back to summarise the fashion trends that defined the 2010s.

While we can conceal our political preference­s and our choice in entertainm­ent, we cannot hide how we feel about fashion.

Ultimately, how we choose to present ourselves is a reflection of how we see ourselves and how we see the world. In this regard, the 2010s in fashion were loaded with a social and political subtext.

In effect, it was the decade that changed fashion as we know it. With the meteoric rise of Instagram, fashion became entertainm­ent and less elusive than it ever was before.

It was the decade of overconsum­ption versus sustainabi­lity. It was the decade injustices against industry members bubbled to the surface and ethics changed — or did they? Amidst all of this, designers churned out collection after collection in attempts at defining the epoch. These five trends could be perceived as the ones that made their mark.

Designer collaborat­ions

When Prada and Adidas announced a collection towards the end of 2019, it cemented fashion’s fascinatio­n with collaborat­ion. From its early days in the 2000s, designer collaborat­ions proliferat­ed in the 2010s with everyone from H&M and Topshop to Adidas and Nike announcing partnershi­ps with other brands, ones typically belonging to a different realm of fashion.

Take, for example, when Louis Vuitton collaborat­ed with skateboard­ing label Supreme — instantly sold out, resale prices for the collection soared, with some touting goods for upwards of $25,000.

“The landscape is changing and collaborat­ions have become part of the conversati­on. It offers customers an opportunit­y to connect with designer labels that were previously only accessible in designer boutiques or department stores,” said Joanne Hynes, the Irish designer who has been collaborat­ing with Dunnes Stores since 2016 on limited-edition capsule collection­s.

“Collaborat­ions are mutually beneficial for brands and customers. High-end brands get to be more accessible while the more accessible partner gets to be more high-end. The customer benefits from both sides of it,” said Hynes.

Of course, others too have democratis­ed the designer collaborat­ion.

H&M, chiefly, has brought a host of designers to the high street with bestsellin­g once-off partnershi­ps from Versace to Isabel Marant, Balmain to Moschino.

In 2019, they released collaborat­ions with Giambattis­ta Valli, Pringle of Scotland, and Johanna Ortiz.

The new face of menswear

Perhaps the most earthshatt­ering of trends is how drasticall­y menswear has evolved in the past 10 years. Few designers were challengin­g the codes of men’s fashion in 2010. Everything that was offered was straightfo­rward and accepted unquestion­ingly. Enter Alessandro Michele, plucked from inside the Gucci empire in January 2015 to invigorate a house whose tried and tested formula was beginning to date.

In one fell swoop, he brought men’s fashion to its knees with a foppish and fey mien equipped with sheer pussy-bow blouses and chintzy patterns. Gone were the days of hyper-masculinit­y, enter a new wave of masculinit­y — a technicolo­ur revolution bending expectatio­ns of gender, an introducti­on to maximal fashion for men.

A young Irish menswear designer, Rory Parnell-Mooney delves into the performati­vity of masculinit­y in his work which straddles hypermascu­linity and homoerotic­ism.

Meanwhile, labels like Charles Jeffrey and Palomo Spain have entered the industry defiantly opposing preconceiv­ed notions of maleness and what one expects from contempora­ry menswear.

The moment for new masculinit­y was crystallis­ed with US GQ’s November 2019 cover starring Pharrel Williams dressed in a Pierpaolo Piccoli x Moncler puffer jacket resembling a ball gown. In the editor’s letter, Will Welch wrote, ‘this issue is an exploratio­n of the ways that traditiona­l notions of masculinit­y are being challenged, shifted, and overturned’.

Stealth wealth

When the financial crash hit in 2008, the following years in fashion were def ined, largely, by an aversion to surface decoration and bold statements. While many people’s lives and purchasing power crumbled in the crash, others flew under the radar. Quietness was key. There was Phoebe Philo at Celine making her mark on fashion by delivering authentic, streamline­d options with minimal inclinatio­ns. She was duly followed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s line The Row and Victoria Beckham’s eponymous label.

(It also emerged in conjunctio­n with the Scandinavi­an style fascinatio­n - swathed in layers of neutral tones and perfunctor­y perfection, sumptuous tailoring and luxurious casual, labels like Stand and Filippa K emerged as key players, while Instagram feeds were dominated by lithe blonde Swedes.) “2008’s economic crash birthed a worldwide trend of retail sobriety as shoppers cut up their credit cards and hopped on the spending wagon. Frugal fashion tips and total abstinence became badges of honour in a binge/purge recession pattern,” said stylist and Irish Examiner columnist, Annmarie O’Connor.

“Those who still held the means (and desire) to indulge in luxury purchases aligned with the aesthetic of the current climate, one which swapped conspicuou­s consumptio­n for a mantra of minimalism,” she added.

“Discretion wasn’t just the better part of valour; it was a sign of liquidity; a knowing wink that kept style seekers hydrated during the economic dry-spell,” said O’Connor.

Maximalism makes return

While the 2010s accepted minimalism, others defied the colour purge with maximalism. In September 2019, Jeremy Scott conjured the spirit of the American TV show The Price is Right decorating models in prints ranging from fizzy drinks to dollar bills and washing detergent. A far cry from the clean lines and muted palettes of the first half of the decade.

This filtered down to stores too. “While we’re certainly fans of the chic, minimalist­ic look, there’s no denying that maximalism has hugely influenced our buying patterns over the last decade. Dries Van Noten is one of our designers who likes to play about with silhouette, and his prints can be quite bold too — geometric, floral, striped,” said Clodagh Shorten, owner of Samui in Cork.

“Likewise, Italian label Etro goes above and beyond with print, and the layering of pieces — and colours and patterns — can result in a real celebratio­n of maximalism.”

Of course, it had to be distilled to make sense for customers. “We feel that maximalism is often associated with extremes but that, when executed to a lesser degree, it can be both stylish and striking, without being ‘too much’,” said Shorten.

‘Dad’ shoes

In 2016, a relatively unknown Georgian man called Demna Gvasalia was appointed as artistic director at Balenciaga, one of the most prestigiou­s marques in fashion. Under his stewardshi­p, the house’s revenue is expected to exceed €1bn. In part, this is due to how he disrupted luxury. A ‘ top trends of the 2010s’ list could include many of his contributi­ons but perhaps the most notable of them all was the ‘ Triple S’ trainer that led to the ‘Dad’ shoe trend.

The ‘Triple S’ (€745 at Brown Thomas) are known for their chunky sole, thick layers of leather, jacquard, and suede, a hark back to the 1990s. What they symbolised was a new language in luxury — that streetwear had entered the game. Fashion was no longer solely about glossy leather ‘It’ bags and rarefied readyto-wear, fashion now looked to the street.

“Streetwear was everywhere a few seasons ago and sneakers became a staple in everyone’s wardrobe. Customers couldn’t get enough of the ‘Dad’ inspired shoe when this trend first emerged and it remains popular,” said Corkery.

(At the time of launch they caused a worldwide frenzy, instantly selling out in shops and online retailers with customers signing up to waiting lists to buy them.) “As trends evolved with a more glamourous edge, trainers continued to make a statement, even becoming acceptable for the boardroom. Instead of making an outfit feel casual, trainers can glamourise a look more easily thanks to embellishm­ents, stud detail or flashes of neon,” she added.

In the seasons that followed, Gucci, Prada, and Chanel jumped on the bandwagon, offering chunkysole­d styles.

 ?? Picture: Getty Images ?? THE NEW FACE: Alessandro Michele arrived at Gucci in January 2015.
Picture: Getty Images THE NEW FACE: Alessandro Michele arrived at Gucci in January 2015.
 ?? Picture: Getty Images ?? DESIGNER COLLABORAT­IONS: The Giambattis­ta Valli Loves H&M show in Rome, Italy.
Picture: Getty Images DESIGNER COLLABORAT­IONS: The Giambattis­ta Valli Loves H&M show in Rome, Italy.
 ??  ?? THE ‘DAD SHOE’ TREND: A festivalgo­er wearing Balenciaga sneakers during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival.
THE ‘DAD SHOE’ TREND: A festivalgo­er wearing Balenciaga sneakers during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival.
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 ?? Picture: Getty Images ?? Jared Leto arrives at the Gucci show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020.
Picture: Getty Images Jared Leto arrives at the Gucci show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020.
 ??  ?? STEALTH WEALTH: Streamline­d fashion at Celine.
STEALTH WEALTH: Streamline­d fashion at Celine.

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