Off the shoulder layering, belted blazers, statement coats and the long-awaited red dress for Christmas Day may not be such popular trends moving into the Autumn/ Winter months. Instead, the focus is still on what comfy loungewear must haves will see us through to the end of 2020.
With fashion designers, advocates and enthusiasts being in a state of limbo as to whether the next season will be in lockdown or not, it continues the muted response we have had to prepare for the next quarter of fashion trends. One trend that we can say has grown considerably is loungewear and athleisure. In the week before March 2020 there was a 37% spike in millennials expenditure within this region of clothing items, 34% by Generation X and 27% from Generation Z. As the world was thrown into lockdown there was a sudden outcry for a new wardrobe, as people soon realised and simultaneously panicked that in their preparation for the spring fashion season trends there was no mention of life being mainly lived inside.
With our primary connection to the world of fashion information and trends now being heavily broadcasted via online mediums such as: Instagram, blogs, online shopping and e-commerce sites we have quickly been influenced by designers and celebrities’ styling of the ‘loungewear’ look. Even though we still get a thrill from putting on stylish and fashionable clothes, could it be argued that we have felt less eager to invest in contemporary garments since we cannot visualise ourselves wearing these items outdoors? Furthermore, people have found it essentially easier to shop for comfy minimalist clothes online, instead of trying to experiment with new season trends and styles as they do not want to run the risk that it might not fit or suit.
Increased popularity for more relaxed, loose fitting clothes generated a gap between luxury brands- whose collections no longer suited the lifestyle we were now living. Meanwhile brands such as UGG, Crocs, and Swedish born lifestyle company Happy Socks all saw a growing rate in sales; with less desire to buy new shoes people have alternately turned their enthusiasm to buying new, appealing and attractive socks. Lockdown has proven that the more successful brands are those that can quickly adapt to the new consumer behaviours. With this in mind, will designers in the future have to broaden their focus and build collections for a wardrobe that aids both a sedentary indoors, as well as stylish, fashionable outdoor lifestyle?
Although there have been negative impacts on many retail brands, there has also been a wide gap in the market created for new and upcoming designers and talent who perhaps follow a trend that equips our new future of fashion. In a VOGUE interview designer Grace Wales Bonner has become very focused and “aware of this idea of lineage and ancestry”, and how we should celebrate the past and the people who made space for fresh designers. This mentality has shifted onto herself as she acknowledges the role current designers have "to open doors for a younger generation – and (that) the work we’re doing could have a real impact on what the future looks like”.
With the idea already being circulated as to whether the future of fashion perhaps is seasonless and designers not facing the restrictions of creating a collection suited for S/S or A/W fashion week, does this mean that we as consumers no longer follow season trends and begin to build our own wardrobes consisting of a multitude of styles that can accommodate every season. In turn, meaning we never again run the risk of a time in the year where we feel our wardrobe does not equip the climate, we may be in. The idea of seasonless fashion has the potential to improve both sustainability and environmental impacts that mass production for multiple season collections cause.
Although trends will always dominate fashion, have seasonal fashion trends become a thing of the past? Instead of designers focusing on what’s next for spring(S), summer(S), autumn(A) and winter(W), we should look forward to a new annual trend where the collection is perfect for 365 days of the year.
Writer: Abigail Laurel Morton
Illustrations by: Abigail Laurel Morton