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    PJs, Inclusivity: The Year We Dressed Up For Nowhere

    , ET Bureau|
    2020: Fashion
    1/9

    2020: Fashion

    If 2020 could be summed up in one fashion item, it’d be the humble sweatpants. And when the high priestess of fashion Anna Wintour is photographed in them, you know it’s the year of the jammies. PJs became the fashion fatigues of the year. In the year of nowhere to go but everywhere to be virtually, fashion businesses reinvented, introduced new categories and did a rethink on production and raw materials. It was the year of reset and sustainability. Here are the trends that defined this unprecedented year.

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    ​Waist-Up and Mask-Up
    2/9

    ​Waist-Up and Mask-Up

    An enduring fashion legacy of the year has to be the fashion mask. From outrageous gold masks to graphic designs and bejewelled or embroidered variants, the mask is no longer fashion’s “let them eat cake” moment as it became a means of self-expression. While everything beauty turned mask-up with eye makeup sales going north, everything fashion is going waist-up. From interesting necklines and collar details to embroidery and statement jewellery, style was about what looked good on a Zoom call.

    (Image: Lecoanet-Hemant)

    Agencies
    ​Sustainability, Resale, Thrift
    3/9

    ​Sustainability, Resale, Thrift

    According to the McKinsey & Business of Fashion’s The State of Fashion 2020 report, this was the year the industry ramped up its sustainable activities. That fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries, second only to oil, has been well-documented. The report said: “Consumers have demanded a clean-up, and 2020 will see the industry accelerate its engagement.”

    The change is happening in different ways: some brands are developing new materials and ensuring products can be repaired or recycled — Gucci and Louis Vuitton used deadstock. Riding the sustainability bandwagon, resale, thrift, vintage and upcyling saw a growth. Globally, second-hand, subscription and rental are the three fastest growing retail categories.
    (Image: Doodlage)

    Agencies
    ​Going Seasonless
    4/9

    ​Going Seasonless

    This was the year that Gucci went seasonless and pared its showing from five to two main shows. Globally, fashion calendars have reverted to two prominent seasons and cut down on ancillaries such as “resort” and “prefall”. Going “seasonless” means more timeless than trendy, more personal style less fashion.

    (Image: Payal Khandwala)

    Agencies
    ​PJs Replaced Pants
    5/9

    ​PJs Replaced Pants

    PJs Replaced Pants Kamala Harris, the first woman of colour to be elected vice-president of America, making “the call” to Joe Biden in a pair of Nike leggings is a hallmark of 2020 where elasticised pants ruled. According to the trend forecasting agency WGSN, sales of leggings are up more than 60%. Comfort wear is a 2020 mood that endures via social media feeds and fashion will continue on its trajectory of increasing casualness.
    Micro-trends like casualisation of couture and workwear, pyjama dressing, adult onesies, robe wardrobes, resurgence of kaftans — all indicate that the “sheets to streets” aesthetic is the new normal.

    (Image: Dandelion)

    Agencies
    ​Handmade & Local
    6/9

    ​Handmade & Local

    The McKinsey and BoF report points to the rise of neighbourhood brands. It says consumers are growing tired of constant emails, tweets, messages and videos. There is a craving for a simpler relationship with fashion players. The local revolution also champions handmade goodness with a keen interest in natural fabrics and dyes and handmade clothes and the rise of bohemian, craft-based looks like crochet and tie and dye. Fashion commentator Prasad Bidapa says people want to purchase something significant and enduring.

    (Image: Okhai)

    Agencies
    ​Inclusivity is In
    7/9

    ​Inclusivity is In

    This was finally the year that inclusivity — size, colour, race, gender — became a core for fashion businesses and magazines. Fashion magazines experimented with self-shot covers, real people on covers and included more diversity in their images. Diversity on the management boards of luxury houses — hitherto white-dominated — is also being brought to the fore. British Vogue’s editor Edward Enninful — the first Black editor in history to head any of the 26 Vogue magazines — was named the most important Black man in the global fashion landscape by Time this year. Harper’s Bazaar US too got its first black woman editor in Samira Nasr.

    Vogue’s December cover had Harry Styles in a dress.

    Agencies
    ​Skincare Is Selling
    8/9

    ​Skincare Is Selling

    Work from home, physical distancing and mask wearing have made makeup and fragrance less important. A May 2020 McKinsey report found a 55% and 75% decline in cosmetic and fragrance purchasing respectively for prestige brands. By contrast, skincare, haircare and bath and body products appear to be benefitting from selfcare and pampering trends. In Europe, sales of skin-, nail-, and hair-care products were up 300%, year-onyear. Another notable trend is the rise of
    DIY beauty care.

    Agencies
    ​Digital Push
    9/9

    ​Digital Push

    As fashion weeks went digital, fashion businesses had no other option but to reorient themselves and think digital. Many designers, including Amit Aggarwal, JJ Valaya and Gaurang Shah, launched their ecommerce sites.

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