It seems that perception of fashion is changing and will continue to change for several years. But how will it change after the pandemic crisis, and what will be the attitude of trendsetters, consumers, buyers and all of us towards our wardrobe and the acceptance of the new trends?
While the fashion industry is trying to predict the trends of the next decades, based on the latest researches, I have tried to link future forecasts with historical experience of the past. We can look for analogies in the past and search for the key to how our attitude will change after a pandemic.
In this situation it is already possible to anticipate several directions for tomorrow. Let us look at them!
The Upcoming Trends
1.Introverted fashion and fabrics reflecting colors of the nature will come as a reaction to isolation and a meditative lifestyle. The fall in consumption will create a desire for naturalness, which will be derived from the observation of nature. Not the noisy and sociable city life, but noticing every detail in the transformations of nature will make you wear sand tones, grass green, stone gray and earth brown. And maybe here lies the connection with the medieval world?
The medieval monasteries where the treatment of the infected took place could evoke associations with the harsh and modest costumes of the monks.
"During The Black Death of 1347 (and the years following), priests were faced with the task of stepping into sickrooms, knowing that they faced an unseen enemy that very likely would kill them shortly. That thousands of priests took those steps anyway, risking their lives to give hope and comfort to those in pain and fear is something I can’t help but admire all these centuries later." [6.]
Even if we are chronologically far from medieval living space, brown tones in combination with natural white will make you wear free-falling and neutral priests' robes.
However, fashion to neutral tones also came during the Art Nouveau period, as well as after World War I. The reasons for this coincidence are probably to be found in pandemics - Flu pandemic during 1889-1890 and the Spanish Flu during 1918-1920. Looking at the scenes after these diseases, we see what kind of fashion trends were born in the minds of trendsetters and how consumers responded to it ... Loose cut lines and neutral colors were in vogue after the Spanish flu. Modern pastel tones and dramatic natural colors dominated after the flu pandemic in the late 19th century...
2.The smart choices and clever purchases, as well as the increasing trend towards a zero waste and minimalist lifestyle, for some time already characterize recent trends. However, after a pandemic, this trend can only intensify. The money saving choices and the desire to embody long-term values will be the leading trend of the next decade.
We will no longer try to please the worshipers of any fashionable trend, because we will only buy what characterizes our daily lives and only when we really need something. In short, this trend is characterized by wearing clothes to the last opportunity - until it wears out ...
3.The use of Eco-friendly fabrics just like moving to sustainable fashion largely coincides with the previous prediction. We will probably not wear plastic clothing, but rather will focus on what will embody the code of nature's harmony in our appearance.
Working processes in the field of textile industry makes various influences on the environment and human health. Technological development has gone hand in hand with science in creating the new Eco-friendly fibres such as hemp, bamboo, jute, nettle and many others. It is important to note that not all natural fibres (cotton, wool) can be Eco-friendly and not all man-made and regenerated fibres such as lyocell, tencel, viscose and others are considered as harmful to environment. Such man-made regenerated fibres are obtained from natural sources or synthetic can also be Eco-friendly. [5.]
Throughout history, many revolutionary fibers have been discovered, but in the 21st century, this is a radically different situation that suggests a different approach to the rational use of natural resources.
4.Non-trend or normcore, as it is sometimes called, styles and/or alternative fashion actually makes us think about how much we follow or - deliberately ignore the "current fashion trends". There will be no more "must-have" space here. At least, as it has been the case so far.
There is a rational reason for rejecting fashion. The so-called fashion trendsetters (or call them like you want) seem to impose us their idea of style and fashion or define current "must have". But we don't want that because we have our own creative idea and our own vision. We want to be different, not like everyone else. And here works the rejection of existing trends in fashion, as well as alternative fashion, which, in fact, is a new wave of anti-fashion.
In the coming decades, will everyone dress the way they want? We will see how the pandemic will change us internally and externally. Will we create our own idea of "otherness"? It is quite possible that each of us will be able to create his/her own vision of eternal fashion.
The idea of an alternative to the existing fashion emerged at the beginning of the 20th century with the wave of Orientalism in Paris, the efforts of artistic fashion creators in Vienna, London and many other places in Europe. This continued in the early era of modernism, in the 1920's and 1930's, when avant-garde fashion emerged.
It is quite possible that such an orientation towards a different fashion concept arose as a psychological reaction following the Flu pandemic (1889 - 1890), as well as a later threat - the Spanish Flu (1918-1920). As can be seen from historical examples, the impact may have lasted for several decades after major social cataclysms, creating not only a response to the economic crisis but also to a peculiar response from the creative community and industries.
Even after a coronavirus pandemic, the role of individuality may increase. The role of personality, re-evaluation of values and orientation to timelessness will be much more important.
5. The next trend is related to romantic statement and Neo-Victorian goth clothing. It is very likely that the coming years will once again bring a boom in romantic fashion, as well as memories of the Victorian goth style. We are already seeing some forerunners with puffy sleeves, airy pastel fabrics, tulle, as well as the icons of eternal elegance - black dresses.
You will probably ask why? Although the trends of the 21st century are focused on the topicality of the concept of minimalism and comfort, part of the society is tired of the uniformity of sporty style. The answer lies in the cycle of fashion changes, which leads to focus on values that have been forgotten for some time.
However, returning to the analogies of history, it is worth noting that after the Black Death, which hit Europe in 1347, the black fashions flourished for some time in the royal courts of Europe. Also, just after the wars and the outbreaks of plague in the middle of the 16th century came another era of black Dance of Macabre in the world of fashion.
Then again, Victorian England in 19th-century Europe set an example with black lace, Memento Mori jewelry, and the aesthetics of black clothing that resonated in the Western world. Let's remember that already in the early to middle of 19th century, cholera took over England, killing thousands and thousands of people. Perception of life and death at that time changed, touching on many psychological factors of the emergence of fashion trends.
It will change this time as well.
6. This could be a time of opportunities for a local producers, as well as a direction of rational consumption. It has indeed been already heard before, but the post-pandemic mood will obviously make it flourish like never before. It will be a time of clothing culture, when more attention will be paid to how the dress is worn.
The trend on rational consumption will apply to versatility of clothing items. We will probably hear the word 'capsule wardrobe' more often. We will be more aware that
the same piece of clothing should be used as long as possible, and that it should be treated carefully.
It will still be an age of opportunity for creativity, local crafts, ethnic and folk styles and artistic way of dressing. In such a situation, artificial intelligence will have to be subordinated to a manual labor as a special value for sustainable and clever consumption.
And, of course, let us do not forget about accessories! Especially for those who are functional and help us in our daily lives!
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