The Rebirth of Fashion: A Post-Pandemic Perspective
If necessity is the mother of invention, then catastrophe must be the wellspring of creativity. History tells us this, unabashedly and with some ardor.
Consider this: World War I and the 1918 flu brought forth the ever-famed flapper era— an unprecedented time of high hemlines and looser living, as well as the emergence of the Harlem Renaissance. Similarly, though in its own distinct way, World War II inspired Dior’s New Look of 1947, which seemed to celebrate everything the prior years had lacked: luxurious fabrics, ultra-feminine silhouettes, and the general opportunity to be held once more in the male gaze, after literal years of deprivation.
Here and now, we’re facing another critical — and what may well prove to be defining — a moment in fashion. We’re asked to look at not just what hasn’t been working (and there is plenty) but also who we are today, after months locked in the often-too-intimate reality of weeks in sweats, no makeup, and no one new to embrace. With the revolution of the times comes a reassessment of what’s necessary, what actually works, and even just what’s desired.
What we’re all longing for
There’s no doubt we’ve been deprived of many things, not the least of which is human connection and good old-fashioned people watching. (You mean I can carry a handbag outside of my house, again? Vraiment?)
And how about romance — remember mystique? Perhaps even a touch of outlandishness. Could this be an invitation to express the quiet, edgier madness of months in isolation? (We think yes, without question.)
Also: things that grab you, stir you, wake you — connect you. Bold, unapologetic colors and impractical fabrics (that venture as far from the athleisure sweats you lived in for three months as humanly possible.)
How fashion can help
Luxury may seem superfluous at a time like this. Yet it may be, for that very reason, deeply necessary. It gives us an outlet to express our hopes, dreams, quirks, and the possibility that still lies ahead. We’ve all been reshaped in a different way — some of us, decidedly more nostalgic. Others, chiseled and refined by struggle. These polarities want to find expression. And there’s no better place than with statement pieces. Re: your handbag.
Here’s what we recommend for the second half of 2020:
Envelope clutches & the like
Remember grabbing a drink at your favorite just-around-the-corner happy hour spot? Or the under-celebrated glory (never again to be taken for granted) of traipsing down 5th Ave in your favorite heels for a mid-afternoon coffee? Envelope clutches move seamlessly from day to night, making them appropriate for nearly anything worth putting on a blazer for.
Think Saint Laurent Grain De Poudre Uptown Pouch or a Louis Vuitton Monogram Pochette Felicie Chain Wallet.
LV Monograms — especially the giant ones
What was once a tad ostentatious now seems just, well, necessary — and entirely justified. I will never again judge a woman who sports magenta head to toe or flaunts enough diamonds to look like a disco ball. If I see her, I’ll nod in solidarity. It’s the zeitgeist of this moment: live and let live. And when you can, do so lavishly. Whether it’s the Onthego for the office or the weekender-style Keepall Bandouliere, you really can’t go wrong.
All things intense and slightly over the top
Ever wondered if you could pull something off? To my earlier point, (which I will now belabor further) it frankly doesn’t matter. In this laissez-faire world, the answer is: you can. You just can. If you want to, then you can. Whether it’s metallic Gucci, thunder print Prada, or an intensely polka-dotted Louis V, the answer is yes, yes, and definitely, yes.
Candy pink? Milky orange? Pastel blue? Dreamy metallics? Better yet, how about Hibiscus red? It’s high time your closet transformed into a cotton-candy dreamscape, especially on the off chance that you spend another month reorganizing it — along with every other corner of your home.
Not to be forgotten: Fendi and Prada pretty much nailed the eye-popping yellow.
Oh yes, and new summer shades
You’re outside again, amidst the other humans. (Or at least in the backyard with your bestie and a cocktail.) And it’s summer. Need we say more? Scoop up a quick pick-me-up in the form of well-tinted lenses.