The submission of this material to the April issue takes place against the backdrop of Fall-Winter 2020 Fashion Weeks – the first fashion show of the new decade. Not that it died down, but at least the NYFW took place, the London one finished. On the catwalks – flowers, ruffles, long gloves, feathers, corsets, berets, jackets, high boots, nostalgia for the 1960s, which we now read through the prism of “The Amazing Mrs. Maisel”, tulle dresses with punk treatment. And even – suddenly! – ties. All this mosaic of trends says one thing: fashion, which has been dancing to the tune of streetwear for several years, changes the vector and defines new leaders of the industry – Simone Rocha, Molly Goddard, Ganni, Cecilie Bahnsen, JW Anderson, Brock Collection now decide what we will wear in the new season.
Cecilie Bahnsen Fall Winter 2020
© Photo: Andrea Adriani / Gorunway.com
Simone Rocha Fall Winter 2020
© Photo: Carlo Scarpato / Gorunway.com
Suddenly? Not really. In December, Dazed published an interview with Virgil Abloh, in which the uncrowned king of streetwear took and bury the trend that provided his job. “She will die. Her time has come. After all, how many more T-shirts, hoodies and sneakers do we need? – such a diagnosis of street fashion was made by the founder of the Off-White brand and the creative director of the men’s line of Louis Vuitton, answering the question of how streetwear will feel in the coming decade. You can treat the American’s design skills as you like (although he himself does not claim to be a designer), but you will not deny him the ability to feel and monetize zeitgeist.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Abloh is one of those who defined the 2010s with their hype, sneaker worship and collaborations. In 2012, a friend of Kanye West launched Off-White, betting on things that a decade earlier would have been difficult to imagine at the forefront of catwalk fashion, and was so successful that six years later he received an offer from the great and mighty Louis Vuitton (journalists joked, that PFW should have been renamed Virgil Abloh Fashion Week – he became such an important player there). And if the most important bee decided to oppose honey, it means something.
Off-White Fall-Winter 2020
© Photo: Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com
Moreover, you can’t argue with Virgil: the number of hoodies, sneakers and T-shirts really exceeded all conceivable norms. Not least because these garments have become a way for brands to communicate with younger generations of customers. Not your mother’s – Gucci, Versace and all the same Louis Vuitton now live with such a postscript. In the mid-2010s, even Karl Lagerfeld, who once called sweatpants a sign of despair, added sportswear and sneakers to the Chanel collection. And he also made the face of the fashion house Kristen Stewart – an actress who literally lives in sweatpants. This “sportization” certainly had a good side: fashion suddenly became as comfortable as possible; for once, she went to meet the customer and stopped demanding sacrifices for beauty.
Kristen Stewart and Karl Lagerfeld, 2013
© Bertrand Rindoff Petroff
But, having received the widest possible distribution, streetwear began to lose its inherent sharpness at the start. The runway version quickly lost touch with the real streetwear – one that was invented by surfers and skaters half a century ago, and then found a refuge in hip-hop – and ceased to be a highly social statement on the topic of democratization and simplification of fashion. All this turned rather into a mockery: fashion houses offered customers T-shirts and sneakers with a clearly inflated price tag. And the big brands – with the possible exception of Gucci and Balenciaga – have hardly managed to really entice teenagers. Teenagers still have their own heroes and financial capabilities. And what to do with a hoodie for an adult is not always clear.
Gucci spring-summer 2018
© Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
Streetwear was chilled by his own singers. Demna Gvasalia, having played enough with a hoodie, revives the couture line in the House of Balenciaga with its inherent complex cut and an abundance of details. “For me, haute couture is above trends. This is the ultimate expression of beauty, “the designer explained his decision in a recent interview with American Vogue. Kim Jones, one of the pioneers of the genre, also gave up. While his previous, off-season Dior Men collection featured collaborations with Nike and Sean Stussy, his new collection of sneakers has no place for the word “completely”. And, looking at this dashing tilt, it’s easy to believe that streetwear – just like Game of Thrones and Ben Affleck’s Batman – will remain a legacy of the 2010s.
Balenciaga Fall Winter 2020
© Photo: Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com
And you know what? It’s not bad. Having stalled for several years on one megatrend, designers are finally ready to continue their journey. Their new companions are romance and elegance that editors, influencers and just fashionable girls have missed. And there is simply no better starting point than the beginning of a new decade, nicknamed the Roaring Twenties in absentia. Do you hear, Virgil? We are with you!
Adwoa Aboah in London, 2019
© Melodie Jeng