As we move into October, fashion houses begin to release their most influential fashion runways of the year for the spring/summer lines, giving us a glimpse of the next trend cycle. This begins with the September issue of Vogue, the most influential issue of the year, and spans to New York Fashion Week and beyond.
Though fashion houses are the technical creators of trends by debuting their own takes on what should be popular for the coming cycle, the people are the ones who cement them. Fashion week is great for a glimpse of new creations as well as inspiration from fashion-forward enthusiasts. These are some trends we have noticed for fall/winter 2021 on and off the runway, in no particular order.
The trial run of the vest and argyle coming into fashion last spring has paid off. As we continue into the colder seasons, the old collegiate look is a solid go-to. Originating from 1930s youth fashion, it was inspired by embracing a unisex look of Oxford shirts, loafers and trousers. Since then, the preppy look has taken off to exude an old-money Americana style including sportswear, tailored figures, neutral prints and conservative silhouettes.
The rise of the preppy look can be strongly attributed to this summer’s theme of cottage core. In the nightmarish times of the pandemic came a rise of fairytale escapism to an easier, less stressful time, like out of a childhood novel. Academia is perhaps its fall/winter counterpart of personifying a storybook-like life.
Look out for: loafers, tennis skirts, trousers, blazers, button ups, trench coats, vests, neutral prints, matching sets, rugby shirts or Gossip Girl inspired looks. See examples from Milan Fashion Week streetwear and the brand Alo Yoga.
After the rise of loungewear replacing casual workplace outfits, people have tired of parading around in the same stained sweatpants. The ballet/ballerina style is a new spin on athleisure, adding an aspect of dainty and neat while still maintaining comfort. We can see its inspiration mostly in athletic wear but also in casual streetwear with the integration of cardigans and flowing skirts.
Look out for: ballet skirts, cardigans/shrugs, flats, wrap tops and unitards. See examples here.
Every decade has its style that plays on diverging from the mainstream. The current alternative style gained huge traction during the pandemic. It takes aspects of asymmetry, deconstruction, negative space and a “do it yourself” attitude, mirroring the unconventionality of a stay-at-home lifestyle combined with the creativity of experimenting for the first time.
This style also carries an Asian influence from Korean and Chinese fashion. East Asian technology has rapidly transformed over the past decade and this futurist perspective is reflected in clothing and style as well. This background, paired with fast trend cycles, has created the style.
60s and 80s revival
Again, we have circled back to the even decades. It has been said that fashion follows a 20-year rule cycling from in trend, to tacky, to awful, to nostalgic, to back in trend. So back on the 60s and 80s trend we go. Through this season, we’ve seen many wave prints, checkerboard, space dye and flower prints. This, paired with more vintage cuts like mid-thigh shorts, biker shorts and A-line dresses, applies modern takes to 80s trends and forms.
Look out for: kitschy jewelry, vests, plaid shorts, skirts, tights, leather, space knits, Jean Paul Gaultier, psychedelic prints and Pucci. See examples from the boutique Lisa Says Gah, the Dior 2022 Paris fashion show and Chanel’s Spring Summer 2022 runway looks.
This year’s men’s fashion has been finding the shared ground between utilitarian and futuristic aesthetics. Arc’teryx stands as the brand exemplifying tech wear at the moment, offering sleek streamlined jackets with completely waterproof fabric.
Small upcoming brands, such as Acronym, are also gaining attention for their focus on the care and quality put into their products. However, it would be impossible to cite a male fashion trend without mentioning Nike or Yeezy. Sneaker trends have been moving to a more blunt shape, with New Balance on a rebound. This shape takes inspiration from hiking shoes. Yeezy has also done more experimental shapes with futuristic and tech-inspired aspects.
Look out for: utilitarian-inspired wear, workwear, black, futurism and tech-influenced fashion. See examples from Travis Scott’s Nike Air Max 1, the Palace x Arc’teryx collection, the Y-3 x adidas Terrex collection and men’s streetwear from the past few years’ New York Fashion Weeks.