The world is ready for a soirée.
You’ve heard a lot of comparisons drawn between the 1918 Flu and the COVID-19 pandemic but a less ominous parallel worth pointing out is The Roaring Twenties. The 1920s arrived on the heels of WWI and a catastrophic epidemic that spurred historic social and political change. Prohibition be damned, Americans flocked to cities, listened to jazz, danced in flapper garb, and had an all-around celebratory time. Sound familiar? Judging by 2020 trends, party outfits are poised for a return.
According to a recent report by Trendalytics analyzing the Fall/Winter 2021 runways in New York City, “designers are injecting glamour into every facet of their [pieces]” with sequins appearing in thirteen collections. The report points out that a handful of current trends harken back to days of ‘20s yore, including “shimmering flapper-inspired gowns” shown by Naeem Khan and “show-stopping silhouettes” as seen at Prabal Gurung. Not to mention the retro graphics and silhouettes spotted at Prada. While the full spectrum of joy and relief that will accompany a post-pandemic revival cannot be filtered down into a sequin or ruffle, it’s still safe to say that once this is all over, our appearances are likely to mirror that thirst for exuberance. Ahead, hear from three designers on the current trends they’ll be wearing during the next installment of The Roaring Twenties (may its arrival come sooner than later!).
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After a particularly cold winter spent indoors, designer Kelsey Randall is ready to add a burst of color. “Happy colors like pink and yellows and pastels,” she notes. "We’ve been stuck in our houses in sweats all day and I, for one, know I’m itching to get out there and make a splash."
For Cult Gaia Founder Jasmin Larian, texture can communicate joy and celebration. “We’ve seen women gravitate towards our feather material,” she shares with TZR. “Something we have noticed is that women are now taking more advantage of opportunities to dress up. There is definitely pent-up energy to dress up and feel special.” Similar to flapper fringe, feathers add movement, particularly on the brand’s Vale Dress.
Another trend you’ve likely noticed taking hold are cutouts of all shapes and sizes and on separates like tops, dresses, and even pants. “Some of my favorite pieces from my spring 2021 collection that are slightly extravagant but perfect for going out and having fun with fashion feature tasteful cutouts,” Larian says.
Randall nods toward embellishment to mirror the spirit of The Roaring Twenties revival. “Embellishments of all kinds! Rhinestone, chainmail, fringe,” she notes. “I’ve even been working with tiny toys.”
Another jubilant look that Randall returns to season after season is one that’s both timeless and of-the-moment. “Ruffle is a trend that speaks to this renewal of lavish dressing,” she says. Whether it’s a high-neck ruffle or a dress with head-to-toe ruffles, this embellishment screams celebration.
Perhaps a controversial opinion considering the fact that everyone has worn flats for the last year, but the idea of slipping into a pair of cute heels doesn’t sound all that bad right about now. “There will definitely be a massive resurgence of fun events when the pandemic is over,” Footwear Designer Kat Maconie shares with TZR. “We all miss dressing up and are bored of the monotonous sneaker and slipper wearing. I’ve noticed our customers commenting that they can’t wait to wear our occasion-wear pieces and that they have been preparing their wardrobes for life after lockdown.” While a sky-high stiletto might feel off-kilter, if it’s safe to celebrate in the summer months, a strappy heeled sandal might be in order.
All three designers point to a feeling of fatigue when it comes to loungewear. Randall’s solution? “Corsets as the anti sweatsuit.” Corsetry and bustiers is a trend that’s gained momentum in recent years, with a multitude of styling options and color palettes making it an alluring piece to test drive once you’re given the green light to fête.