When I started looking at various runway shows from sustainable brands, a drawing suddenly appeared in my mind.
You might know it. Two horizontal lines and two vertical lines creating a checked pattern with Os and Xs. Trends can sometimes feel like a game of tic-tac-toe.
I feel this drawing pretty much sums up the sustainable trends of Spring 2020.
Today, I want to show a few Spring fashion trends which I thought were well executed and worth mentioning.
Many brands have started taking a share of responsibility towards the protection of the environment and questioning fashion’s priorities.
Some brands are creating non-seasonal collections and banning catwalk shows such as Carcel or Vivienne Westwood.
Some of them postulate for timeless apparels such as Ryan Roche or Zero + Maria Cornejo. Atemporal pieces that will last years in your wardrobe.
Sustainability is a concept that’s shaping the world in a new way.
As for this season, fashion houses used knots to add an element of playfulness to their collections. We found knots in conventional places such as the waistline and sleeves but placed creatively on the hem of a dress as well.
Highlighting the bust with tie-knots was also a recurrent theme. It felt light and playful; perfect for spring and summer. Knots also have a practical side. In Rave Review, knots linked two pieces of fabric, and in Rosie Assoulin it was used to bond lace.
Fringes were also a part of many summer collections, like the Mother of Pearl off-white jacket. Thick or thin, linking parts of the body as in Rodebjer, or just left waving in the air like an unfinished road, fringes create poetic movement and make the silhouette ethereal.
Crochet was also used as a very atemporal summer item, sometimes worked as a net, sometimes as an adornment like in Matty Bovan or accessories in Stella McCartney.
Whether it’s a full dress (Rave Review) or as an accentual piece (Gabriela Hearst), crochet is no longer a winter love affair. Fashion houses are pushing the limits of which fabrics can be used when.
Another non-seasonal fabric was the return of the quilt. Sometimes the quilt effect worked as a trompe-l’oeil like in Marine Serre or Zero + Maria Cornejo creations.
Trompe l’oeil is an art technique that fashion designers have borrowed to create optical illusions through a change in perspective, dimension, or placement. From haute couture to the high street’s illusion dresses, this method is a popular way of changing shape or adding layers, belts and collars.
The atemporal blue sky will be one of the main colours to add in our palette, bringing the blue of the troposphere to our bodies; converting the sky into an imaginary mirror as seen in Designers Remix collection. Their collection feels almost spiritual; highlighting Soetsu Yanagi definition of craft wear with the thick, tied knot belt as a reminder of the monk’s belt.
In the last decade, it has started to feel like art is no longer a medium that can be understood by just looking at it. Some take this as an elitist approach, but art takes its origins in texts. It only makes sense that artists continue wanting to explain the motives of their art through writing.
Everyone can remember primitives drawings in prehistoric caves telling a story. The art of storytelling has marvelled us for centuries.
Lines and shapes that float around human bodies also tell stories. Fashion tells cultural socio-political stories.
As in any story, there are superpositions of different times, cruxes, curves and evocations of a common heritage.
Take, for instance, sky-blue. Blue skies are not always with the same tone of blue. Sky-blue would more refer to a sky full of white clouds, a paler blue than the Mediterranean azure one. It might be because of a more mystical colour, bringing closer the sense of divine creation.
For Spring 2020, the central point was to share a vision of the human being in relation to his various environments. It’s a question of the human place in a vast world and survival by placing patterns on the body a non-verbal language.
Choosing tones from neon to pastel to shake the old Darwinian concept of survival of the fittest. We all know those birds, chameleons and exotic creature that dissimulate in nature; hiding from their prey.
As I write this, the entire humanity is crumbling under a tiny microscopic virus. Priorities are no longer wars or growth. We are now experiencing how a small virus can bring globalisation to its knees.
We are also learning how conversation and coordination can get us out of this.
Spring summer or non-seasonal collection created by sustainable brands for 2020 are more likely to be seen as tools to build a conversation with others.
We are no longer the centre of the world, but we are part of it, on various scales, rather than a totalitarian vertical one.
Maddie is the blogger behind “I think therefore I buy” where she shares a non-waste philosophy and her vision of fashion in society. She loves fashion promotes sustainable ways of including fashion in her readers lives.