The start-stop, are we-or-aren’t-we nature of our transition towards endemic living had caused many of us to be either too anxious to head out and socialise, or too annoyed or apathetic to even be bothered to do so.
But things look different now.
In a post-vaccine reality, noted the dailybeast.com recently, ’revenge shopping’ is back, with people “eager to spend on what they’d missed’ during lockdown: occasion-wear, definitive ‘going out’ clothes. There’s also “the rise of the individualised wardrobe”, where “people want brighter colours, things like glitter, ways to show off more that we’re seeing people again”.
“Getting dressed up can be an entirely self-gratifying enterprise … this year has taught us how important fun is for our mental state and if a nice dress makes you feel a bit better in a world of misery then that’s not something to turn your nose up at,” UK newspaper The Independent observed in an editorial about revenge dressing.
Indeed, as 2021 draws to an end, it’s time to shake off all the doom, gloom, ennui and cobwebs that had invaded our hearts, minds and souls, and to start getting excited about saying goodbye to “the year that went nowhere”.
A tiny injection of retail therapy, with booster shots of colour, shine, texture and fun, can certainly raise one’s mood after such a long period of the blahs. So, why not introduce some playfulness into your wardrobe right now? Thank goodness there’s plenty of inspiration from the FW2021 collections.
01 | Shine
Time to shine on like the crazy diamond that you are. The complete antithesis to the humdrum stay-at-home clothes you’ve been in for the past one-and-a-half years, sparkly, shiny sequins broadcast that you’re all set to go out and party. Burberry’s Riccardo Tisci and Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri looked to chainmail and armour as inspiration, Balmain, Dolce&Gabbana and Off-White showed off futuristic silver leather looks; Gucci, Prada and Givenchy sprinkled loads of sequins on skirts and dresses.
02 | Colour
Say goodbye to the beige, grey and black that featured so heavily in our lockdown loungewear, and usher in a Skittles-worthy range of rainbow brights. Taking inspiration from his favourite ceramicist, JW Anderson sent out colourful bell-shaped forms in bright green and blue knitted mohair; Jacquemus’ collection included a dozen monochrome outfits in bright pinks and rich reds, neon hues ruled at Versace and Balmain, while Miu Miu opted for bright pinks, marigold yellow and purple.
03 | Flapper
Channelling the OG party girls from a century ago, and a gentle yet glamorous upgrade from loungewear, what’s not to love about comfy yet slinky lingerie-inspired party dresses? Take a leaf from Fendi, Chloe and Khaite.
04 | Puffers
Instead of dusting off the trusty black one we’d all but forgotten about, how about celebrating your long-awaited winter holiday as more vaccinated travel lanes open up, by getting a down-filled fashion piece in a bold brash colour? We like the options from Marni, Louis Vuitton, Tod’s and Bottega Veneta.
05 | Cropped on top
If you’re one of the super-disciplined types who made use of the lockdown to bump up your workout routine (as opposed to lesser mortals who piled on those dreaded Covid-15 pounds), show off your hard work and hard abs with a cropped jacket or cropped top, such as ones by Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Vetements and Fendi.
06 | Patterns
The graphic, art-inspired prints at Louis Vuitton, mix of patchwork, embroidery and ruffles at Simone Rocha, and the mindboggling menagerie at Moschino which ranged from oversized flamingos to leopard and zebra are definitely not for the faint-hearted, and make a nice change from the demure cottagecore florals of past seasons.
07 | Fringe
Swingy and swishy, there’s nothing like fringing to add a sashay to your step. At Fendi, long faux-fur coats featured furry little “tails” at the hemline; while the fringe-trimmed sleeves at Proenza Schouler and the all-over fringing at Salvatore Ferragamo made for sophisticated takes on boho chic.
08 | Fuzzy handbags
It’s probably been ages since you splashed out on a statement bag, but since you might not return to the office regularly anytime soon, it makes more sense to get a fun one. Cuddly yet functional, the shearling handbag is a grown woman’s equivalent of a favourite stuffed toy to carry everywhere (well, except to the office). Prada’s tote is pretty in pink; Chanel’s is a black powder-puff-sized little number featuring the house’s famed interlocking CC’s twist-lock and chain strap, while Fendi’s furlined bag will add a touch of whimsy to any of your existing handbags. For a more sustainable option, there’s Stella McCartney’s Falabella Tiny Faux-Shearling tote.
09 | Big earrings
While discreet huggies seemed to be the most practical option previously as they were not likely to get tangled up in our mask straps, designers are now opting to go bold and big. Tom Ford’s cascade of crystal shards, Paco Rabanne’s single oversized teardrop crystal and Alberta Ferretti’s teacup-sized gold flowers are unapologetically eye-catching conversation starters.