It seems right now as if the world is going to end. And, why not? The fear is such. As the world battles the coronavirus pandemic that has thrown the entire world in one bowl of uncertainty and survival, where do you even begin to live, to exist, to merely survive. The world is homebound and there is a work-life created in the living space. In times of social media, people are advised to practice social distancing. Fashion and beauty sit back currently feeling challenged in terms of keeping followers encouraged to try new things.
How we present ourselves in the virtual space became an essential concern of many masters of the trade and it was challenged and tweaked at many levels. From innerwear to outerwear, accessories to basics, every bracket went through a phase of renewal and continues to do so in the anticipation of discovering something new, something different. As the idea of perfection in style and make-up was challenged by many strong voices across the world, ugly fashion also sneaked in and made some space for itself. The questions asked were quite pertinent. Why wear safe patterns? Why not be yourself? Brands like Balenciaga, Gucci, Birkenstocks, Vetements, Crocs among many others made imperfection and ugly the new cool. The unsupervised sense of beauty came to the forefront.
Mismatched, uneven textures, unusual silhouettes that were earlier not considered to be upscaled have come to the forefront and are here to stay. Comfort became necessary to fashion not only physically but mentally as well. It became about showing the world who you are. How is one like, what one identifies with and not based on the demeanour constructs established by the society across ages and cultures.
Social media opened a virtual window through which people across the world could find their tribe and relatable trends in terms of lifestyle and fashion across communities and cultures and the sense of identity broadened in a social, cultural and political way. Many things that weren't even worth a discussion emerged as big trends. The slouchy jeans and the distressed jacket sneaked into workwear for many, athleisure became the new luxury, unisex became a snuggly style escape, fashion joined hands with art and wearable art became a sense of expression and not just an out-of-the-box item to be bought and kept.
Many interesting partnerships happened and it showed the world that anything we put on can be incorporated into fashion. Mask-clad women walked international runways with a strong message. Environment crisis became an essential concern for the fashion world and sustainability even though being is a nascent stage garnered interest. Nostalgia was brought into the light and many wanted to go back and embrace the simple and easy choices, like the big oversized crisp white shirt, the tattered t-shirt and the messy sneakers from a sea of personal choices buried deep down in our subconscious.
This is not a passing trend. As we are heading into times where even a little sense of discomfort could trigger many issues, take out all the quirky things you bought with a sense of wonderment; the embellished headbands, mismatched earrings, the artistic loud graphic t-shirt, the sack dress, the boho fringed crop tops, unusual jewellery pieces with a message, those oddly matched separates, the no-so-great-looking outfits that you bought keep functionality in mind. Paint your nails in different colours, do art on them. Take out those broken accessories and recycle them. Make something new out of old clothes and utilise them rather than hoarding them. Go down the memory lane and think about those dolls make out of fabric by your grandmother. Make them wearable. Explore colours and how you want to embody them.
Times are tough and we don't know when we will be able to strut around in those gorgeous and powerful pantsuits and exquisite dresses. Make the most of what you got. That is also self-care. To revisit the things that define you. The things that you like and the things that make you come alive. Stay safe, stay home and bring out all those ugly things you bought and wear them. Now is the time.
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