UK Fashion looks forward as the world changes
Contributor: JANET PRESCOTT
Confronting the new post Covid-19 reality, as well as Brexit, exploring various directions in changed trading conditions, the pandemic is widely regarded by most fashion specialists as a supremely damaging event, but with some unexpected outcomes.
The highly specialised, internationally focused UK woollen and worsteds-based textile industry has invested in new technology and data processing. Remotely conducted business with designer labels, couture houses and high-end tailors across the world has accelerated, proving unexpectedly successful for 2021 and beyond.
Retailers are contemplating novel ways to shift large amounts of unsold stock accumulated during the virus time, finding the best way to reach customers online and when fashion shops re-open.
London Fashion Week stressed a new business model for ungendered fashion. Also seen in tailoring trends here by Dashing Tweeds
Red suit in formal fabric, disrupting traditional British looks, by The Deck London, London Fashion Week
Pinstripe take on tailoring, The Deck London, London Fashion Week
STREET & FASHION
Home-working leads to an individual mix of styles
Post-lockdown eclectic British fashion style sweeps in, disrupting classics. Home-working has resulted in customers inventing an individual mix of styles. Exercise wear and sport shoes have become important in enforced lockdown leisure.
Younger urbanites, back to work in London and other big cities, mix unusual fashion combinations – long printed floral dresses, Puritan prairie dresses, pleated maxi skirts with heels or sneakers. Cargo pants worn with high heels.
With lockdown beards and long hair comes a 1960s type energy to menswear, flamboyant colours, prints in linen and flowery cotton, silk.
The power of brands continues, at vastly different price levels; Reiss, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, H&M, Roksanda, Faithfull the Brand, Adidas, Converse, Nike, Asos, Loro Piana, Zegna, Burberry.
The craft industry and the DIY artisan movement boomed during isolation; likely to give rise to fashion exploring rustic effects, texture, and ‘imperfect looks’ in 2021, say forecasters.
81GB community clothing Jurassic shirt in camo green, London Fashion Week
E. Tautz, London Fashion Week
Fiona O’Neill Lookbook, London Fashion Week
More manufacturers consider shifts back to the UK
Sustainability is increasingly important to brands; consumer awareness is growing; young people ask for natural fibres and explanations on fashion origins.
De-globalisation and more local sustainable sourcing lie behind moves for reshoring, i.e. the ‘Make it British’ movement by Kate Hills. More manufacturers consider shifts back to the UK after problems following Covid-19 and for sustainable reasons.
Cycling is the mode of transport for urban travel, boosting all-weather active wear and accessories, like Ally Capellino’s chic bike bags.
Caroline Rush, CEO British Fashion Council, chairs the new Institute for Positive Fashion. “At times of crisis there is opportunity to vision a new future…. fashion has a powerful voice,” she said.
Natural fibres and fabrics dominate the sustainable story. HRH Prince Charles founded the globally successful Campaign for Wool 10 years ago, with sustainability at its heart. “Reimagine our world through the lens of sustainable markets, people and planet at the heart of global value creation,” he said at Davos 2020.
As a sartorial response to London street culture, Samuel Ross launched A-COLD-WALL* in the fall of 2015. Having studied graphic design and illustration, Ross creates handcrafted graphic garments that have a stark urbanity.
IMAGE: The Woolmark Company
Cashmere coat by Matteo Bigliardi, London Fashion Week
Fiona O’Neill surrealism in luxury fibres, London Fashion Week