It was a wild year for fashion in 2020. No one could have predicted what we came to consider as normal – from face masks becoming an everyday accesory to fashion weeks going fully online.
So, what does 2021 hold for the industry? It looks like the trends of last year will continue on. The pandemic isn't showing signs of going away, after all.
We ask a few industry peers in Malaysia about the trends to expect moving forward. What do they think we all should look out for in the fashion scene this year?
Digital is the way forward, it seems. Even for clothes. Motoguo, a designer who is known for pushing the boundaries of what is considered "normal" fashion, thinks even the way people dress up.
“The next big trend of 2021 is most probably going to be digital fashion. As the world is still feeling the effects of Covid-19, many creators are devising or already selling ‘digital clothing’, whereby customers have a picture of themselves and the clothes of their choosing are then rendered and created via augmented reality (AR) technology, ” he says.
In order to survive, fashion realised it could not continue operating the way it did. Last year saw the industry growing up – coming to terms of being ethical and inclusive.
This will continue on for 2021. According to runway guru Benjamin Toong, the industry needs to look past and embrace the differences – in body types and sizes, skin colours and hair textures, gender roles and identification.
He explains: “After such a trying year for the industry, I believe the next biggest thing in fashion for 2021 is diversity and inclusivity. We need to continue to re-examine how to celebrate and cherish humanity."
The colours we wear play an important role in affecting our mood. Designer Rico Rinaldi predicts subtle shades are the next big thing. Comfort will continue to dominate fashion too.
“In terms of colour I think grey or light blue will be popular, perhaps even neutral shades. People will opt for loose silhouettes and slightly more modest designs. Accessories are getting smaller, especially bags and earrings. Oh, and shoes won’t be too high. Nothing more than three inches for heels as people still go for comfort.”
Menswear will continue to change. How can business wear survive if everyone is working from home? By evolving and taking on a more casual aesthetic, says designer Vincent Siow.
"Softer or unconventional fabrics will probably be the highlight of this year. Instead of wool, which tend to be more structured in nature, menswear can use knits. On the runways, looser silhouettes will continue on," he points out.
"Don’t expect anything too ‘out there’ in terms of design. Comfort will be a huge trend again, as seen last year.”
Last year saw the decimation of the traditional suit – or at least, the idea and practicality of it.
But it won't go away. Just evolving to suit a vastly different lifestyle. Kenny Loh, who heads a bespoke tailor label, says the silhouette for the year is different. Get ready for the rise of slouchy and casual suits.
"Generally geared towards a more relaxed and less structured fit. I feel there could be a big following for unstructured jackets and pleated pants in that would come in fabrics with a textured finish."
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful