The fashion (re)set

Images: Hugo Comte, Words: Alicia Walters

Now that we’ve entered a new decade and time of dramatic change, fashion, it seems, is responding with a whole new mood. It’s about recalibrating our sartorial mindset: stepping away from what is prescribed and impersonal to embrace the items we’ll wear again and again. Join us as we explore the key styles and ideas behind this new pared-back, post-trend fashion landscape. 

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Bottega Veneta – ribbed wool jumper / Paco Rabanne - embellished mini skirt (coming soon)
Paco Rabanne – satin shirt / Remain Birger Christensen - trousers (coming soon)

Whether because of the tumultuous political climate, increasing concerns over how our clothes are made or just, you know, Mercury in retrograde, fashion has shifted – there’s no denying that. An urge to streamline, simplify and strip things back ran throughout the spring/summer 2020 runways, with designers showing clothes that transcend trends while remaining seriously desirable.

Take the trench coat – a perennial staple that’s consistently filed with jeans and a mini skirt as a must-have new-season item that every woman should own. The master of minimalism, Jil Sander, designed its ‘Martha’ version with all the components we’ve come to know and love about the style but introduced a rich burgundy hue (it’s more visually stimulating but just as versatile as beige) and butter-soft leather – the fabric that always comes back around.

Shop Jil Sander

The Row – Ebbins crepe maxi dress / Celine - sandals (available in store)

And, of course, Bottega Veneta is leading the charge when it comes to fashion’s obsession with this pared-back aesthetic, championing wardrobe basics like jeans but reworking them in the most luxurious materials and precise cuts to make you feel like you’re not simply wearing ‘jeans with a nice top’, but jeans! With a nice top! – an outfit so good that you want to wear it again and again. Bottega Veneta’s approach to getting dressed is one that doesn’t rely on simply accumulating more stuff, but on a curatorial eye for the pieces set to become future wardrobe classics. 

Shop Bottega Veneta

Casa Raki - bikini top (coming soon) / Bottega Veneta - high-rise straight-leg jeans 

Brands are also getting back to what they do best this season, asserting the everlasting appeal of their most recognisable pieces. Paco Rabanne looked to its iconic rhodoid-disc dress from the ’60s to craft this little black-and-white skirt (below) from shimmering paillettes. The trick is to bring comforting familiarity to a label’s ardent followers while delivering enough newness to make us re-examine and get excited about the key items in a capsule wardrobe. It’s about cultivating simplicity without sacrificing delight. 

Shop Paco Rabanne

Maison Margiela – fringed suede jacket / Casa Raki - bikini top (coming soon) / Paco Rabanne - embellished mini skirt (coming soon)

But this is, after all, fashion – are we really about to see the end of trends? Or is reverting to the essentials a trend in and of itself? With the rise of wardrobe rental platforms such as HURR Collective (which now has a pop-up in Selfridges London) and luxury resell models such as Vestiaire Collective, it’s beginning to look as though what goes around really does come back around, as fashion seeks to redefine luxury for today. And, in an age where we’re all trying to find a way to enjoy life with a little less, that’s something to welcome.