2021 Fashion Trends: From Vibrant to Vintage

In a year that began in lockdown and where we faced continued uncertainty with Covid, many of us retreated to the warm glow of our TVs to obsess over regency romances and watch billionaires launch themselves into space. We also bore witness to COP26, which put environmental issues and sustainability at the forefront and resulted in large fashion conglomerates like LVMH committing to halve carbon emissions by 2030. As this was happening, the sweatshirts and joggers we’d grown accustomed to in 2020 were slowly replaced with the bright hues and romantic silhouettes that ruled the runways. This so-called ‘dopamine dressing’ symbolised a brighter future ahead and hinted at several key trends that would go on to dominate the year. So, as we enter the new year let’s take a moment to reflect on the biggest trends of 2021.

The Throwback 2021 Fashion Trend: Active Nostalgia

With so much time spent indoors over the last two years, it’s no surprise that designers had to retreat to the archives for inspiration for this year’s collections. 2021 has seen the re-emergence of 70s, 90s and noughties trends; as we eagerly awaited the release of the Sex and the City spinoff And Just Like That… (we miss you Kim Cattrall) and watched Gen Z discover the joys of flip phones on TikTok, 90s-style minidresses and a colourful array of scrunchies dominated seemingly every high-street store. 70s flares, sweater vests, platform boots, and the revival of the velour tracksuit were all part of this collective throwback.

Below: Adeam FW21, Anna Sui FW21, Christian Siriano FW20, Miu Miu SS21, Neul FW21, SKIMS, and Veronica Beard FW21.

Adeam FW21, Anna Sui FW21, Christian Siriano FW20, Miu Miu SS21, Neul FW21, SKIMS, and Veronica Beard FW21

The Colourful 2021 Fashion Trend: Dopamine Dressing

The term ‘dopamine dressing’ has been thrown around a lot in 2021, but with good reason. Pieces dubbed so encapsulate the joyful colour palette we’ve seen designers like Versace use in their 2021 collections, but also the shiny metallics, colourful sequins and daring cut out pieces that have been popular at the likes of Dsquared2 and Saint Laurent. Ultimately, the emergence of styling fun and vibrant pieces with whatever we have in our current wardrobes symbolised the freedom and joy of dressing at a time when we most needed a pick me up. Key pieces worth shouting about from this trend include statement cowboy boots, velvet suiting, fur-trimmed jackets, and cardigans in unexpected colours.

Below: Gucci Aria Collection FW21, PH5 FW21, Saks Potts and Vivienne Wetwood FW21/22. 

Above: Gucci Aria Collection FW21, PH5 FW21, Saks Potts and Vivienne Wetwood FW21/22

The Sustainable 2021 Fashion Trend: Thrifted Finds and Hand-Crafted Creations

There’s no denying the hold that TikTok has had over many of us since the beginning of the first lockdown way back in March of 2020. The platform has had a significant hand in influencing many of the trends we’ve seen this year, including the rise of thrifting, upcycling, and crafting entire garments from scratch. Various content creators from across the globe have taken to the platform to share their latest charity shop finds and show their millions of followers how to incorporate them into their wardrobes.

Designers have responded by layering mismatched pieces to bring an effortlessly stylish and artistic feel to their 2021 collections (just take a look at Molly Goddard’s F/W 2021 show). This is a trend we can all get behind, as it leads to less consumption of fast fashion and the promotion of circular fashion. You may even be tempted to pick up a pair of knitting needles or dust off your granny’s old sewing machine and pick up a new hobby along the way. The stand-out pieces include chunky knits, crochet dresses, and patchwork denim.

Molly Goddard F/W21 Collection, Vogue Runway 2021

The Innovative 2021 Fashion Trend: The Rise of Eco Materials

2021 was a momentous year for innovative, eco-friendly materials. By now, I’m sure we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing recycled materials, faux fur and organic cotton in stores, however, this year we bore witness to more and more luxury brands adopting the use of sustainable materials like mushroom leather. It was announced in March of 2021 that Hermes, a renowned luxury leather goods brand (well known for its signature bags, the Kelly and Birkin) was launching its reimagined ‘Victoria’ travel bag, made from canvas, elements of calfskin and Sylvania, an innovative new vegan material. Sylvania is lab-grown, derived from fungi and is produced by MycoWorks, a California based start-up. It replicates traditional leather and reportedly is just as strong and durable as cow skin. This leather alternative could mark the beginning of a very exciting time in fashion. It’s likely if sales of the reimagined Victoria bag do well, Hermes and other luxury brands will extend the use of this material across their collections, possibly eliminating the use of animal leather once and for all.

2021’s Ultimate Fashion Champion: Sustainability

The fact that we’re continuing to see the rise of thrifting, upcycling, and crafting is a big win for sustainability. Hopefully, the takeaway for us all this year is to first check charity shops or second-hand platforms before considering purchasing brand-new. This is something we here at Wearth are big advocates of, believing that pre-loved pieces create the ultimate ethical wardrobe. However, we recognise that it’s not always possible to shop second hand, so our conscious clothing and accessories are the next best choice, or as we like to say, ‘second only to second-hand.’ Interested in learning about our values? Click here for more information.

Credits - Before July

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