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The next era in fashion: humour and joy

What's next?
Young lady with a big smile and colourful butterfly hair clips in her curly hair. Shot on a bright yellow background

What’s next?

Following the first year of the pandemic, there has been a huge pivot into joyful, larger than life, humorous fashion. Finally gone are the days of simplistic minimalism. People are craving vibrancy, life and love. There are a lot of sub-trends that fall within this broad movement. Before we get any deeper, let’s do a brief introduction to some of the key trends.


To quote the words of our beloved surrealist pioneer Elsa Schiaparelli, “in difficult times, fashion is always outrageous.” And so it comes as no surprise that people are craving glamour again. Following a year of lockdown sweatpants and pyjama Zoom meetings, it is a welcomed, desired change. Jeannie Lee, head of womenswear buying at Selfridges, told Vogue Business that her clients “.. want to see gowns…. want to see glitter. They want to see heels. They’re ready to dress up” [1]. Recent collections including Schiaparelli Fall 2021, Laquan Smith Fall 2021 and the Gucci Fall 2021 all notably have a strong element of glamour.


Images: 1. Schiaparelli Fall 2021, 2. Laquan Smith Fall 2021, 3. Gucci Fall 2021 (in collaboration with Balenciaga)

This lust for glamour is not just on the high fashion end. Statistics state that, between January and March 2021, online searches have surged for sparkly bras (+137 per cent), pearl and feather headbands (+49 per cent) and metallics (+43 per cent), according to global fashion shopping platform Lyst [1].


Color-blocking is the technique of taking colors that are opposites on the colour wheel and styling them together to create outfits focused on contrast and juxtaposition. It was a hugely popular trend in 2011 collections, as Vogue reporter Steff Yotka remarks, and seems to finally be making its comeback:

“Back then, color blocking was on the precipice of becoming a defining aesthetic of the twenty-teens (post 2008 recession), boosted by Raf Simons at Jil Sander, Prada, Prabal Gurung, Thakoon, and so many other designers who spliced up their clothes in contrasting vibrant hues. At J.Crew Jenna Lyons pushed the look mainstream, turning the world into a rainbow of super-saturated flash… [this year] the most alluring garments from the spring 2021 collections offered similar reprieve. There were giant swaths of cobalt and magenta at Raf Simons’s womenswear debut, tomato and cyan mash-ups in Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta resort collection, and acid yellow and maroon from Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton Men’s.” [2]

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Images: 1. Raf Simons spring 2021, 2. Jil Sander spring 2011

  • Are you dressing up and wearing brighter colours?

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Digital Playground: Where Luxury Fashion is Finding its Sense of Humour

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