Redtag redefines fashion in 2021 Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The year 2020 disrupted the fashion industry, with no runway shows to excite fashionistas. So, of course, we had to put together an exclusive sneak peek of the collections for 2021. We combined our ‘trend-spotting instincts’ with recommendations from industry leaders like WGSN, a global authority on consumer and design trends, to bring you the Top 7 fashion trends that are gathering steam faster than you can spot A-listers at the Met Gala!

Reactive fashion

With our lives becoming increasingly digital in 2020, its no surprise Fashion and Technology are coming together to create what WGSN calls Reactive apparel in 2021. An extension of wearable tech fusing personalization and fitness, brands are leveraging cutting edge tech innovations, from sensors that track body movements and the environment and ‘coach’ you, to fabrics that give the user ultimate control over their experience. Activewear is embracing reactive materials that open up for more breathability, when they sense sweat. The Reactive fashion trend extends to non-athletic wear as well. Self-cooling evening gowns and comfort controlled business attire? Coming to your favourite fashion outlet, sooner than you imagine!

Go your own way

Like the elastic waistband that earned the right to feature ironically in the 2020 hall of fame, comfort is bulldozing its way into fashion in a stylishly rebellious manner in 2021. Athleisure has made the most of at-home quarantine, turning into all-day attire that transitions seamlessly from work mornings to evening Netflix binges and yoga sessions. Who would have thought that oversized silhouettes and sweatpant sets could be a fashion statement, before 2020!? Those Lulu Lemons and Fabletics sweat and yoga pants can be hard to resist, with the right hoodie and sports trainers, for relaxed casual settings.

Two Mile Wear

The ‘One Mile Wear’ trend of 2020 – a relaxed look you would sport in a one mile radius of your home – has given way to #TwoMileWear loungewear, WGSN’s tag for 2021’s dash of expression and panache to the comfort factor. Sweats, joggers and hoodies have been part of trendy urban fashion, from hip-hop B-boys and B-girls to K-pop starlets, for years. Two Mile Wear adds a dash of denim, a touch of leather, a longline coat or a dress belt. You ‘carry off’ your attire best, when it is an extension of your mood. Dress up or dress down your look, by pairing polarities and disparate elements. It’s all about being chic and comfy.

Shifting from maximalism to minimalism

As the world slowly recovers from the dramas of 2020, the fashion is embracing minimalism and comfort. Instead of bold and outrageous fashionable statements, women are showcasing timeless and eye-catching accessories that hint at style and luxury, without going overboard. Savvy fashionistas are turning to budget-friendly casual apparel with a relaxed aura. From quilted ski boots to the right phone case, making a personalized statement is the name of the game.

Empowering accessible collaborations

When in-person events were cancelled for the foreseeable future, digital interaction became the norm. Fashion fans stalked their celebrity gurus on social media, to stay updated on the latest trends and recreate that perfect red carpet look at home. And brands picked up on the trend as well, with high street collections featuring a nod to influencer fashion, through celebrity collaborations. Fashion lovers indulged in visually stunning outfits, with diehard fans responding enthusiastically, at the chance to replicate their favourite celebrity’s look.

Opening digital doors

With prominent malls and retail closures becoming the norm in 2020, high street brands rapidly went digital to connect with consumers directly through e-commerce and virtual offerings. This forced the more innovative brands to think outside the box and take digital customer experience to a level the world has never seen before. If you desperately want that earthy autumn toned trench coat with high-kneed leopard print boots, dress yourself up in a virtual room designed just for you! Although this is not a permanent substitute for going to the mall with friends and grabbing some Starbucks, brands are going all out to keep you engaged until society goes back to normal with an online experience that will blow your mind.

Sustainable Style

The fashion industry has been the second largest polluter globally, with 85% of goods ending up in landfills. With a much-needed combination of cutting-edge technology and inspiring aesthetics, brands are now going “circular”, by adopting eco-friendly production methods to enhance the longevity and recycling materials. This is set to be the most significant trend to redefine the industry, in this new decade. Textiles are consistently recycled to transform tattered and discarded clothes into sustainable new attire, and resold in the market as the latest fashion. This creative ingenuity is holding top brands accountable to being more sustainable, by creating masterpieces from old yarn. For example, WGSN predicts that Mycelium based biomaterial Mylo is emerging as a leather alternative that can be grown without animal cruelty, and huge inputs of water and other limited resources. Fashion is giving back to society, by evolving from a self-indulgent, to a new environmental consciousness, through unique works of art that push all creative boundaries.

2020 has taught us to embrace and appreciate what we have and be grateful for the things we can hold onto. Circumstances taught us to be optimistic and patient. And come 2021, these fresh new twists and trends are adding some of our new found priorities, to fashion, expression and style.

- By Jitinder Advani, Head of buying Apparel - REDTAG