After two lonely, locked-down seasons, during which fashion insiders had to make do with viewing short films and online lookbooks from their couches, Fashion Month makes its return, with back-to-back shows, enviably ebullient street style, and trends galore. But while much about the biannual event is the same as it was pre-COVID — lines are still long, seating is still limited, and preening and peacocking still take place aplenty — much has changed since the pandemic ushered runways online back in February 2020.
Back then, nearly everything was oversized and slouchy, with Snuffleupagus-ish silhouettes ready to cloak us into obscurity. That, and the fashion world was obsessed with end-of-the-world wears, eerily in sync with the events that were looming on the horizon. Now, after emerging from a claustrophobic and entirely digital fashion existence, the view is quite different.
Thus far in the marathon that is spring ‘22 Fashion Month, sartorial staples from the turn of the millennium are reigning supreme, with shrunken dresses, skirts, and cardigans; ultra-low-rise bottoms; visible G-strings; and naked dresses all showing face on the catwalk. No longer are we seeing clothing designed to hide us. Post-lockdown, people want to be seen, thongs and all.
Designers being a flighty bunch, they didn’t stick to one era. Dipping deeper into the history books, Rodarte, Brandon Maxwell, and Monse were all in the mood for shrooms circa 1973, adding the trippy motif into their spring assortments. Reaching even further back were brands like Markarian, Collina Strada, and Christian Siriano with their myriad Regencycore references — tied, of course, to Netflix’s steamy and ultra-popular drama series Bridgerton. God save the corset!
See below just how much fashion has changed since the last round of IRL shows.