The first time I rolled out of bed on a sunny Saturday morning and strolled my way down to my local Brooklyn farmers market, I was in for a rude surprise. My Patagonia shorts and under-laundered college sweatshirt — my go-to uniform for grabbing groceries — looked disheveled compared to the perfectly concocted looks surrounding me. As shoppers and their well-behaved dogs walked alongside rows of tables stacked with boxes of blueberries, crates of tomatoes, and bunches of dahlias, I peered at their elegant cottagecore dresses paired with Adidas Samba sneakers and Bode patchwork tops styled with worn-in jeans with just the right amount of holes in them.
I have since learned that the Farmers Market is its own sartorial aesthetic — part foodie, part laid-back, part designer cool. And now, the look has expanded, with designers debuting styles that nod to the fact that there may just be a baguette or box of strawberries in your rope tote. Aperitivo prints, playful fruit and vegetable patterns, and lacy crochet reminiscent of picnic tablecloths have emerged as one of the biggest trends of the summer. Paired with whimsical basket bags and comfy-cute flats, the aesthetic makes errand-running look unexpectedly glamorous.
“Fruits, flowers, and vegetables are a great visual,” says Katia Barros, co-founder of Brazilian label Farm Rio. “They are colorful and playful and they help to blend the consumer need for happiness in the way we are dressing right now. There is also a nostalgic and joyful feeling related to the farmers market, being back on the streets, meeting up with people, and living again which includes simple things such as buying organic food in real life, not on the computer.”
For California-based Lisa Buhler, trips to the farmer’s market not only serve as a source of inspiration for her popular online shop and brand, Lisa Says Gah!, but are a chance to connect and support small businesses. “I enjoy the community aspect of it, being outside, supporting local vendors, and getting inspired to discover new foods to cook,” she says. “It's always a feel-good productive errand.” With that in mind, Buhler debuted an Italian Summer capsule, a range of playful pieces covered in produce.
“I spent years in Italy in my early 20s, and [the collection] brings me back to this nostalgic long, warm summer nights exploring new cities, and discovering the local seasonal food and drink,” she says.
On the heels of other optimistically comfortable summer trends like cottagecore and the coastal grandma aesthetic, the Farmers Market look hits the sweet spot between practical and eye-catching. But, what sets it apart from other defining 2022 trends like Night Luxe, cut-outs, or low-rise jeans, is the fact that the fashion isn’t about how a piece makes you look — how it hugs the body, or what it leaves revealed or covered — it’s about eliciting a feeling that you get when you’re picking out bunches of basil or fresh peaches, an iced coffee in hand.
“Once a week, in Rio de Janeiro, the streets are transformed into a colorful, bustling market that’s packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, flowers, and authentic Brazilian food,” explains Barros. “We love not only the visual of these happenings but also the vibe, the loud conversations, the scent of fresh fruit, the meeting of neighbors, and the happiness and spontaneity you can feel in the air.”
Whoever said you shouldn’t play with your food, surely never experienced the joy of sliding into a shirt with sardines on it.
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