Megnificent Looks

Predicting Future Trends (based on May 2020 Vogue)

With the recommendation of a friend, I subscribed to Vogue to explore fashion more in depth! Honestly, after reading it, I don’t really know what Vogue is supposed to be — is it actually a fashion magazine? It’s like a combination of Reader’s Digest, fashion, and the perfume part of the Macy’s at your local mall. Regardless, I quickly guzzled the content, whether or not it was related to fashion, and just wanted to share some of my takeaways (and inspired outfits!) based on this month’s edition.

Before I get into trends, I want to briefly mention this: Vogue profiled Tschabalala Self, an artist who uses fabric and sewing as mediums for her art. Something profound stuck out to me about her art, and I’m not sure why. Her story is, without a doubt, incredibly interesting, but I think what stayed with me the most was the way she found and developed an intersection of arts that people have not previously explored enough. And, to do so in a way that maintains the integrity of both fashion and art?

This piece of hers, titled “Out of Body”, was painted in 2015. I can’t provide much commentary other than noting that fabric is a big aspect of this artwork, and Self’s experimentation with different textures and colors creates a larger-than-life aura that I can’t really explain but wanted to share.

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Other than Tschabalala Self, I found a lot of patterns in styling I saw in various print advertisements for many different luxury brands. In this post, I’ll be discussing the key trends I notice in these styles as well as offering my own opinion on whether this trend is aesthetically pleasing or not.

Chanel: Print Advertisement #1

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This model is showing off many Chanel items, and I noticed a few key motifs.

  1. There was a huge array of textures that are modelled—we see denim from the jeans, metallic from the metal and the ballet flats, knit from the sweater, and a tweed-like material from the bag.
  2. There are tons of different patterns as well, and most striking are the plaid of the bag and the stripes of the sweater.
  3. There is a distinct mixture of both gold and silver metallic accents. The silver buttons on the sweater are directly contrasted by the large gold links and the gold logo on the bag. The jewelry also includes both gold and silver.

In my opinion, I’m not a fan of this aesthetically. I think the model is the reason why this looks remotely stylish (she is gorgeous!!), but other than that, this look has very little going for it. I really dislike the pink metallic ballet flats since it seems to take away from the prim-and-proper aesthetic from the rest of the outfit. I also find the contrast between the looser-fitted jeans and the luxurious sweater — this gives me the vibes of an outfit you might see at Sunday brunch with the other wives in the neighborhood.

I will say, though, that I love the plaid tweed bag featured in this look! The color scheme is traditional and very regal, but I love the simultaneously contemporary and vintage tweed material. I think the choice to use gold metallic accents rather than silver is a wise one in this case since it seems to effectively encapsulate the royal nature of this bag. I can imagine bringing this bag as an accessory when meeting Queen Elizabeth, and I think it’d be beautiful to style with a white shift dress and nude heels (something like this!).

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Chanel: Print Advertisement #2

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This look is still by Chanel, but features drastically more aggressive colors and patterns. Interestingly, while the first Chanel look placed more emphasis on the bag, there seem to be more embellishments on everything but the bag in this look. There are a few motifs that I can identify here:

  1. Once again, we see a lot of different textures. There’s the knit of the sweater, the tweed of the blazer, the leather of the purse, the denim of the light wash jeans, and various metallic accents on the purse, belt, and jewelry.
  2. There’s also a clear mixture of gold and silver metallic embellishments. The strap on the shoulder uses silver links and the buttons of the blazer are silver, but the rest of the metallic features are gold.
  3. The use of very forward branding on the belt and purse strap (that the model is holding) is unique to this look. There is a strong aesthetic and purpose difference in the Chanel logo and the word “CHANEL” when looking at a product.

Once again, as with the previous Chanel look, I’m not a fan of this one. I strongly dislike the clashing of colors, especially since the red & black sweater aggressively contrasts the more pastel colors from the jeans and the coral blazer. Additionally, the tweed pattern of the blazer along with the CHANEL decor on the belt and purse strap are overwhelming to the eyes, and the addition of stripes to the look makes it difficult to focus on anything. This look lacks a central theme, and it is difficult for me to imagine anyone wearing this outfit.

However, there are individual features of this look that I really like. The coral tweed blazer could easily be paired with any other light, neutral tones to create a more structured, elegant look. It could also be featured with other similarly pink-ish tones to create a monochromatic look — differences in textures would be key to making sure that this outfit doesn’t become one large lump of pink. A more preppy look could use a similar coral tweed skirt and a buttoned up blazer (like the one we see on Fallon Carrington).

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I also like the pockets of the jeans in the Chanel look. The rectangular/squarish cut of the pockets and their placement give the jeans a more structured, straight look while adding function (because who doesn’t like bigger pockets?) and a modern twist.

Vogue Table of Contents Picture

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This look is made up of a Tory Burch vest, a vintage Jean Paul Gaultier top, and a Chopova Lowena skirt.

  1. Just like the previous two outfits, we see some different textures here, but the differences are a bit more nuanced. The skirt pleats show that half of the skirt is apparently thinner while the other half is denser, given that the pleats are less crisp. The knit vest brings a large contrast since it’s perceived as thicker. The wooden jewelry is another element of texture.
  2. The most distinct thing about this outfit is definitely the different patterns. We see many different types of stripes on the skirt, various floral/paisley prints on the sleeves of the top, and a checkered pattern on the vest.
  3. Another notable trend is asymmetry, which we see in the jewelry, the top, and the skirt. The different colors and beads of the necklaces make it asymmetrical, and the sleeves of the top are distinctively different based on the differing placement of floral and paisley patterns. Lastly, the different types of stripes and pleats in the skirt also contribute to this off-kilter look.

I am a huge fan of this look aesthetically, and I also really like each part of this look individually. The asymmetry is elegant, apparent, yet fitting, and it seems that each piece of this outfit, no matter how different the patterns are, complement one another. The silhouette of the flowing skirt effectively contrasts the tight-fitting top and vest. The only aspect of this outfit I’m not a big fan of is the jewelry, which becomes difficult to see against the backdrop of so many patterns. The necklaces are particularly hard to identify, since the top is a patterned, asymmetrical turtleneck.

The styling of this vest is really interesting, and I think it has a lot of potential to contribute to different silhouettes. For example, you could pair it with something more loose inside to create a wispier, flyaway look. I also think the sweater vest is a particularly interesting concept since it’s typically a very masculine style, so pairing it with more feminine things like tighter tops and a flowy skirt brings a balance that might not be otherwise possible.

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Overall Takeaways

Based on the patterns we see emerging today (based especially on the style choices of luxury fashion brands that often define trends), I predict that within the next few months, a few key trends will emerge:

1) Embracing asymmetry. We’ve already seen a lot of asymmetry popping up with the rise of one-shoulder tank tops and mixing different colors or patterns. I predict that we’ll see a lot more asymmetrical jackets & tops that embrace different color schemes to create more vintage, off-balance looks. Additionally, people have begun dying their jeans, bleaching one pant leg to create two blocks of color; similar trends for hairstyles are beginning as well.

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2) Popularity surge in tweed. A common fabric in many of these outfits is the aspect of tweed that is incorporated. The resurgence of many vintage fashion trends (such as schoolgirl-style skirts) has led to the growing popularity of tweed as a material, just like we saw in the 1970s. While tweed has been used in mens’ clothing for a long time (primarily jackets, coats, and suits), many designers are now adopting tweed as a material for more feminine styles such as skirts, blazers, and even purses/bags. My hunch is that tweed is a good, durable material that instantly makes a silhouette look more vintage/old-school, making it prime material to use right now when many vintage styles are trending again, but modernity is still desirable.

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3) Mixing gold and silver. At least in my experience, it seems pretty common for people to try to keep gold and silver away from one another since they’re both aggressive colors that demand attention and may crowd an outfit. However, as we can see in the two Chanel print advertisements, gold and silver are being mixed together without worries. I believe Chanel has a strong enough influence on fashion trends that this will slowly seep into the marketplace. In a broad sense, this creates a stronger illusion of grandeur and luxury that almost screams at you. In another sense, defying the typical rules of separating gold and silver could be due to the overarching zeitgeist of now which emphasizes breaking the rules and freeing ourselves from artificial boundaries. We can potentially understand the rationale behind this since it seems that the development of more small, more affordable jewelry stores (such as Alex and Ani) has made jewelry more widely accessible and seemingly customizable. This will likely lead to more people wearing gold and silver jewelry together and breaking the rules, inevitably increasing the normality and aesthetic value of mixing gold and silver.

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