For autumn/winter 20/21, we are embracing escapism, but we’re running towards new experiences rather than away from reality.
Escapism does not necessarily mean avoidance, though growing social, political and environmental pressures are weighing heavy on our minds. What we need is a moment away, to gain a little perspective. We return from our mental or physical adventures brighter, smarter and more determined.
For the new season, escapism takes many forms. Whether we seek silence as a way to avoid noisy modern life, or experiment with psychedelia to discover new perspectives, we are looking for solace and wisdom. Nature exerts a powerful draw, especially for urbanites yearning for simplicity and peace. We’re going further into the wilderness as a way to test our limits, or finding ways to enjoy nature in everyday life. Immersive experiences are becoming even more extraordinary, allowing us to play in worlds we could never experience in real life. Technology, nature and adventure combine in different ways to lift us from our everyday experiences and help us to see the future with positivity.
01 Big Ideas
Grounding: rising urbanisation is making wild nature seem increasingly appealing. Restoration: #nofilter approach to life means no artifice. Surreal psyche: science and technology are helping us to discover the marvels of the human mind. Embodiment: for homebodies and nature-lovers, the natural world is coming closer. Other-worldly: the fantastical visions of science fiction are becoming more achievable.
Denim Archive: the key ideas driving denim trends for AW20/21, selected from the archives of denim collector and consultant Gill Riddell. Denim concepts: from 90’s dance and skate culture to decadently decorated looks that verge on poor taste, variety is key. Denim fabric themes: ornamental; vegetal; distressed; winter warmth; workwear. Meet the maker: creative director of Arvind, Vicksit Mehta discusses childhood fashion experiments, journaling, social values and sustainability.
03 Casual Concepts
Interurban: New York city slick meets Seattle grunge as traditional plaids and stripes are reworked; Unprocessed: A #nofilter approach to life drives the focus towards transparency, honesty and raw tactility. Against the grain: a dreamlike theme of psychedelic fabric treatments and desaturated brights. Homebodies: A softened utility look and feel focuses on comfort and ease, providing a much-needed retreat from busy, structured lifestyles. Mission: science fiction and reality combine as we explore the potential of commercial space tourism and the colonization of Mars.
04 Athleisure Statements
Refresh: muted mineral prints and textures come through for autumn winter 20/21; High-intensity: intensely saturated brights are blocked in vivid streetwear looks; Lounge-lover: an athleisure statement focussed on ease, comfort and calm; Modularity: contemporary leisure and streetwear pieces that focus on adaptable, modular design details. Space age: as we approach a new era of space exploration, inspiration is drawn from conceptual collaborations and science fiction.
A more holistic approach to fitness is emerging as the importance of mental as well as physical wellbeing is highlighted by new exercise classes and activewear collaborations. Escapism continues to be a major source of inspiration for activewear, drawing colour palettes and print direction from nature and developing silhouettes that focus on unsurpassable comfort as well as performance.
Performance sports are in the spotlight thanks to the influence of social media, a new wave of gripping documentaries and the inclusion of new categories in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Urban streetwear inspired silhouettes, details and colour pairings are pushing the boundaries of traditional performance wear. Pieces increasingly blur the line between the mountain and the city, without compromising on functionality.
For Spring/Summer 2021 we reach higher, feel stronger and live better. Doom and gloom may surround us, but it cannot break the human spirit. Better living is not a naïve hope but a practical approach to sustainability, inclusivity and wellbeing.