The buzzword for fashion in 2020 will undoubtedly be sustainability. Everyone from comedian Hasan Minhaj to Anna Wintour fashion’s ultimate last word is talking about how we all need to be more mindful of our fashion consumption.
A recent United Nations study revealed that the industry is responsible for about 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and 20 percent of all wastewater, and consumes more energy than the airline and shipping industries put together. The way we currently consume fashion is literally killing our planet.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we are going to stop shopping nor is fashion going to stop pushing new styles. But as we start a new decade, fashion will have to establish a new order one in which consumers realize that less can be more.
There will be other major trends in 2020, as we reveal below, but this will be the year’s defining one.
The new power piece
Borrowing from a man’s wardrobe will never go out of style. But this year, it’s one of the most traditional and often-ignored silhouettes that is set to become a woman’s best friend: the waistcoat. Whether you’re wearing it with a suit, as suggested by Burberry (pictured), with a high-slit skirt à la Gucci, or taking your cue from Celine and giving it a boho twist by pairing it with jeans, a tunic-style shirt, and some layered neckpieces, the waistcoat is a true investment buy.
Conde Nast has become the first media company to sign the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. The industry is acknowledging its contribution to the current climate crisis and also celebrating the beauty of nature, be it Marni’s ode to the wilderness (pictured), Carolina Herrera’s ‘Super Blooms’ or Dior’s “inclusive garden” at Paris Fashion Week. And the most Instagrammed moment of the year’s Spring/Summer 2020 runway collections was Jennifer Lopez in a palm-print dress by Versace. The 50-year-old style icon wore a redux version of a dress she wore 20 years ago to the Grammys and showed that palm print is back, and stronger than ever.
The big bag theory
2019 was all about micro bags. For 2020, we’re pleased to say, it’s time to roll out the super clutches and oversized totes because the big bag is back. (Finally, we can carry more than our keys and a credit card again…) Leading the way is the brand of the moment, Bottega Veneta (pictured). From large pouches and giant cross bodies, these are bags you can carry your office in.
Keep it short
There’s a pair of shorts to suit every woman this year — from hotpants to baggy shorts, you can’t go wrong with this silhouette. Heritage labels including Hermes (pictured) and Salvatore Ferragamo are favoring the high-cut style, while Tod’s, Max Mara and Bottega Venetta give their nod to the more-modest Bermuda shorts.
The Nineties are back
With consumers looking for trans-seasonal pieces that offer longevity, fashion is looking back to the 1990s, the decade of minimalism. Tank tops, easy dresses, and the white shirt — all staples of the time — have now become high-fashion pieces, as seen at The Row, Gabriella Hearst, Prada (pictured) and Bottega Veneta.
As ‘slow fashion’ comes to the fore, the industry is going back to focusing on its arts-and-crafts roots, with crochet becoming increasingly influential. But this is not your grandma’s crocheting — this is a new high-fashion style. Stella McCartney’s lacey look and Isabel Marant’s Brazilian vibe (pictured) are two great examples of how this traditional art is being updated for 2020.
Bling it on
It’s 2020 and time to shine. Fashion is celebrating the new decade with sequins, turning simple silhouettes such as tuxedo jackets and slip dresses into elevated classics. Seen on the runways of shows by Saint Laurent (pictured) and Ralph Lauren, this is an effortless way to shimmer and shine.
The new trench
Of course, Burberry went strong on this outwear staple— it was this label that first brought made the trench a statement piece. But now many brands are putting their twist on in- be it, Michael Kors, by adding seriously exaggerated power shoulders to this classic style or Oscar de la Renta’s floral laser-cut details (pictured) for a feel of feminine ease.
In keeping with fashion’s more-relaxed attitude in 2020 (and the penchant for long-lasting clothing), it’s no surprise to see denim, particularly jeans, reclaiming their place in women’s wardrobes. From skinny-fit to flares, a pair of well-cut jeans is a must-have this year. Seen on the catwalks at Chanel, Celine (pictured) and Bottega Veneta you cannot go wrong with denim in 2020.
Go bright or go home