If 2018 was the year of political statements and a unified expression of solidarity on the red carpet – remember the all-black sartorial display by Hollywood at The Golden Globe Awards in support of the anti-harassment movement – 2019 saw fashion take the centre-stage once again.
With the dust settling down, it has been business as usual at the fashion capitals across the world. Especially in India – where the fashion and apparel industry has been growing exponentially, set to touch $59.3 billion by 2022, as per a Mckinsey report – the year was marked by a host of new trends and disruptive startups who have been moulding and shaping this market along the way.
In fact, YourStory featured the story of many of these home-grown brands throughout the year, starting from Mumbai-based Suta Sarees to Gurugram-based designer Gursakhi Lugani’s brand Nakhrewali. All of them, interestingly, had one thing in common – a unique, out-of-the-ordinary style.
On that note, here’s a look at the five wild fashion trends, which ruled 2019, both in India and across the globe.
The tiny bag, for all your needs
At the 2019 American Music Awards, there were two things stirring the headlines – one was American singer Lizzo, who bagged the maximum number of nominations at the AMAs, and the other one was her ridiculously tiny handbag. Sending both social media and paparazzi into a frenzy, in fact, the 31-year-old Juice hitmaker stepped onto the red carpet this year, decked in a peach, one-shouldered outfit by Valentino. And completing the look was none other than her statement Valentino bag, an accessory so tiny that it could fit right between her fingers.
As eye-catching as the entire ensemble was, the real attention-grabber, however, was the teeny-tiny designer bag. A fashion trend which seems to be taking not just Hollywood but also celebrities closer to home, by a storm. Cue – our very own desi girl, who recently rocked a palm-sized Jacquemus bag
with her floral Brock Collection outfit.
Acid green, but make it fashion
Move over pastels, for psychedelia is here to colour the runway green!
That green, particularly the neon version, was going to be the colour of the season was apparent from the first look of the Spring fashion 2019 itself. Several major labels – from Gucci, with its feathered neon gowns and Balenciaga with its fluffed-up sweater – had already embraced the shade in the beginning of the year, and gradually we saw this trend seep down to red carpets and magazine covers as well.
Of course, we are referring to Selena Gomez’s acid green, off-shoulder dress from the Versace's Spring/Summer 2020 collection. Known for her brazen style, the American singer wore this outfit to the AMAs this year, complementing the bold colour with a diamond choker and peach lips.
And just in case you are wondering, Gomez is not the only one dabbling in greens. Our home-grown star Alia Bhatt was also seen donning a neon green monokini for the Vogue cover.
Cow print – exploring the (un)wild side
Animal prints are alright, but fashionistas this year scored ‘moo’ points with the monochrome and minimalistic cow print.
A refreshing change from the usual display of leopard, mock croc, and snakeskin emulations, the black-and-white cow print not only made for a bold fashion statement but also brought in a playful vibe, one that’s missing with the otherwise unmissable big cat prints.
Unsurprisingly then, some of the most prominent faces from around the world, known for their sartorial choices and style, were seen dressed in this rather understated look from the animal print family. We are talking about fashion figures like the Duchess of Sussex herself – who kept it minimal with her cow print pumps – world-famous designer Victoria Beckham, and our very own Masaba Gupta.
The Indian designer not only combined the print with traditional sensibilities but also gave a whole new modern vibe to this prairie aesthetic.
[HerStory Exclusive] Masaba Gupta on 10 years of House of Masaba, and building a profitable business in fashion
Statement in sneakers
With athleisure becoming the new wardrobe-essential, the last couple of years has seen the rise of sneakers, to essentially becoming a fashion staple. Dresses, denims, structured, tailored outfits; designers and stylists across the world have let their imagination run wild, showing how this creation of comfort can basically be paired with any outfit and used for almost all kinds of outings.
When the avenues itself, where you can take your good old pair of comfy sneakers for a spin, have increased, then why not the same for the footwear. With a touch of innovation and luxury, the last year has seen some of the biggest names in fashion lending their own touch to sneakers.
From Adidas by Stella McCartney (they added leopard print to the sole) to the Rhyton Gucci sneakers (with a cat-some twist), the options are endless. Only if you dared to look out of the box!
Green is the new black - sustainable fashion
Of all the new elements and trends that caught attention in 2019, the best thing to have happened to the apparel and accessories industry is the conscious shift towards sustainability. In other words, eco-friendly fashion, which not only takes care of the environment but is also in sync with socio-economic factors.
While, globally, this wave is being spearheaded by designers like Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, and Kenneth Cole; closer to home, a host of home-grown brands are ensuring that India does not miss out on this positive changes.
Take for instance Sujata Chatterjee’s startup Twirl.store, which takes clothes from customers and gives them reward points to buy upcycled products on its website. It also donates some of the collected clothes. Or Thasneem Masood and Adveta Dwivedi’s brainchild, Rossbelle. The Chennai-based brand produces sustainable women’s wear and other products with eco-friendly material, deadstock fabrics, and re-purposed vintage fabrics.
A step in the right direction indeed, hopefully, this won’t end with these handful of brands. Hopefully, more and more brands, designers, and labels will take to sustainability, just as they embrace the tiny bags or the rather small sunglasses trend.