God I’m so bloody ready for spring, aren’t you? Granted I mean actual spring more than fashion spring but fashion spring is a good start. I was wondering if we’d see big changes for SS21 but I don’t think our post-Covid reality has quite revealed itself yet. So consider my spring post more of a general round-up of things I’m eyeing at the moment…
1/ TALISMAN JEWELLERY. Meaningful charms, amulets and talismans feel right for these pearl-clutching times and I’ve certainly found myself reaching for my dad’s old gold rings that I wear on a chain whenever I feel like I need some tactile reassurance. I’ve also been revisiting Tina Chow jewellery on Pinterest, along with the equally sculptural pendants of 1970s Elsa Peretti (below). Peretti of course enjoyed huge fame for her work with Tiffany, who is back on radar now that LVMH has completed its turbulent acquisition. I’m predicting it will go ‘hype’, with 28-year-old Alexandre Arnault in place as executive vice-president of product and communications (fresh from cool-ifying Rimowa), so let’s see how that bodes for the classics. I’m sure the new generation of Tiffany lovers will enjoy them. And what about men? It seems they’re not immune to the charms of a pendant or two. Matches and Mr Porter have both reported recently that sales of men’s fine jewellery are on the up, while Gucci, Dior, Alexander McQueen and Versace are taking advantage of the attention with statement rings, bracelets and neck wear.
2/ YUZU FRUIT. A new beauty and wellness ingredient to know; the Japanese citrus, yuzu fruit. Known to me mainly through the delicious yuzu lemonade that accompanies my Tonkotsu noodles, yuzu baths are a tradition in Japan for warding off colds, healing winter-ravaged skin and relaxing the mind. Native & Co’s Japanese soap combines rice bran oil with oil from the yuzu rind, while British Beauty Blogger’s yuzu-infused Japanese Cleansing Cloud is back in stock at Victoria Health. Yuzu also features in Saturday Skin’s Vitamin C Sleep Mask* (below) alongside retinol and niacinimide for an overnight skin-quenching and barrier-boosting treatment. If you can get hold of the raw yuzu fruit then yuzu tea – made from yuzu peel, hot water and honey sound rather a-peeling.
3/ GORPCORE GOES MASS. Is gorpcore the new street wear? There’s a very good explainer here, describing the appeal of hype-y hiker-wear for city dwellers. Suffice to say, as with skate wear, being able to scale a mountain is no prerequisite for sporting the gear. Alongside the originals like Snow Peak and And Wander (the Japanese do it best in this case), there are the fashion entrants such as Gucci X The North Face (below). There’s also a big buzz around Moncler buying Stone Island, one of fashion’s greatest design innovators when it comes to technical textile expertise. Why all this now? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we’ve discovered a renewed appreciation for the great outdoors, especially what the Scandinavians call ‘friluftshiv’ (a.k.a. open-air living). And as we’ve been starved of shopping opportunities, gorpcore-chic feels like a fashion purchase rooted in utility, thus something of a necessity rather than frivolity. Make mine a Prada cagoule*…
4/ UTILITY HEADGEAR. It may be spring but my love for utilitarian headgear is not season specific. Which is good, because protectionist headwear is everywhere. Main attractions: Burberry’s sou’westers of many iterations (below 1) and Kenzo’s all-enveloping ‘beekeeper hats’ fashioned from updated archive florals (below 2).
5/ THE BIG EASY SHIRT. Roomy shirting inspired by pandemic PJs and loungewear are unsurprisingly big news. They lend themselves well to the ‘new normal’ seasonless approach that retailers and brands are adopting, being perfect for layering depending on time of day, year and occasion. Valentino’s jumbo pink shirt (below 1) was a major SS21 show highlight and I’m sure we’ll see a fair few teamed with the Valentino X Levi’s jeans that are set to land at Net-a-Porter someday soon. Elsewhere, Hermès‘ blue shirt and red lip combo (top) get my vote and Fendi’s djellaba-length sheer shirt dress (below 2) hits the right note of romantic meets practical.
6/ HEAVY TREAD. I wasn’t into the bulbous wellies of AW20 but I’m feeling weighty grounded soles for spring. I’ll be unearthing my Church’s Misty derbys from the depths of my shoe closet but also taking inspo from Carey Mulligan’s crenellated McQueen Treads* in February’s Harper’s Bazaar, COS’s chunky lace-ups* (below), and good old Dr Martens*.
7/ STREETWEAR BEAUTY. Streetwear beauty is hitting its stride thanks to Pharell’s recent Humanrace skincare launch. With its non-gendered approach and drop-ship subscription model, its first batch sold out fast (although I can’t say I’ve seen anyone rave about it, so the jury’s out for the moment). Meanwhile Off-White has collaborated with Korean skincare brand, Amorepacific on a skincare-meets-wellness launch featuring mask packs and lip balms in a protectionist-themed bag. And Comme des Garcons has joined forces with Stussy on the ultimate hypebeast fragrance collab, an eau de toilette called Laguna Beach. Mark my words, this is just the beginning…
8/ BIRKENSTOCK 2.0. Get ready for a major repositioning of Birkenstock as a luxury lifestyle brand. Chiming with the gorpcore-meets-streetwear movement (see above), Birkenstock has become the go-to wellness shoe with a purpose, a heritage and the all-important cool factor. Private equity firm L Catterton (backed by LVMH) recently acquired it, with an eye on major global growth. We’ll have to wait to see exactly what the future has in store, but maybe there’s a clue in the latest collaboration with multi-disciplinary designer Faye Toogood (below). According to How To Spend It, she’s about to launch three sandals, a clothing capsule and – a Birkenstock bed.
9/ ABOVE THE MASK BEAUTY. Will post-lockdown beauty focus on eyes or lips? The official line is that ‘above the mask’ beauty will reign, with brows and lashes continuing to dominate since last season. I like a natural full brow and I’ve got my eye on the La Bouche Rouge brow grooming combo including the Japanese brush (below). To accompany: Lancome Lash Idole mascara* and Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint* are serving me well.
10/ BRAIN HEALTH (BUT MAKE IT FASHION). I’m late to the supplements party. They’re a chore, they’re expensive and I
always thought they were a bit scammy just never saw them as necessary. We get our nutrients from food! But then Covid came along and I want all the extra vit D and C I can get. Anyway, there’s an extremely lucrative supplements industry out there and helping it along is the aesthetic-ization of the pill popping process. Brands like The Nue Co, Ace of Air (below) and Asystem make the chore more of a ritual with their elegant packaging and aspirational lifestyle vibe. Like your serum or eye cream, if your bottles are pretty enough to keep in your sight line, you’re more likely to reach for them. Most interesting to me are ‘nootropics’ and what new brand Heights calls ‘braincare’; supplements that help with focus and cognitive functions to help you feel sharper and more motivated. Expect to see lots more.
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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Hermès; Elsa Peretti; Saturday Skin; Gucci X The North Face/Daniel Shea; Burberry; Kenzo; Valentino; Fendi; COS: Stussy; Birkenstock; La Bouche Rouge; Ace of Air
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