A new season brings ugly shoes, deadstock redesigns and the long-overdue end of Instagram beige
We are barely a week into 2020, and, apart from Frank Ocean’s blessed Prada campaign, things are off to a messy start. Maybe you’ve clicked this article looking for a distraction from the news of environmental catastrophe, or bellicose world leaders, or maybe you just want to know how to be extraordinarily stylish in the year ahead. Whatever it is, you’re here now. Come in.
Here are our predictions for Spring 2020, based on absolutely nothing, besides my own (usually right) observations. Yes, I’m an expert. See you again in time for summer.
SMILING AND LOOKING CASUAL
I am happy to report that smiling is IN! Look to Devon Lee Carlson, who is essentially the queen bee in the highschool of the internet. Her trademark perfect grin, a ray of pearly white, shines from amongst the pouting and posturing that fills the rest of your feed. Really Devon’s pro-happiness aesthetic (lol) ties into a wider Instagram shift towards something that looks more spontaneous, more carefree, more FUN! (Even if it isn’t, really.) See: the pivot to posting a range of apparently unfiltered images in a gallery instead of the one, perfectly composed, face-tuned shot.
And on that note, Instagram Face, the look that means all influencers essentially have the same augmented features, will come to be seen as very much a thing of the 2010s. Ignore the dodgy posters in your dentist's office offering you lip injections and consider dissolving the filler to a less obvious level (or don’t, it’s your face!).
THE END OF INSTAGRAM BEIGE
Is there a colour that more directly sums up a certain strand of 2010s fashion as Instagram beige? Having a tastefully beige feed – accented with black and white, shots of sunglasses, and the odd Diptyque candle – was basically a personality trait for a certain group of Phoebe Philo disciples. It’s a new decade, and despite the fact #oldceline has immediately become #newbottega, chic restraint is dull. I’m sorry to everyone that’s spent years trying to embody its perfect blend of femininity and ugliness, but Phoebe’s Céline is gone and it’s not coming back.
If that leaves you at a loss, consider this: chaotic good should be the guiding principle of wardrobes and ‘grams for the new decade. Take the possible return of FRUiTS magazine – as we reported here – as your inspiration. Or Billie Eilish. Or Lil Nas X. It’s about not taking yourself too seriously and experimenting with style. I say this as someone who has spent the last ten years wearing black: it’s time to get weird.
ARCHIVE BAG REISSUES
Two years ago you could get a Dior Saddle bag for £200. Now vintage ones easily sell for over 1.5k, with the brand’s new remakes costing a staggering £2450. Without an it-bag for years, Prada has seemingly cracked it: before Christmas, it released new versions of some of its early 00s nylon bags, and they’ve been sell-outs – especially the 2005 crossbody multi pochette, which has been seen on a variety of Insta girls (and is already on Vestiaire for twice the price).
If you’re looking to buy actual vintage (considering there are tens of thousands of already made bags out there looking for a home), edge towards the 00s rather than the 90s. Stephen Sprouse LV is done – it’s only a matter of time before one of the Kardashian steps out with one of the hideous, iconic Richard Prince bags from SS08. And of course, when there’s a bigger Instagram hype around iconic vintage pieces than new collections, it’s not only bags brands will want to reissue... We’re looking at you, Westwood and Gaultier.
Why make a new t-shirt when you could just print on an old one? The phrase ‘upcycling’ brings to mind horrors of painted mid-century furniture, but some designers are taking an inventive approach to deadstock. Needles’ Rebuild line is a pioneering example, while Election Reform, the project of LA-based artist Brendan Fowler that’s “part artist edition, part serious fashion label, part recycling project” and part activist effort has partnered with Eckhaus Latta and Awake. Marine Serre has been splicing second-hand tees with her own signature moon print fabric, while Heron Preston has embroidered over fake versions of his own tees and items by Supreme.
As Virgil Abloh said in his recent Dazed interview: “There are so many clothes that are cool that are in vintage shops and it’s just about wearing them. I think that fashion is gonna go away from buying a boxfresh something; it’ll be like, hey I’m gonna go into my archive.” It’s clear we’re all going to be turning to vintage – why shouldn’t that apply to making clothes too?
UGLY SHOES, JUST MORE STREAMLINED
As evidenced by London Men’s Fashion Week attendees, Salomons, which first came on our radar back in 2015 with a collab with Paris boutique The Broken Arm, are now at ubiquity. The only way now is mass. Expect to see split-toed Nike Air Rifts – originally released in 1996 – slowly return, as discerning eBayers (it’s me!) snap up the vintage pairs. Puma’s Mostros (circa 1999) might even have a moment, considering Balenciaga’s new Zen trainer – released LITERALLY today – looks pretty much like they had a lovechild with some football boots. Not to mention these Kiko Kostadinov Asics.
And on the topic of Tabis: with dodgy fakes flooding the internet, I sincerely regret to say that Margiela’s boots are sailing through dangerous waters. Google trends shows their influence has been slowly climbing since at least 2016, with this summer reaching peak popularity – in other words, more people were searching for Tabis than ever before. Part of this was due to the launch of the men’s Tabi, but will the decades-old style maintain its cult status by the time the year is out? For the sake of my shoe collection, I hope so. See you next season!