After the pandemic, it’s Party Time.
nly a couple of sweats-wearing months into the pandemic, on a sunny spring afternoon, I pulled on an ankle-grazing, python-print shirt dress. I had no destination beyond my living room, but I was desperate to elevate my mood and feel something other than elastic waistbands against my skin.
This became a ritual as the months rolled together. At the end of another same-old day, I would thrust my arms into the far reaches of my closet and pull out something fancy to spend the evening in — my grandmother’s ancient fur coat, a gown from a 1997 high school formal, a black and strappy number that’s seen a dozen dance floors.
I know I’m not the only one. My social media feeds have been filled with at-home fashion experiments — @januaryjones is particularly delightful. Aching for normalcy, for self-expression, we are finding an outlet in fashion.
History tells us that major world events have bent the curve of style. Spanish Flu: cinched corsets and long hemlines went out, looser and shorter flapper dresses were in. Many are drawing hopeful parallels between that debauched age and the aftermath of our pandemic.
My fingers are crossed.
After the Great Depression and World War II broke up the party, people yearned for beauty. Christian Dior’s New Look of feminine embellishments, figure-eight silhouettes, and luxurious fabrics renewed hope and haute couture.
In both cases, glamour reigned. And, in my opinion, glamour is overdue for a Studio 54-style comeback.
Vogue reports that, “Since January, [social media] search has surged for sparkly bras (+137 per cent), pearl and feather headbands
(+49 per cent) and metallics (+43 per cent), according to global fashion shopping platform Lyst.” After the Fall 2021 collections were revealed, Harper’s Bazaar noticed a catwalk trend towards sequins, flapper dresses, lingerie-inspired looks, and wild prints. Promising …
Billie Eilish, known for her bright and baggy fashion choices, turned to old-Hollywood glamour for her June 2021 Vogue cover. In the photoshoot, she wore corseterie in dusty pinks and traded her signature green hair for a dustier blonde. It was a reinvention. If you watched the Oscars, you may have seen Questlove’s gold Crocs, Ashton Sanders’ lace gloves, or Colman Domingo’s neon-pink suit. And then there’s Harry Styles, never one to disappoint sartorially, who, in March, paired his two Grammy outfits with colourful fuzzy boas. Statements are being made in every which way.
We’ve had time, so much time, to redefine our character and recalibrate our style. Fantasies are running wild in heads and closets. Hours of thought are going into how we want to present ourselves in the coming Afterdays.
Some claim no one will ever wear high heels again. Or ties. Or suits.
Or skinny jeans. Or anything else that restricts the body’s movements.
I’d like to believe we are all waiting to emerge from our cocoons a new person, having spent the last year or so figuring out who we really are and who we want to be — whether that includes saddle shoes or velvet capes or sequinned trousers or plaid pajamas is up to you. The post-pandemic trend is Express Yourself, Without Restraint.