Upcycling is the biggest trend from this year to the next. Also, fashion designers sourcing locally and making sense of digital
2020 was the year when a big-ticket buyer put down $594,750 for a plastic crown at a Sotheby’s auction (the crown was worn by the late New York rap icon, Notorious B.I.G). “Forty per cent of clients this year are new bidders to Sotheby’s,” Charles Stewart, the CEO of Sotheby’s, told Bloomberg. In fact, high jewellery sales have been booming here as well as at Christie’s, with exceptional emeralds and blue diamonds coming into the market. This ease online has extended to most categories, resulting in decent attendance at Instagram Live trunk shows (Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s with Bergdorf Goodman in September) and digital fashion weeks (Shivan & Narresh’s Wilding 20s at Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week in October). Some trends:
Thrift stores thriving
Instagram thrifting is when Instagram accounts sell vintage and upcycled fashion. Whether it is @bombayclosetcleanse, @carols.shop or @therelovecloset in Chennai, the pandemic has made it easier for clients to drop their inhibitions about bringing home pre-loved garments and accessories. Frequent collaborations with fashion-forward women, bargains on Gucci loafers and Jimmy Choos, and charity drives (with #chennaitaskforce, for instance, for Covid-19 relief efforts) sweeten the deal.
Cecilia Morelli of Le Mill
Instagram Live festive edits
Marielle Wyse of @wyselondon is known for her velvet dresses and dazzling knits. During her pandemic Instagram Lives, she holds up garments and encourages feedback from customers and followers. Getting them to pre-order is a breeze. Back home, indie designers and store owners are also beginning to realise that they know their products best. Le Mill’s Cecilia Morelli recently put together an accelerated Christmas gift guide, featuring home décor and accessories. “Everything I am going to show you for your girlfriend is under ₹15,000,” began Morelli, pulling out a candle from Bombay Perfumery, a festive headband from the World of Gaya (supplies to Prada), Balenciaga logo bracelets and for the husband, a limited edition vase from Ashiesh Shah.
Salvatore Ferragamo x Microsoft
Is bespoke luxury possible with social distancing? Back in October, the Florence-based fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo teamed with Microsoft and tech partner Hevolus to help clients customise their iconic Tramezza range of shoes. It involves 3D reproduction, from material to colour, choosing a Derby or double monk strap among others. Clients could put their initials on the sole or get their name handwritten inside each shoe. With Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 smartglasses bringing in augmented reality for an optimal configuration, let’s hope this ‘made-to-measure’ tech is a sign of things to come.
Electric Pastels from Amrapali
Bold jewellery, candy colours
We’ve had frequent Zoom interactions in the last few months and jewellery brands are taking note. Brooches have been introduced for some shining detail and stacking and layering turn small and delicate jewellery into bold statements. At Amrapali, a new collection called Electric Pastels has been inspired by Chrome photography, with rose gold and two-tone enamelling in silver 925. “After 2020, I think we all can use some bright and fresh energy,’’ says Tarang Arora, Creative Director of Amrapali Jewels, adding, “We are about to enter a new decade so let’s make it grand.” With weddings downsized and travel plans cancelled, perhaps there is enough of a budget for ‘grand’?
North Face x Gucci
Collabs have been happening at a steady clip, but the pandemic sandal has got to be Birkenstock’s Arizona – thanks to inputs from Valentino, Proenza Schouler and Rick Owens. Meanwhile, Crocs has also had a shot in the arm, with Justin Bieber, Bad Bunny and Post Malone collabs. But if one is planning back to nature activity this season, The North Face x Gucci collab pulls out all the stops. North Face’s popular winter jackets get the maximalist treatment, and the puffer jackets and windbreakers come with a 70s vibe. There are sleeping bags and tents too for the complete experience.
Shivan & Narresh, and a model in their knitwear
With travel on hold during lockdown, many of our designers were forced to source their yarns and raw materials from India. For Shivan & Narresh, who use econyl (fabric made from ocean waste) in their swimsuits, the organic yarn for their resort wear comes from Bengaluru and Ludhiana. During the pandemic, they set up their own knitting unit, thanks to two second-hand knitting machines Shivan Bhatiya had purchased prior to March. Hand-operated, the eight and 12-gauge machines were used to create both a chunky-looking and fine knit. “It is a dying art and we have just one operator now, but designers can make this knit look crazy cool,” explains Bhatiya. With plans to order more of these machines from Germany and Taiwan, they say sustainable processes will be a deciding factor for the industry. “We use biodegradable sequins for surface embellishment, and are moving towards vegan leather,” says Narresh.
ZX 10,000 C Meissen sneaker and a pero Millefiori jacket
With Illuminating Yellow (and Ultimate Grey) listed as Pantone’s colours for 2021, flowers are not going to leave the mood board anytime soon. Adidas Originals and the German porcelain brand, Meissen, present the ZX 10,000 C sneaker (₹16,999). Inspired by a traditional handcrafted floral vase, the ZX 10,000 C Meissen sneaker has been crafted with a white midsole and white leather upper. A discreet floral design and subtle branding on the sole of this running shoe complete the picture. Another another timeless staple for next year is pero’s denim jacket with blooms, from the SS 2020 collection. Named Millefiori (‘1,000 flowers’ in Italian), it celebrates a technique of the same name that was originally used to create mosaic beads in glass.
Tom Ford’s Ocean Plastic Timepiece
Made from 100% ocean plastics, Tom Ford redefines sustainable wristwear and the rise of ethical luxury. According to him, this Swiss-made model removes the equivalent of 35 bottles of plastic waste from the ocean and comes housed in recyclable packaging. With a round 40mm case and a black DLC stainless steel screw case back, the watch is a looker. Is it water-resistant up to 330ft and like the case, the strap is made from ocean plastic. On the website for $995 (approximately ₹73,200).
The Cartier Privé Collection Tank ‘Asymétrique’
The Parisian maison has revised the 1936 Asymétrique with a contemporary rework. First designed by Cartier in 1936, the watch was unique with its whimsical design. The new Asymétrique timepieces are available in platinum, pink gold or yellow gold – 100 of each are being made. Cartier has also released a skeletonised model showcasing the new 9623 MC movement at the centre of a bare structure, again, in a limited edition of 100 pieces per model.
Code 11.59 By Audemars Piguet Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie
The Code 11.59 Grande Sonnerie is the latest chiming watch from Audemars Piguet featuring the Supersonnerie technology. The dials for each of the five watches in this very limited series are made by famous enamelist Anita Porchet. She is also well known for her paillonné enamel work, which gets its name from the small, decorative gold or silver paillons, or spangles, which are cut one at a time from metal foil. Porchet often uses antique paillons in her work, and those used for the dials of the Code 11.59 Grande Sonnerie Supersonnerie are all at least a century old. CHF 710,000 (approximately ₹5,87,50,800).