[This is the third in a series of six posts about trend sightings for 2015 and beyond.]
When many people hear the word trend, their mind first goes to fashion. Even though the cultural phenomena that I like to call Future Headlines exist in every discipline, many of us don’t recognize them as trends. A suddenly popular food, like the dressed-up biscuits that are the latest “it” meal, isn’t seen as a trend—it’s seen as the best thing ever. We believe new, of-the-moment business practices are simply the future, not ideas that come into vogue and fall back out.
Fashion, however, along with her sisters beauty and design, are obvious trends. We expect them to be in Vogue, then not in vogue. Each season, we look forward to seeing what ideas will take root thanks to the blessing of designers, creative directors, stylists, celebrities and, increasingly, bloggers and social media stars.
Here’s what these early-adopting tastemakers have brought into the mainstream for the coming year:
Your “went to the gym and skipped the shower” look is now chic. Chanel has debuted an athletic-themed lineup, Alexander Wang’s H&M collection combines couture and sport, Net-a-Porter launched a Net-a-Sporter channel ($250 yoga jumpsuit, anyone?) and the hippest store in the Hamptons sells workout wear. Tory Burch, the princess of pulled-together, is coming out with a sport line in early 2015, and Beyoncé announced a partnership with Topshop for an athletic streetwear brand. Indeed, sneakers have replaced stilettos as every style maven’s favorite footwear. Denim sales are down (and yoga pants are up). The new athleisure is part of our healthier (but hectic) lifestyle: We prioritize working out, but we’re too busy to change. Or we just want approval to wear elastic waistbands around our ever-expanding midsections.
Designers and retailers are following the lead of Vivienne Westwood, Ralph Lauren and other top brands and forgoing fur. Last year, West Hollywood banned the sale of fur in its tony boutiques. This year, London’s hot Mahiki nightclub announced a new fur-free dress code. And Piperlime, a subsidiary of Gap Inc., said it would stop selling fur after a petition from a woman in Virginia gathered more than 50,000 signatures on Change.org. The holdouts are coming under pressure: The international animal welfare group Four Paws (which successfully pushed Patagonia and the North Face to create standards for ethical down) just launched a campaign against Burberry. Last year, PETA released undercover footage from a Chinese angora farm, and after pressure from a group Jezebel described as “every human with a conscience,” Zara, Gap and other retailers temporarily banned angora.
Androgyny Is Everywhere
With roots in normcore and the tomboy style that has been popular in recent years, today’s androgyny takes in closely cropped hair, oversize silhouettes and skinny black suits with collared shirts. “[F]or fall 2014,” wrote Vogue, “we’re seeing unprecedented gender fluidity on the runway—womenswear borrowing from menswear borrowing from gals borrowing from the boys—describing clothes in terms of traditional ideas of aesthetics of the sexes feels inaccurate, not to mention stale.” Celebrities like Ellen Page, Tig Notaro, Tilda Swinton, Milla Jovovich, Jared Leto and Annie Lennox are known for their androgynous style, as are bloggers like Leandra Medine of Man Repeller and Emily Weiss of Into the Gloss. Even Gwyneth Paltrow and model Cara Delevingne have made headlines recently for their androgynous fashion choices.