3 fashion risks to take now that you’re ready to reinvent yourself

Image via Mean Girls
Words by Tim Grant

The time is now.

In just two short months, we’ll be heading into a new decade. If there’s ever been a time to throw yourself into a brash new identity, it’s now.

There were a number of fun trends coursing through the runways this September, one of which I’ve already covered. These September collections were called Ready-To-Wear, but (just between us) sometimes what goes down the runway can be a bit much for casual dress. It only takes one look at the Marie Antoinette vibe going at Thom Browne’s recent show to know that.

So here are the three bold moves that you can integrate into your 2020 personal brand that won’t feel like a costume.


Courageous Cut-outs

There are few ways to make an item of clothing interesting as effectively as just cutting parts of it out. À la Regina George’s bra singlet, this season mostly everything had hunks of it taken out, and occasionally sewn back on afterwards.


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– LOOK NR 16 – SS’20 I #haiderackermann

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Some brands used the cut-out subtly, emphasising the shape of the garment and the body of the wearer. Richard Malone combined high and low necklines in the single item, exposing clavicles and shoulders gracefully. Haider Ackerman brought a sleek drama to blazers and lace-wrought formalwear.

Other designers had bigger appetites. Comme des Garçons somehow managed to uncover every part of the body over the course of the afternoon. This is super remarkable given that Rei Kawakubo stayed true to her roots of oversized ornamentation and amorphous silhouettes.


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Look 6 – Eve #firelivesinthedeathofwater

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Dilara Findikoglu earns the top spot in this category, however, for managing to make a low-rise pair of chaps look stylish. Findikoglu demonstrated a natural instinct for cutting off a garment right at the point where it risked becoming boring. Follow in her lead by exposing as much of the middle third of your body as possible while still maintaining an art gallery goth aesthetic.

Lingerie as Daywear

You’ll find sheer panelling on nearly any runway you come across these days. Richard Malone, Dilara Findikoglu and Thom Browne all featured it, just to name a few people I’ve already named. Take it to the next level by making the panelling the whole look.

Mugler is the gold standard. Spring 2020 opened with Bella Hadid in a Cronenbergian tuxedo-corset-catsuit, and didn’t let up. Casey Cadwallader has dared us all to consider underwear SFW, fusing gloves with scarves and lacy leggings with the concept of pants. (Mugler also featured an array of cut-outs in a fun call-back to my last section). Get in on the action by combining skin-tight negligée with opaque underwear. Pair with a blazer for black tie events.

If you want to start slow, follow in Loewe’s footsteps by layering sheer dresses over strappy undergarments. The trench coat is very in right now, if you need protection from windchill. We can’t all be Bella Hadid. We can’t even all be Elaine’s friend from Seinfeld. But we’ve got to try, dammit!

Flamboyant Frills

If you’ve seen even one gown by Giambattista Valli or Valentino this decade, you know that lace, feathers, and ruffles can be an entire outfit now. I suggest you embrace a new, reckless version of you by taking a left turn with this trend.

Comme, Mugler and Thom Browne were all advocates for big skirts this season. In particular, highly structured skirts that seem to require handmaidens. Instead of overwhelming the body with opulence, they’re using it as a mannequin for inventive shapes.

For an everyday day look, follow in the footsteps of Mugler and Richard Malone. Mugler carved brightly coloured bunches of silk into stunning skirts, contrasted elegantly with form-fitting tops.

And Malone gathered masses of patchwork pleats around the shoulders and hips for sumptuous silhouettes. When you pick out your next skirt or coat, look for something voluminous, vibrant, and asymmetrical.

I hope I’ve helped to lay the groundwork for the new, adventurous you. Remember to match your looks with bold eyeliner, some pointy boots, and an abundance of commitment.

The roaring 2020s are just around the corner.

Tim covers international fashion for Fashion Journal.

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