2019 has been an interesting year in several ‘comeback’ styles. From making a statement once again on the global runways, some styles were embraced on red carpets, film fashion, street fashion and even for those easy-to-fix everyday wardrobe. If you take a good look around, there’s fashion inspiration all around you. Each season, there’s a buzz about what the next trend is going to be and so we keep our eyes peeled to our mobile phone screens for what to watch out for, what to wear to the next outing, how to wear our hair, carry an accessory or just keep it simple? Here’s a tip, even the seemingly no makeup look/au naturale look requires work and the one who knows it can spot it with that much ease too. As the year comes to a close, it’s only right to call 2019 the year of throwbacks into who wore what and when a decade or two ago! We saw the return of miniature accessories, bike shorts, slip dresses, animal prints and more that gave us a return to the 1990s, while sleeves, tulle and sneakers had quite a moment this year. From style icons like Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian West, Gigi Hadid to Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, Malaika Arora and many others closer to home, we’ve seen and learnt how to stay updated with looks that aren’t so new but can still evoke vivid memories, regardless of how long it’s really been.
Here’s a round up of the top style trends of the year to add to your shopping bag because it’s always a good time to relive the last season or the one before that. What do you think? Read on.
Tulle: Marc Jacobs closed New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 with a plethora of ruffled gowns, feather-work incorporated in the various styles that made an appearance at this season’s fashion week that also set the other global fashion weeks in motion. It was also the year of Giambattista Valli’s collaboration with H&M where the long and short of tulle debuted in the global markets and most of our wardrobes. Actor Deepika Padukone rocked a lime green tulle dress on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet this year with a head wrap in shell pink. The year also saw a return of the classic Prarie dress mostly paired with exaggerated ruffles and puff sleeves.
Padded headbands: Velvet, bejewelled or embellished — big, puffy and padded headbands were seen making a comeback this year, straight out of a ‘90s lookbook. Italian fashion designer Miuccia Prada incorporated thick headbands into Prada’s Spring/Summer 2019 runway show, leading to the return of this vintage favourite. Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf too was often spotted wearing headbands during the course of the show. Padded headbands seemed to have replaced top knots as a preferred summer trend of 2019 and were embraced by fashionistas and influencers worldwide. Kate Middleton was an early adopter of this trend and interestingly, Princess Diana too had sported this trend in the early ‘90s. Designers this year went a step further by increasing the wearability of these headbands by giving them a fashionable facelift such as Victoria Percival’s pearl-studded headband, worn by Hanne.
Tiny sunglasses: Actors Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Alia Bhatt were both seen wearing teeny-tiny ‘Matrix’ sunglasses at separate events but did you wonder if you’ve seen them before somewhere? These sunnies have been having quite a moment ever since Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid sported them. There was also a conversation about how they’re fashionable but not a great addition because they do nothing to protect the eyes, but if I had to, I would wear these cutesy accessory on a cloudy day too. Even Kareena Kapoor Khan has been spotted wearing micro-sunnies.
Baguette: Le Mini Chiquito, a ‘fingerbag’ as it was termed by various fashion insiders, made its debut at the Paris Fashion Week earlier this year. It was a shrunken version of the miniature and already cult $500 (440-euro) ‘Le Chiquito’ bag which celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian were seen clutching between their thumb and forefingers because of its compact size at a mere 5.2 centimetres (two inches) long. While this trend never made it beyond the fashion week, the baguette surely made a comeback from (no guesses) the late nineties lookbook that global celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor, Dua Lipa strutted around carrying this ‘palm’ candy, so to speak. An early 2000s episode of Sex and the City is an easy reminder of this trend when Carrie Bradshaw gets mugged on the streets of New York but doesn’t fear policing the outlaw about his major fashion faux pas of calling her ‘baguette’ a handbag!
Murse: Compact yet voguish bags for men became an interesting trend this year ranging from cross-body, fanny packs, top handle totes, and compact clutches that pretty much managed to steal the limelight at various men’s fashion shows this year. The brand, Hermes, had men walking with the oversized version of their signature Birkin bags. While Kim Jones, Dior’s men designer gave a touch of feminine flair to the tailored suits paired with newsprint styled bags, cross-body bags, and box-like clutches. Additionally, it was Louis Vuitton’s fresh experiments with models carrying flower-adorned handbags. Other notable designers namely Celine and Jacquemus had designs with a beachy finesse to the bags including straw shoulder bags and net-style sling bags. What’s even more interesting is that these bags didn’t just become runway favourites, celebrities including singer Nick Jonas took the lead and proved how the ‘murse’ could be of real use!
Oversized bags: Bottega Veneta’s Large Tote and Maison Margiela’s Glam Slam proved how the carry-your-whole-life-with-you-totes were the fashion paradox most fashionistas and fashion influencers embraced after the surge of the baguettes and their variants earlier in the year. The oversized bags refreshing practicality and unrestrained space appealed to most women who have always felt the need for bigger bags to hold multiple objects such as a book, makeup bag, their laptop, a large wallet, planner, umbrella etc.
Fluorescent colours: The neon trend might have been introduced atleast half a decade ago and caught on almost instantly, but 2019 was the year when it was seen either complementing an outfit as an accessory or an entire outfit in a shade of neon, be it green, pink or orange. Bollywood stars namely Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Sara Ali Khan, Ayushmann Khurrana and international stars such as Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner were spotted donning the highlighter hue amongst other names.
Animal prints: Loud leopard prints are a bold choice and a favourite amongst several fashionistas. From appearing on a variety of garments including jumpsuits, dresses, pants, coats, animal prints also made it to a collection by Kenzo earlier this year, sported by Game of Thrones star, Maisie Williams. Dolce & Gabbana too had an entire collection including custom-made sneakers dedicated to these prints. In Bollywood, animal prints have been a favourite on Shilpa Shetty Kundra who is seen sporting animal prints in a wide variety in several red carpet outings as she did back in the early ‘90s when she popularised this trend. These have also been seen on popular names such as Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and more recently, Sara Ali Khan.
Sneakers: Design houses namely Coach and Balenciaga to Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton created sculptural, embellished, loud and uncomfortable sneakers that opened to mixed reviews by the consumers globally. Sneakers were sported under gowns and dresses on the red carpet as well. Tennis star Serena Williams wore a comfortable pair under her bright yellow gown at the Met Gala 2019. Malaika Arora chose embellished sneakers to wear under a bodycon dress for a Christmas party. And the list could only be growing with comfort and fashion meeting at a near midpoint, atleast wherever is possible.
Gucci described its off-white sneakers as “vintage” and “old school”, with an “allover distressed effect,” on their official website, gucci.com. These shoes are priced at $790 to $890 approximately and come with care instructions to keep the distressed sneakers, dubbed as dirty sneakers by social media, intact the way they’re supposed to be. But a good Samaritan on Instagram who posts under the handle @vetiver_ch took it upon himself to clean these dirty sneakers are present them to the world once again. But that’s not all, even Birkenstocks and Uggs made a comeback in 2019.
Square toe shoes/sandals: If you passionately and diligently follow fashion trends on social media, especially on Instagram, it’s very likely that you’ve fashion influencers talking about and wearing ultra-structured square-toe shoes. Italian high fashion brand Bottega Veneta’s square-toe mules ruled all summer, and women just couldn’t get enough of this odd-looking footwear that could be the next footwear trend that’s here to stay. If you do get around to getting your own pair, wear them with baggy denim, sleek trousers or a tailored suit for a bold yet chic look.
Puffer jackets: Who doesn’t love staying in bed with a warm quilt in peak winters? Although it’s a tricky question, usually the answer would be, nearly everyone! One of the biggest and oft recurrent trend is quilting in an array of colours, even striking neons. You can find these on nearly everything from (puffer) jackets to shoes to bags and more. Fashion influencers can be seen rocking quilted leather jackets, mules, pumps, and clothing all over Instagram too. Few designers even introduced comforter-like collars for their jacket collections as winter started to set in.
Typography: An interesting trend that was seen on gowns on runways to sarees and dresses in Bollywood fashion, typography was used on clothing for voicing an opinion, to speak the mouth or just to make a quiet statement. Viktor&Rolf, the avant-garde luxury fashion house founded in 1993 presented their Spring/Summer 2019 haute couture collection in Paris with a dramatic representation of one’s state of mind in a big way. Through layers of tulle and ruffles, their wearable art was a paradise for introverts and fashion lovers alike. Speaking of wearable art, several Instagram influencers have been at it through slogan tee-shirts, jackets, shoes and more that have found a niche fan following and it looks like this trend is going to stay. Indian designers namely Masaba Gupta, Rhea Kapoor and Anamika Khanna too brought this trend to their dresses and sarees and the same has been sported by the likes of Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Kareena Kapoor Khan and others.
Slip dress: As we’ve already established early on in this piece, a lot of ’90s fashion made a comeback this year, and has been embraced in its classic form or a renewed version by fashion lovers all over the globe. Just like a few other popular trends, the slip dress too found popularity in all Hollywood celebrity wardrobes courtesy designers like Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez. Sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner wore the slip dress more recently and gave it a bit of a spin with boots and a tee inside too. In Bollywood, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Mira Rajput Kapoor have worn the slip dress for an outing and have channelled their diva-esque selves for the paparazzi each time. Way back in 1998, Sex and the City’s theme song has Carrie Bradshaw sporting a naked dress that got everyone talking about what she was (not) wearing, on the show of course. A similar dress was also seen on Kendall Jenner’s recent Miami trip that found resemblance to this two-decade old dress trend.
Boiler Suits: Once again a ‘90s trend, Boiler suits too made a comeback in 2019. Inspired by military flight suits, the boiler suit trend is hands-down one of the most difficult unfashionable trends to look fashionable in. Meant to be worn oversized, these trendy jumpsuits look ultra-cool when paired with sneakers, gladiator sandals or mules.
Puff sleeves, mutton leg sleeves, bishop sleeves and others: From NYFW, LFW to PFW, sleeves had quite a moment all of this year on various runways, across seasons. Seen in a puffed variety to mutton leg sleeves and a more common, bishop sleeves, celebrities were seen sporting them all this year. Whether you want to channel the vintage Elizabethan age of over-the-top opulence or get-with-the-times with free-spirited bohemian vibes, there is a sleeve for every kind of mood and whim you may fancy. Sleeves add to the drama of an outfit or just speak for themselves on an otherwise plain outfit. Take Anushka Sharma’s silver white dress for example that she wore for an event, the dramatic sleeves did all the talking for her elegant outfit, giving a much-needed edge for an overall sophisticated avatar.
The arrival of some new trends, to the comeback of several favourites, 2019 showed us how the world of fashion may have done away with the rule book to give way to a renewed one. While we saw plenty style trends in detail, there are still a few others that definitely deserve a mention like tactical belts, houndstooth patterns, chain jewellery, biker shorts, nautical patterns, feathers and many more. Here’s looking forward to a new year in fashion, coming soon.