Current fashion is undefinable because we are too obsessed with past & is our future Covid-Couture?

the 90s the 80s the 60s


The 60’s had bellbottoms and go-go boots. The 70’s had tie-dye and maxi dresses. The 80’s had leg warmers and lycra (lots of it) and the 90’s had slip dresses and long leather blazers. Yes, even the noughties, in all its low waisted glory, had a ‘look’. The 2010’s, however? It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint the 2010’s ultimate iconic material, style or cut of the last decade.

What is so noticeable, in our current ‘epoque’, is a lack of a signature style. Paradoxically, this is due to our fascination with the past. Each season, it seems, is ‘the return of the 80’s!’ and teenagers on TikTok are trawling thrift stores and Depop for the trending Y2K look. Flares are the go-to look for students and t-shirts in high street stores promote bands that their target consumer wasn’t even alive yet to see in concert.



We have yet to embrace modernity in its new form. 21st October 2015 was the date that Marty McFly flew to in Back to the Future. And yet, where are the clear ties that Doc flaunted, and the famous Nikes with ‘power laces’? Technology has clearly not progressed to the extent that director Robert Zemeckis envisaged, and yet perhaps that is the direction in which this decade might take.



We are living in a pandemic. I know, way to state the obvious. Yet, despite these trying times, more and more creatives are taking health-protecting gear and making it fashionable. Mulberry and Raeburn are amongst designers that are paving the way for this unexpected fusion. Most recently, the British Fashion Council announced a launch of sustainable face masks that aim to raise £1m for charity in collaboration with designers that include Rixo, Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges and various others. This announcement came after the Government’s new transport regulations.

Barbour has also converted a factory to produce 23,000 PPE gowns. Dame Margaret Barbour commented that “we are pleased to once again be able to make a difference and this time, to support the NHS,”. The Barbour factory, however, is no stranger to adaptation, having produced military garments during both world wars. Interestingly, following this incredible work, the brand grew in popularity. In the 1980’s, they became the uniform for farmers and ‘Sloane Rangers’ (think Princess Diana at her country house) alike. Even in 2008, Alexa Chung and Lily Allen were using the iconic jackets to shield themselves from the rain and wind of Glastonbury. Barbour is a clear example of designers that have adapted their brands to aid the country’s effort in dire situations – and from them have stemmed great fashion change and trends. Could this be the future for our 2020 fashion industry?

Barbour in action on HRH Alexa at Glasto

even Bond wears Barbour to keep warm!


Albeit for the most horrifying of reasons, perhaps post-pandemic life could be the catalyst for change in the fashion industry – the 20’s first move to a truly new fashion moment. After all, the 80’s insurgence of athleisure and leotards came from the invention of lycra. Perhaps designers will create a virus-proof material that will be remembered for decades to come – a fashionable PPE, as such. We look to modernity, in a year that has been filled with change in the most different of ways.


All photos have been taken from internet sources, and do not belong to me - but have attached sources where I can.

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