2016: A Look Back at the Year in Trends (British Style Society)
Online fashion retailer Lyst has recently published a list (sorry) of the products that have attracted the most interest from consumers this year. At the top of the list were Puma sneakers, which saw a boost in popularity of 183% – proof enough, I think, that trainers are here to stay, as well as a testament to Rihanna’s appeal, as the now-ubiquitous Rihanna x Puma ‘creeper’ sneakers were revealed to be Lyst's most popular seller over the last 12 months.
But what of the other trends that defined 2016? ?
Sliders have been having a moment all summer long for the last 3-4 summers, but this year they championed wardrobes all-year-round, whatever the weather, largely because of Gucci’s influence. Gucci’s Princetown backless loafers quickly rose in popularity throughout 2016 until they became the order of the day, every day, on every self-respecting Fashion Person’s Instagram feed.
The Now-Iconic ‘Pierce’ Bag
Considering its price tag of over £1000, it’s surprising how many people actually own JW Anderson’s ‘Pierce’ bag, which, according to Lyst’s end-of-year round-up, was the third most-popular item on its site in 2016. And let’s face it: for many, the Pierce bag – so-named due to its large, bull’s nose-like ‘piercing’ detail – would be their first exposure to JW Anderson’s talent, given that he’s still relatively unknown to the masses. This is testament to the fact that, as a society, we’re slowly leaning away from buying ‘it’ bags just because of the designer. The new ‘it’ bags, if Jonathan Anderson’s is anything to go by, are free from conspicuous branding and peppered with a touch of humour. Still extortionate, though…
The Gvasalia Effect
Nothing has better shown the fashion world’s true colours (and volatility) this year than the rise of Vetements. Whether you love or loathe the brand – sorry, design collective – headed up by brothers Demna and Guram Gvasalia, you can’t deny its wider influence on the people who can’t afford to buy its clothes. Vetements’ ‘undone’, streetwear-focused, genderless aesthetic has quietly infiltrated the wardrobes of everyone from Kylie Jenner to your 15-year-old brother whose clothing budget doesn’t stretch much further than Primark-level prices (just call it 'Vetements-lite'). Oh, and we also have Demna to thank for our newfound adoration of puffer jackets, after he put them on the Balenciaga runway back in March. I reiterate: the Gvasalia influence is everywhere.
It was clear that we’d reached Peak Choker when, earlier this month, someone posted a tweet about a belt, calling it a ‘waist choker’, and it blew up. While, yes, we’re 99% certain it was a deliberate joke and not actual youthful ignorance, it was still a hilarious indicator of today’s stylish times. Anyway, what would an article on 2016 trends be without mentioning chokers? A crime against fashion, essentially, if the hordes of people who class them as the ultimate accessory are to be believed. Like Vetements-lite, chokers are another ageless trend, not just the reserve of the many teens who love them and wear them everywhere apart from in the shower and, possibly, school. The obsession is understandable: chokers are cute and they can definitely elevate the most basic of looks into something a bit more interesting. It’s just a shame that most of them stop you from breathing properly.