If someone attempted to explain the style vibe of 2022, words like “Y2K”, “colourful”, “velvet”, “whatever-you-feel-like”, “OTT”, “glitter” would get more space. Fashion publications, brands and luxury houses pushed enough content, online and offline, to ensure the public—from those in the front rows of fashion shows to the ones scrolling Instagram—had their wardrobes updated to the trends of 2022. Were all these trends welcome? It depends on whom you ask.
At Lounge, we asked ourselves one question: Which trend would we like to see end with the year? The answers are, of course, personal views. After all, what is fashion if not an expression of self? But some things are best lost, or, at least, hidden.
Being decked head to toe in designer brands and ensuring no one misses the monogram has been a trend for far too long. Dubai Bling did its bit to promote the clash of logos, with one character on the show even weaving logo-laden mini-bags into her hair as an accessory. Fendi and Versace decided to compound the effect with a loud collaboration in 2022. Even brands like Coach and Michael Kors do their fair share of screaming. And everyone is buying into it. Less signalling and a quieter sensibility would be welcome in 2023.
If I see another person at an event wearing an over-oversized blazer, I am going to scream, “Why?” I am all for free-flowing, fluid, shapeless clothes. In fact, my wardrobe is crowded with oversized clothes. But do we really need to wear something that drowns us so much that only a head popping is visible from afar? We wear clothes. Clothes don’t wear us.
Whether it was Cindy Bruna (in photograph) in a Mônot cut-out dress or Dua Lipa in a Christopher Esber with cut-outs running down the front, these garments are engineering marvels in tailoring, calling for surgical precision—not meant for chair-cradled bodies. If the point of wasting all that cloth is to bodyshame size 4 upwards people, then it’s definitely not working.
THE ROLLED-UP JACKET SLEEVE
There are many reasons to be thankful for 1980s fashion—and many more reasons to shudder with fear. One of the latter, which persists to this day, is the misguided need to roll or push up the sleeves of a suit jacket or blazer. Stylists have many reasons to justify this, from showing off the lining to giving a jacket a smart-casual spin. In reality, it looks hideous. It also smacks of unoriginality.
SOCK IT UP
No more mismatched socks in 2023, please. It might be an unorthodox style statement for some but mismatched socks can easily go from being eye-catching to an eyesore. It gets even worse if two prints are matched together. Imagine an avocado print on one sock and rocket ships on the other. Socks are meant to be a complementary addition to your overall look. Keep them classy. More importantly, keep them simple—and similar.
SMOKE AND MIRRORS
This year saw many Indian-wear designers turn to an embellishment that has been part of the Indian design tradition for centuries, Kutchi mirror-work. But do all crafts deserve a revival? Speaking for myself, traditional mirror-work lehngas and blouses are just too reminiscent of a traumatic unstylish past, when the only “ethnic” dress in my wardrobe was a Banjara dress bought by my mother from some crafts mela. It was hideous, and it is extremely triggering to see the style, which should have died with all the kitschy style statements of 1980s Bollywood, make a comeback.
FAUX LEATHER PANTS
Enough with #leathercore. No matter how much brands like Zara and H&M try to tempt you with their faux leather collections, there’s no city in India that has the temperature to make walking, sitting, living in such garments, especially the trousers, comfortable. And let’s not start on how bad the fabric is for the environment.
—Narender Pal Singh
Brushed-up and bushy brows have been 2022’s big beauty trend but can we please leave it behind? Some of us are bleaching them, others are vigorously applying gels (or mascara) to get that brushed-up look for that perfect #ontrend Instagram look. I think our thin or thick eyebrows should be given a chance to be themselves.
The K-drama-inspired pair of chunky, faux leather shoes, worn with socks, should be off-limits, especially in hot and humid Mumbai. We need to realise that if a fashion trend or accessory is adopted blindly from another culture, it won’t work.