Kitsch Is In According to Fashion Week

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It wasn’t too long ago when kitsch was no longer considered … well, kitsch. The sweater vests of ’90s sitcoms’ past were reintroduced as TikTok’s fashion emblem; clunky acrylic rings (or the elevated sister accessory of gum ball machine trinkets) turned into joyous and nostalgic must-haves; and cardigans crocheted in a puzzle of color (much like the J.W. Anderson one iconized by Harry Styles) brought a sense of comfortability and wholesomeness to trends.

Then fashion week only added fuel to the kitsch agenda. Amongst some of the tidiness and expected construction, some brands brought a sense of panache. From Coach, Molly Goddard, and Sandy Liang’s subdued integration to the louder interpretations seen at Vivienne Westwood, Chloé, Marine Serre, Collina Strada, and Anna Sui, kitsch, in all of its fashionably bizarre, outdated nature, was a trend to tab.

Anna Sui’s Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection was a psychedelic trip for the eyes. Swirling in color and trippy prints the lineup was reminiscent of ’60’s and ’70’s music alongside escapism – perhaps it was the kind of freedom most noted in those decades. Cow print (which has grazed the fashion world with unexpected popularity) was splashed onto overcoats, soft bucket hats, ankle boots, and pinafores for a western Bohemian mood. Meanwhile, the chevron and stripes seen with the cow print, the pastel macrame knit paired with lingerie leggings, and the different florals worn together, all somehow created a cohesive look.

Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada wasn’t one to stray away from kitsch either, her collections often relying on electric patterns and layering. Some of looks for her Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection were heavy in tie-dye, doodled flowers, patchwork, and watercolor, while others incorporated animal print and tropical florals. But for most of the collection, all of these elements were combined in multiple ways, posing as the vogue version of math probabilities.

The same goes for Vivienne Westwood, where jacket-trouser sets, tube tops, oversized tee shirts, coats, jumpsuits, and ties were plastered with a 1700s François Boucher painting. And alongside those romantic pieces, check, tartan, and stripes were casually thrown together in a styling that resembled the spunk of the ’80s. At first glance, it all seemed like a dizzying kaleidoscope of style, but at a closer look it was a collection filled with surprisingly sensible fun.

Kitsch was spotted in the form of patchwork too. At Marine Serre the logo-mania so loved at at the brand was worn with pattern blocked plaids and collages filled with cheetah prints, Hawaiian shirt florals, geometric designs, and Fair Isles sweater vests. At Chloé, stark pattern couplings like zigzag with hearts and florals and petite horses with stripes covered puffer coats.

Some collections stayed close to home though, choosing more down to earth looks over avant-garde and formal, which aligned with the continuing lockdowns and humble abode lifestyles around the world.

At Coach, celebrities and models across the board posed in abundant patterns and piece layering – turtlenecks under dresses and skirts over trousers, plaid collar button-ups peaking out of sweaters, and cardigans under blazers. But it wasn’t just the compiled vision that completed the kitsch looks. Cartoon animals, bucolic scenes (mushrooms, flowers, and forests), and vintage emblems were printed onto knits, pinned onto cardigans outwear, and collaged onto sweater vests, creating a folky, old school look. Just think your grandparents’ wardrobe, but reimagined.

Molly Goddard and Sandy Liang rode the same wavelength when it came to Fair Isle knits; the former stayed true to the pattern’s tropes while the latter wove in softer tulips, daises, and bows. Yet the two separated ways when it came to accessories, Sandy Liang’s minimalism differing from Molly Goddard’s clashing striped scarves and crossed diamond socks and dimensional ruffle bags.

Throwing on quirky cardigans may seem more feasible (and comfortable) than practicing exuberant layering. But whichever level of kitsch you choose, it’s a trend that will have you putting your moodboard all into one look.

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createdAt:Mon, 22 Mar 2021 13:49:04 +0000
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