May 5th, 2016
In British Vogue

‘The Hinge Of The Decade’

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I’ve been mulling over the state of fashion—it feels like there is a seismic shift taking place, and I’m not talking about the merry-go-round of designers and houses. I sense that fashion is finding new footing.

Sarah Harris addresses this shift in an article in the June issue of British Vogue. Ms. Harris argues that we tend to define a decade by a single style, a style that doesn’t usually come about until midway through the ten year span. For example, she points out that “it was as late as the mid-Sixties when hemlines rose to mini levels (during the first half of the decade, women were still swathed in the romance of Fifties-style full skirts). Meanwhile, Seventies silk-jersey dressing wasn’t introduced to [the pages of Vogue] until 1976.”  The Angela Carter quote Ms. Harris pulled aptly defines this moment in fashion as “the hinge of the decade, when we start to realize what we look like.”

So, are we at the “hinge” of this decade? I think we are. Ms. Harris chose these looks, from the FW16 collections, to illustrate the oversized, sports-inspired (hoodies, slogan T-shirts, tracksuit trousers, chunky tread soles), urban streetwear influenced, comfort-driven, practical, somewhat disruptive, and individuality-focused style that may come to typify the 2010s.

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what's new

CHLOÉ

Silk scarf

VALENTINO

Velvet sandals

BALENCIAGA

Trench

CHLOÉ

Leather boots

MAX MARA

Striped sweater

CHLOÉ

Silk scarf black

CHLOÉ

Leather jacket

CHLOÉ

Ankle boots

ACNE STUDIOS

Shearling-lined jacket

VINCE

Washed-satin skirt

VALENTINO

Embellished pumps

MISSONI

Wrap

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  • The choices are overwhelming…makes me more minimal.

    ValentineMay 5th, 2016  1:01 PM

     
  • I don’t quite understand the use of the word “disruptive”. All these looks appear to be a version of something we’ve seen before at one time or another. I always come back to the adage that “everything old is new again”.

    kimMay 5th, 2016  6:18 PM

     
  • I think Sarah Harris has fantastic style and I have not read the article yet but I have no idea what you are talking about here with this hinge stuff! Too deep for me! I agree with Valentine though. Minimalist is the way I am most comfortable. I define this decade with ” the row” style dressing for me!! And Gucci mules please!

    Paula BMay 5th, 2016  6:35 PM

     
  • Yes this article a bit confusing. What is your point ? These pieces are cool yet timeless.

    LisaMay 6th, 2016  6:16 AM

     
  • I can’t find the link to the article? For me, I think the “hinge” of this decade is about comfortable clothing, shoes, etc. Yes, individual, but at least in LA it all still points to comfort.

    KathyMay 6th, 2016  7:40 AM

     
  • I love Sarah Harris’s observation, which I interpret to mean that sometimes it takes us half a decade to determine how the entire decade will be remembered or “labeled” in general fashion terms. My sense is that there is, and perhaps always will be, many options that reside under either end of the Bell Curve – as evidenced by those of the wide range of generations, budgets and tastes, but that for those of us (I’m squarely in the camp with Valentine and Paula B.) that minimalism is the only way I feel comfortable and stay sane. I’m also a great admirer of Ms. Harris’s style – and often that is jeans, a great shirt, jacket and shoes with her Rolex. I’m not certain jeans and sling backs would ever have been acceptable when I was attending shoes 20 years ago and now it’s about the whole look – a great bag, the shoe, the perfect jean, the “undone” perfection without sloppiness that I see everywhere. I also agree that The Row has played a huge role in their ten years in business (for those of us who love that line) and the resurgence of classics – Preston’s quest for a perfect trench, the Gucci mule replacing he insane platform stiletto, YSL’s “resurgence” as well as the emergence of Lemaire, Protagonist, and similarly modern, intriguing options. I wear Celine, but not the runway pieces – rather the perfect unrecognizable neutrals. I’m not married to a designer. If a collection of a favorite line is outside my comfort zone, I will pass on a specific season.

    Perhaps it also has something to do with the simplicity some people have been abel to integrate into their overall lives – speaking from my own experience, some women may no longer need multiple mini-wardrobes for different looks and events – one single, well-curated and -edited wardrobe works for just about every event unless one is on an intense social circuit and/or red carpet. I think that reduced, if not eliminates, the need for “event specific” purchases – women are able to simply pull from their closets in most instances, change a heel height, a bag, jewelry and be appropriately and comfortably dressed. I fully acknowledge that this is easy for me to say – I wear what I think are simple, well-tailored clothes in a neutral palette that absolutely requires culling, refreshing and the integration of a few new pieces, but I must LOVE those new pieces and be certain they will be worn until they are threadbare, but I don’t conduct a major overhaul every year.

    tabithaMay 6th, 2016  8:13 AM

     
  • I would think the “athleisure” look would be the defining look of this decade. These types of clothes reflect modern lifestyles. It also can be translated into appropriate looks for every age.

    AprilMay 6th, 2016  9:18 AM

     
  • I would have included a Vetements look to illustrate this story.

    PrestonMay 6th, 2016  9:32 AM

     
  • Love the 100th anniversary issue of Vogue & the idea of the ‘Hinge of the decade’

    That's Not My AgeMay 6th, 2016  9:48 AM

     
  • For my taste, my life, and my budget, I have been unable to find a reliable niche and designer/line to go to consistently for several years now. Every season seems to be completely different than the previous season. Nothing is reliable, no line/designer is lasting, and quality is nearly nonexistent. ‘Here today, gone tomorrow’ describes the chaotic business of fashion and clothing stores. I think the confusion and lack of clear fashion identity today is directly related to the confusion we experience in all aspects of our lives from the moment we step out our front door. If someone were to ask me to define/describe this decade in fashion, I don’t think I could. To me, it seems a bit slapped together.

    PaulaMay 6th, 2016  11:23 AM

     
  • Can’t tell you how glad I am that you didn’t include a Vetements look, they simply remind me of the old adage “a fool and his money are soon parted”, although I understand their place in the discussion. Tabitha raises some valid points about the decline of a wardrobe that needs to change for every occasion, but I think I agree most with Paula: Ms. Harris eloquently describes how the “hinge” of a decade’s look coalesces, but I’m not sure this decade ever will!
    Lest it sound like I think this is a bad thing, my hope is that what appears to be confusion and disarray will simply lead to more and more us of becoming confident in our own individuality and style.

    SueMMay 6th, 2016  12:15 PM

     
  • Love Sarah Harris, and appreciate the thoughts on this thread!
    I have to agree with posters who note the persistence of athleisure. If you’d told me that “leggings as pants” would be the outfit of the decade 10 years ago, I’d have been shocked. And yet.
    On the bright side, there are great variations of the athleisure look, too — Vetements, as Preston mentioned and even Celine.
    I also think the rise of direct-to-consumer fashion will be a huge story of this decade.

    C.MicholMay 6th, 2016  12:19 PM

     
  • This conversation is delightful! Perhaps we all find the “perfect” whatever, in each catagory, and plan to wear it forever!

    ValentineMay 6th, 2016  12:49 PM

     
  • Fashion absolutely reflects greater events in the world at large. And as the West experiences confusion about its role in the world and anxiety about its declining influence, so the fashions of this past decade are chaotic. It’s not to say it’s a bad thing. Globalisation and the Internet threaten the predominance of the nation state and its ready-to-wear identities; in its place are customisation, greater individuality and less hierarchy (hence the rise of direct-to-consumer). It has happened before to other great civilisations, and it will happen to this one too.

    MeenaMay 7th, 2016  5:01 AM

     
  • Love it

    Annette RosalesMay 9th, 2016  2:15 PM

     
  • Totally agree with @meena. There is chaos in fashion right now and a seismic shift taking place. I too believe it is a reflection or reaction to globalization, digitalization and rise of income inequality. The business of fashion is forced to change, though not sure what form that change will take. With all the choices one can make in fashion, one must have a discerning sense of style and what works best for me. I agree with @ Paula & @tablitha, I’ve opted for a well-edited, minimal style. I don’t have the time nor patience to wade through all the choices, yet I am excited by new points of view, like Vetements et al.

    RonicaMay 17th, 2016  4:22 PM

     

Please be courteous. All comments are moderated. Preachy comments about body weight, age, smoking, and furs will not be posted.

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