A Quirky Girl's Squirrelly, Bougie, Fabulous Adventure into Spring 2020 . . .
So Spring 2020 is a wrap, well a semi-wrap, but before I get started on what you need to know, I have to say I just love the sound of Twenty Twenty rolling off my lips. Think about it, saying Two Thousand Nineteen is long and arduous and Two Thousand Twenty One is its own paragraph but Twenty Twenty, well that’s melodic bliss. You know it’s going to be a fabulous year, even before it arrives, just from the sound of it. Yep, it’s short and sweet, and a wee bit quirky, just like me.
But enough about me and my obsession with the best named orbital period of the earth, let’s talk fashion. So Spring 2020 kicked off at Coterie NYC and if you’ve ever been to the Javits, you know it’s bigger than a minute. The best fashion from all points NSEW come together under one glass roof and it’s magical, until it’s not. When the controlled chaos begins, it’s everyone for themselves and the fashion’s flying and the wine’s flowing. It’s apt to get a little squirrelly before you know it; much like a sleep deprived, way past slap-happy duo headed home from a more than successful market trip in the wee hours of the night. By the time the 2020 collection arrives in the ATL for its second stop across the country, dreams have been crushed, reality has set in and the hangover’s real. Tons of pieces you loved and designer's debut hopefuls didn’t make the cut and are left on the Javits floor or headed back to the drawing board for redesign. It’s commerce, baby. If enough buyers didn’t go ga-ga, then it’s hasta la vista.
So while Coterie is electric and exciting, the ATL is laser focused and serious. We, the buyers, the true decision makers, have spoken. As a collective, we’ve decided what will hit retail floors for the season. The majority of cuts have been made and you’re pretty much seeing the first round draft picks when the doors swing open at Americasmart. So here’s a few stand outs from the still standings.
1) MAXImum Velocity
While maxis have always been a staple in the fashion industry, Spring 2020 has catapulted them into the stratosphere. If you don't have a maxi or two in your wardrobe for Spring, you're gonna be behind the fashion curve. But what makes a good maxi? We saw hundreds of maxis that looked good but on closer inspection, the fabric, fit and fabrication were lacking, in fact, they weren't just lacking, they were bougie. When building a wardrobe, your pieces should be classic and closet worthy. Quality should always trump quantity. Having a lot of pieces that will more than likely lose their shape, split seams and fade after a few washes is not what builds a wardrobe. Make sure your closet's a no 'Bougie Brand' zone. Expect to pay a minimum of $250 for a good maxi. Building a wardrobe takes time . . . make sure yours will serve you well for years to come.
2) CA-UN is King . . .
Once I got passed the cute Gen-X sales rep's pronunciation of cotton, which for those of you who are not hip is CA-UN and would make poor Mrs. Weber roll over in her grave, I celebrated their appreciation of this great American staple. We may be from different generations but we know sweet perfection when we feel it. Expect to see this fabulous American commodity everywhere this Spring. From crisp white to shocking pink, cotton's gonna be king for a long time. Cotton shirts, cotton dresses, cotton skirts, cotton pants, cotton everything. Make room for the good stuff in your closet and buy the best because this classic isn't going anywhere. Expect to pay $150 and up for a good quality cotton top and more for dresses, pants and skirts. Buy the best and you'll be wearing it forever. I say cotton, they say CA-UN but it really doesn't matter 'cause we get each other and we know, ain't nothing like the real thing.
3) Smocking Hot 🔥
This ain't your baby girl's smocking . . . it's total adulting. What surprised me most this season was the prevalence of smocking. This age old art has slowly crept back in the spotlight over the last several years but we saw more of it for Spring 2020 than expected. Seeing it on mock necks and cuffs wasn't anything new but designers have taken it up a notch by using it ingeniously at waist lines to make their designs more versatile. It can make a skirt uber flattering around the waist as a midi or dropped to the hips for a maxi. The same piece can be pulled above the bust for a quintessential strapless mini. Waist smocking can turn a dress from a mini to a knee kisser in the blink of an eye and smocking on a longer sleeve is well, just about perfection. The smocking is almost uniformly blended with the garment color so it is subtle in appearance but full volume when it comes to accenting your assets and hiding your liabilities. But good smocking ain't cheap. If you want to have a piece that'll stand the test of time, examine the workmanship and make sure the stitching is there to stay and won't loosen or pop the first time it's worn or washed. Unlike your baby girl, you won't outgrown the pieces you select to build your wardrobe so feel free to splurge a little.
4) Blazing Trails
Suiting was all over the place for Spring 2020. Dress and casual suiting is planting its flag on the industry and has adapted to the ever changing mood of buyers. Blazers were the key piece of the suiting set. From classic blazers to linen blazers, their appeal has evolved from the work place to the play place. The selection is ginormous . . . long blazers, short blazers, cropped blazers each with long sleeves, ruched sleeves and 3/4 sleeves will all bloom this Spring. From cotton to silk, these closet staples will surely influence the way we dress up and cover up for the forseeable future. Check your closet now and see if you have the perfect one for the season. Take it out brush it off and you're good. If it has shoulder pads, no worries, they're back. Yep, you heard right. Not as big, bulky or cumbersome as they were in the 80's but they're back none the less. Understated shoulder pads in tops, dresses and jackets will be changing the shape of things to come. Expect to pay $300 upwards for this priceless piece of perfection. I promise, it'll be worth every penny and you'll be wearing it long after this girl has hung up her fashion musings.
So here's your Spring takeaway . . . buy a cotton, smocked maxi and thrown on a blazer but make darn sure it's not 'Bougie Fashion' which, in the words of my favorite Gen-Xer, is fashion pretending to be (or thinks it is) high class but it's really not (or doesn't realize it's not.)
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