A fashion magazine seems to have a few roles. The first is to create a record of trends, not just reporting on them but preempting them, as a snapshot of where society is at any given moment. The second is arguably to chart culture itself, and just what the Zeitgeist is.
If the articles in this May 2021 number of Lucire KSA is any indication, there is a complexity in design right now. Perfume bottles, jewellery and watches in our ‘Luxury Line’ pages at the back of the magazine are an indication: we seem to marvel at the intricacies of complex jewellery right now, and the “in” watch is the skeleton type, where the inner workings are exposed for all to see.
But it’s not just in these accessories and beauty products; Meg Hamilton’s Paris Fashion Week report reveals layered clothing, tweed coats with knitted patterns, Norwegian sweaters, floral prints and padding. Even Stella McCartney, who delivered punchier colours without as much complexity in the patterns, told of volume with bell-bottom trousers.
Volume is in, and a fashion historian might point to other times when that has been the case. I won’t explore that in this editorial, but I am intrigued about the reasons. Are they reflections of how we view our lives as being complex? Is the volume something we demand because we need protection from such an uncertain world? Meg’s thesis is quite the opposite: we are emerging from our cocoons, and it’s end of the hibernation forced upon us by COVID-19.
The reality is that we won’t know for sure till some time has passed and we reflect on the times we live in, and each decade falls into a caricature of its one outstanding trend. It’s why westerners think of miniskirts for the 1960s and Laura Ashley for the 1970s, and the 1980s were the decade of power dressing. The 1990s might be summarized by grunge, and logomania might well dominate the 2000s. These are not accurate constructs: they are shortcuts that we give periods of time to convey a sense of nostalgia or, when it comes to film, to purposely set something in a certain era that audiences can collectively reminisce about. And in so many cases, they are ex post facto justifications of those eras, allied with social and political trends.
If we were to take a punt on how this era will be remembered, we need to keep those non-fashion trends in mind. And maybe these times will be remembered for their complexity, even if every generation thinks they are living through the most complex period in history. The items you see in this issue might well come to represent this decade, more than the necklines of dresses that revealed instead of concealed that we saw out the 2010s on. Ultimately, however, only time will tell.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher