In uncertain times and moments of crisis, the desire to protect ourselves becomes an everyday reality. But so too does the need for a little escapism. With their ability to see into the future (if not quite literally then certainly via some impressively fine-tuned instincts), designers toughened up Fall 2020 collections with apocalypse-ready (read: Covid-19) fashion.
Take for example Richard Quinn’s menacingly spiked leather face mask, paired with a latex bodysuit and full-length leather trench – horror movie chic at its finest. Consider leather, in fact, as your new go-to in times of trouble: Dior’s butter-soft black leather dress paired with a Ninja headscarf and wedge-sole rubber boots; Fendi’s perfectly-cut leather coat, made all the more threatening by Bella Hadid whose efficient runway stride and assassin-like glare was straight out of Killing Eve; and not forgetting the functionality of a cowl-neck leather coat in olive-brown, the kind only Hermès can truly master.
Capes (Chalayan and Loewe), second-skin ‘body armor’ (Balmain), utilitarian harnesses and buckled-up braces (Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci), Wellington boots (Prada) and flee-ready biker jackets (Louis Vuitton) form an impressive hit-list of items to weather any storm. Some, more practical than others. Take Rick Owen’s floor-sweeping sleeping bag cape in quilted astronaut silver – impractical and excessive, perhaps, but nevertheless a major addition to your fantasy-world warrior wardrobe.
While bulky layers make perfect sense for those battling colder climes, there seems little point in adding extra ‘sweat’ to the rest of us. Luckily, there are enough adaptable pieces and statement accessories to tap the trend without going all-out GI Jane. Consider Dolce & Gabbana’s lace-up sock-boots and velvet spy caps; Bottega Veneta’s durable double-face intrecciato pouch bags; Burberry’s oversized shoppers (for a quick get-away); and Chanel’s dashing jodhpurs to look stylish while doing it. Survival of the fittest never looked so chic.