The Updating survey – which canvassed select international buyers this past April and May – confirmed the enthusiasm for “no gender” inspirations.
The survey revealed that 56% of Gen Z are purchasing clothing items that don’t correspond to their target audiences. This demonstrated and growing demand is naturally inciting buyers to lean into a more inclusive wardrobe for S/S 21.
While never compromising on aesthetic appeal, S/S 21’s fabric developments are in keeping with this unisex influence, taking a hybrid approach to genders and stylistic codes in collections free from any constraint. With a highly appealing pragmatism, proposals play on intelligent details, contrasting volumes – sometimes mini, sometimes maxi – and fabrics skillfully melding suppleness, innovation and eco-responsibility.
Jackets and ensembles
In the casual sector, boldly 90s-style overshirts with workwear details update men’s work jackets. Rather than hewing to the traditional cottony and structured work garment, next season’s designs see themselves through a prism of softness and well-being. Fabrics feel suppler, and cotton remains in high demand but favors blends with Lyocell or washed linen.
Colors move further away from traditional Klein or boilersuit blues to flaunt warm and vitamin-boosted tones. These color schemes define a more sophisticated and mixed casual wear, to be worn against the skin, or super-light bra-style cropped tops with a silky fluidity – worked in linen blends with very soft slubs or ribbed fabrics in silk-cotton blends.
In terms of sleeved items, trench coats – another no-gender Must-Have – are also emerging in suppler and oversized versions, as if to accentuate their ambiguity.
In a sportier version, lightweight blousons with color-block details boast intelligent details such as kangaroo pockets. Made from featherweight polyamides with indisputable performance, they can be folded, unfolded and refolded at will so you can hit the city streets in any weather.
Pants are worn full at the waist, with or without marked pleats, for optimal comfort. Denims are experiencing a great success, notably in softened versions thanks to blends. Whites, ecrus and bleached shades such as limestone and buttery moss take center stage.
These are easily transformed into new cargo looks with puffy pockets. For midsummer, bermuda styles step in for the cycling shorts of past seasons, and, worked in monochrome tailored versions, are liked worn with strong-shouldered suit jackets in cheery and deliberately high-performant shades – innovation is never far from hand!
Jumpsuits remain popular for the coming season. Pump-attendant looks embrace this style as a must-have. Imagine them in denim for a workwear look or in fabrics with textured surface – featherweight cotton percales or linens with a sandy-grained relief – to give them a refresh, and perfect for dreaming up a poetic-farmer look.
Micro-structures turn up in knits as well, in a piqué or jacquard spirit. Honeycombs vaunt their neat look, and are just right for a fresh take on midsummer tee-shirts and polos with a premium on comfort.
The white shirt remains a timelessly chic unisex Must-Have. Across the board, belted or not, it is lengthened to embrace a longer, looser look or a caftan spirit. When womenswear borrows the white shirt from menswear, they unhesitatingly embrace longer, collarless styles embracing a high-quality, crispy and snapping fineness.
Shirts also turn to boxy, structured and shorter cuts, banking on the freshness and subtle irregularity of linen. In plain versions, jacquards provide an easily interchangeable fantasy.
Decorations blur the tracks and play on a vague, undefined approach to artistic styles and gender. They are so simplified that they grow abstract. Like a salute to Matisse’s paper cut-outs, more macro than micro, colored flat tints recount little everyday scenes : still-life’s in gardens vaunting bewitching flowers or exuberant foliage. Summery decors that showcase lively, vitamin-rich color, in exaggerated all-overs, for both menswear and womenswear.
The idea is to mix them all together and create new casual outfits – shirt/short combos for example – with a playful sense of humor.
This season’s winning fabrics and styles reflect an interest in the no gender trend. Fluid, supple and easy-living stylistic codes reject any binarity, and embrace hybrid designs to simplify our lives and provide a unisex wardrobe shot through with a highly seductive pragmatism.