Like any other industry, fashion has trends it follows and rules it breaks. Today, between the luxury stores and the low-end pieces, sits the world of contemporary fashion. Catering to millennials and ambitious young generations, contemporary fashion is all about expressing yourself through high-end, yet available clothing. It is a chance for people to show off their style in the most unique ways, straying from the runway fashion trends, but still looking chic and on point. But what is really contemporary fashion, who is wearing it and what’s the big deal with it, anyway? Let’s take a look.
What does contemporary fashion look like?
Contemporary clothing consists of pieces that reflect the young, urban life of millennials and following generations. It takes a lot of inspiration from street fashion, and thanks to not belonging to luxury fashion, they have the freedom to experiment and create stunning new looks that help inspire people. The clothes never have a “certain way” they should be worn, and the creativity of combining the pieces is left to the wearer themselves. One thing that sets apart contemporary fashion from other lower-end retailers is the immaculate quality of the clothing. It is always made with highest standard materials and techniques, but without the boost of a globally-known label, the prices fall at between $100 and $1000 per item – far less than your average luxury item.
Outside of the norm
Dressing to stand out is the new synonym for being fashionable. You will often see people wearing pieces that you’ve never seen put together in that way, and somehow, it works for them. This is because contemporary fashion pieces are not only made to stand out, but they aren’t mass-produced, allowing them to maintain their uniqueness. Some contemporary clothing brands have a very strong identity, and you could spot their style a mile away, like the Simkhai “borrowed from the boyfriend” look, but other designers tend to go with clothing that they feel are the right pieces for this moment: leaning on their style, but not being shackled by it. If you take a look at the Fendi collection, you will see just how different the pieces can be, while still belonging to the same designer. They take inspiration from modern subcultures but have a distinct Asian influence on the cut of the pieces. In contemporary fashion, it’s less about the items themselves, as much as it is the attitude you bring with them.
Who are the designers?
Contemporary designers usually fall within one of two categories: local upcoming designers who live immersed in contemporary society, and luxury designers who have decided to make some affordable fashion. And you might be thinking it’s strange that someone who usually designs for thousands of dollars would make a piece worth a few hundred dollars, but the fact is that the contemporary fashion industry is growing extremely fast, and everyone wants a cut, giving the designers an easy decision to make a branch brand that will operate under contemporary rules. And as far as the local designers, they often make completely unique pieces, by hand, meaning that what you get from them is truly like no other piece. Try searching for local designers in your city and supporting the ones you like, because the more business they get, the more clothing they can make. Interestingly, contemporary “designers” can be the users themselves. As the clothing isn’t so expensive that they don’t want anything to happen to it, they are free to make their own adaptations to the clothes and reshape them into something that fits their personal style.
The death of fast fashion
A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but it’s true that people are getting bored of clothing that for one: everyone else owns, because it’s so mass produced, and two: has a life expectancy of about ten washes. People in their early thirties, who are the primary target group for contemporary fashion, already have their own style and know exactly how they like to dress, eliminating the need for constantly trying out new styles. They want quality pieces that are stylish and will be worn for a long time, without the five-digit price tag. It’s truly the golden moment for “quality over quantity”.
So, if you have a style that you know suits you and that you want to keep wearing with a modern tone and an unapologetic attitude, contemporary fashion is just the thing for you. They are pieces that are a great investment, and it’s made by designers who know their market well and will always provide the most modern and trendy pieces. You should feel free to explore, try mixing up different styles to expand your own and don’t be afraid to give some seemingly unusual items a chance. Remember, it’s not about the clothes, it’s about the attitude they provide.