Social distancing is inspiring fashion design

It’s been already several months that fashion is fighting against the crisis due to Covid-19, and now the brands are coming to terms with the coronavirus as a permanent feature of the cultural landscape for at least the foreseeable future. The impact it’s had on fashion has been immense and immediate. And now, the effects are seeping into the design process, as well. 

Dutch couture brand Viktor & Rolf debuted its fall 2020 collection, titled “Change,” and it includes a series of three dresses with large-circumference skirts, and one was covered in protuberances to mimic the look of the virus.

Viktor and Rolf

Social distancing apparel has became increasingly common. Brands like Puppets and Puppets and Area have begun introducing skirts with oversized hips and hoops, all playing on the idea of social distancing.

Veronica Toppino, a milliner and costume designer whose work is not typically sold commercially, has introduced several new hats with exceedingly wide brims, some of which are made of metal, to promote distancing.

Veronica Toppino

Meanwhile, Maison Margiela introduced a unique approach to face coverings in the form of a full face net (not likely an effective replacement for a genuine face mask but the message is pretty clear).

Even outside of the fashion brands the idea of clothes that protects from the virus is caching on, everyone is trying to find a solution to better protect itself and their business.

But the thing is that most of the pieces mentioned above are being rolled out on the virtual runway and in lookbooks but prices have not been made public. While entertaining, these efforts aren’t likely meant to be money makers on their own. The real value is in the publicity they bring in.

The real turning point in the fashion industry inspired by coronavirus are the textiles! As Covid-19 remains top-of-mind, the real innovation becomes the antibacterial and virucidal fabrics, it’s a great way not only for boosting brand perception but also to stay relevant and to ‘play their part’ in the fight against the virus.