October 17, 2021

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The Ups and Downs of Fashion in 2020

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For a brief time, Ms. Morrison was so determined to flaunt the style she spent a lifetime cultivating that she made a point of dressing in complete looks to walk the dog, for school visits or even to cross Broadway for a cup of coffee. Then schools closed, the coffee shop went out of business and she realized the dog had more pressing concerns than her Norma Kamali sleeping bag coat.

“I don’t even look in my closets anymore,’’ Ms. Morrison said last week. “I can actually hear the clothes kind of crying when I walk by.” — GUY TREBAY

The category is: Cool Grandpa Realness. Imagine you are running for president. If elected, you will become the oldest man ever to hold that office. Everybody by now knows that politicians micromanage every aspect of their appearance. Your challenge is to serve vitality for the benefit of younger voters without alienating the Metamucil set. No element is too trivial to be considered. (See: Mom jeans, campaign ’08.) Your suits will be slim, denims unironed, ties blue and sober, footwear confined to Oxfords and the occasional driving shoe. For a cool prop, look to shades.

It was in the before times (i.e., 2014) that Joe Biden first posted an Instagram showing his Ray-Ban aviators casually tossed on a desk. Political eternities have elapsed since Mr. Biden took these classics of military eyewear and so successfully owned them that hardly anyone recalls anymore that General Douglas MacArthur, hippies, ’70s gay porn stars, Tom Cruise and Tom Ford got there first. — GUY TREBAY

TikTok hit mainstream culture in 2020, knocking Facebook off the top spot to become the most downloaded app of the year as millions of content-hungry consumers stuck in lockdown looked for new ways to socialize and stay entertained. And since February, when Charli D’Amelio, one of TikTok’s top influencers, sat front row at the Prada runway show, the flirtation between the social media platform and high fashion has become increasingly impossible to ignore.

Keen to build relationships with the next generation of luxury shoppers, an army of big-name brands created accounts, including early adopters like Gucci, which took on TikTok’s quirky communication style, and later arrivals like Balenciaga, Dior and Louis Vuitton. In July TikTok livestreamed its first fashion show, a socially distanced Balmain extravaganza on a barge in the Seine, and in September the platform hosted #TikTokfashionmonth, during which brands jostled to showcase their latest collections alongside a schedule of product drops, styling tips and after parties. — ELIZABETH PATON

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