Show me something trendy and I'll show you something better

In this dynamically rapid world we all have the occasional privilege to live in, how does fashion blur the line between transitory trends and enduring classics? How do we keep up with this ever-changing and ever-elusive wearable art form? Do people still know what’s “in,” and can they differentiate it from what’s “not in?” These are some questions that run through everyone’s minds when we see weird shapes in the form of pants, sunglow-tinted thick-framed sunglasses, and gigantic ostrich-esque feet for shoes, among other inexplicably otherworldly looks that young and old trailblazing designers come up with.

When we’re presented with something different in terms of clothing ourselves, there will always be judgmental eyes looking and lurking behind brightly lit phone screens, and typing unnecessary comments under your outfit posts—“fit pics,” as they are called these days. But don’t fret because fashion will never stay in one place. It is always transforming. That’s how it’s always been, and that’s how it will always be. Not to be dark, but we may have the forbidden fruit that was never meant to be consumed to thank for because Adam and Eve would never have thought of clothing themselves in the first place.

CALL IT STREET Or call it dapper, it’s whatever you want it to be

During the pandemic, people found themselves dressing up for no reason other than to feel some semblance of pre-Covid normal, daydreaming of when they’d wear these fabulous outfits outside again, whether on Metro Manila’s noisy streets or in Makati’s neon-colored nightlife. With access to used clothing, brand new ones, or incomparable finds from your trusty online ukay-ukay, it comes as no surprise that no one has ever stopped buying clothes. By all means, if it’s their way of powering through this unending hell of a pandemic, and if it’s within their means, who are we to stop them?

When one bats an eye on trendy clothing, and tells their always-in-the-know-about-fashion friends they won’t ever change styles, that is either a lie, or a telltale sign that they do want to try something new and different, they just don’t want to admit it. This is speaking from experience. I was on the judgmental side, being the hardheaded skinnies advocate until I tried on a pair of drop-crotch pants. Admittedly, people like me just did not know where to start or where to look.

There’s nothing wrong with dressing the way you do. Clothes are supposed to be enjoyed. It’s just a matter of liking what you like, whether hot or not, in or out. What’s the point if you’re only dressing for the likes or only doing it for the ‘gram.

Here are global fashion trends likely to be the next hot thing “It” people wear in 2023. Whether they will stay for a long time or fleeting obsession, only time can tell.

1. The return of Mod fashion

When talking about what Mod looks like, the common person thinks about The Beatles—Dapper suits, rebellious, a head brimming with hair and full of modern vigor. They have met the movement in full force, and everyone including the media has taken a liking to it. But they weren’t the true originators of Mod. They were just likened to it.

Mod fashion came from a subculture in the ‘60s that was deemed too modern for its time, a band of teenagers and young adults from the middle class who wanted to escape the unending violence happening in and out of England, rebelling against the status quo, and consuming media in the form of music, art, and film.

The men often wore suits and the cleanest pair of oxfords or loafers you could find while the women were a world of their own. Opening gender equality, the Mod movement had women wearing miniskirts to show they were independent, not just future housewives. How I would have loved to have seen this movement at its peak! People looked good. They had a fresh, confident look on what mattered, and still matters.

MODERN SUBCULTURE The Mod movement had women wearing clothing that made them feel great

One prominent designer from our time tried to bring back a semblance of Mod. It was Virgil Abloh, a trailblazing creative who inspired a lot of his peers, and even outside the fashion industry. His take on his last run for Louis Vuitton was what Mod would look like now. A modernized Mod would be too redundant, knowing that Mod meant “modern” as well, but he did just that. That collection was amazing. It’s unfortunate that he met an untimely death and did not see the full impact of his work.

In need of that dashing debonair look? There’s The Signet Store at Rockwell and the Fort for all your suave needs, and the Louis Vuitton and Off-White stores here that still stock the late Virgil Abloh’s recent and final collection for the world-renowned fashion house.

To this day, Mod is more than the clothes itself, more than sewn fabric, and more than designs on some fashion designer’s drawing board. It is a movement. It is political. It is a champion of gender equality.

2. Tinted Sunglasses

BONNIE CLYDE AND AKILA Tinted Sunglasses to up your

Retro looks have always been a welcome trend in fashion, may it be flared pants, funky button down shirts, or tinted eyeglasses. But what do you do when you want to look like your fave ‘70s star, but don’t have the appropriate vintage clothing to emulate looks from that era?

I thought you’d never ask. There’s always a solution to anything, and opting to choose the eyewear these classic movie actors and actresses wore is the way. Tinted, thick, round or square-framed sunglasses that shout “I am fun, but only maybe after a bottle of whisky,” even worthy of making you look like the coolest person in the room, vintage eyewear can turn a casual outfit into a sophisticated one.

From orange to blue to red and yellow, there’s always a tint of mystifying color for anyone and everyone wanting to up their everyday outfits with a pair of funky sunglasses. Nowadays, it’s best to check out Bonnie Clyde, Akila, and Loewe for a fresh new pair of shades.

3. The continuation of overly-humongous and gigantic denim jeans

Pants have always been the make or break of an outfit for most people. Oftentimes, it starts with picking a pair of pants. We’ve had the skinniest and slimmest of jeans back in 2015, then came the tracksuit, and eventually we traveled back to the ’90s and early 2000s by way of old print magazines for inspiration and chanced upon baggy jeans. And that’s where we still are.

Wide, flared, or just huge-ass jeans, in general, are still in the limelight, basking in what is maybe a never-ending style moment. What with being worn by every fashion influencer on Instagram and YouTube, right?

GRIND PANTS The Kayod Trousers (above) from internationally acclaimed local designer Carl Jan Cruz

The bigger the better, sagging and almost covering your boots or sneakers, touching the floor doubling as a pamunas—Don’t let these deter you from trying it out because, in all honesty, it is an interesting and flattering silhouette. You can wear it with an equally huge coat, cropped jacket, hoodie, or even just a trusty T-shirt.

If you’re ever curious about what everyone’s go-to pair is right now, it’s best to check out creative wunderkind Carl Jan Cruz, the dark lord himself Rick Owens, and Balenciaga (before their unsightly issue of course).

4. Details on details

The time of normcore or whatever semblance of normalcy it had is a bygone era, and people want something new. But what people want is something akin to what they’ve had, just with more features than a plain old tee. 

DETAILS ON DETAILS Construction Layers, local homegrown name today, the international waves tomorrow

Small piping details, crocheted marvels, a thousand black fabric flowers sewn on a black shirt, 3D printed buttons, Velcro for snaps that turn your straight pants into flared ones, and longer-than-usual zippers that run from the hem to your thighs. These are just a few details that have piqued most people’s interest lately, and they will surely pour over to 2023.

Nothing beats a somewhat plain t-shirt, but detailed to a T when seen up close, casual barongs with handsewn designs, buttons made for a particular shirt to elevate its already classy look, and pants more versatile than your trusty old pair of faded blue maong.

Your one-stop shop for these said items can be found in brands like homegrown name Construction Layers, Comme des Garçons and its multiple sub-labels, hardcore crochet goddess Ilyang Ilyang, Randolf Clothing and its out of this world barongs, and Soshiotsuki, a Japanese brand that came out in 2015 and was shortlisted in the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2016.

5. Peter Do

If there’s a label I’d like to get more recognition in this coming year, it would have to be Peter Do

Elevated menswear and womenswear, oversized wonders that are still flattering when worn, combat boots made for the runway and not for military training, and blazers with open backs—these are some of the few looks shown in his 2022 New York Fashion Week debut.

Saying that his debut show is transcendental is an understatement, but it’s the simplest way one can put it. The runway was littered with a mix of K-Pop Idols from SM Entertainment and slender models from top modeling agencies around the world, and even Seulgi from Hallyu Champions Red Velvet was one of its front-row guests.

I’d like to say now, so it’s best to mark my words, that Peter Do will have his time in the limelight. He will shine as bright as your favorite night lamp, the way these old fashion houses did in their heyday.

One day you’re in your sassy loafers, and the next you’re in your more approachable suede sandals. Then there are times you match your dress with some Nike running sneakers, navy windbreakers with a pair of worn-down Chucks and ankle socks to complete that laidback grocery-run look, neutral culottes with grey New Balance 995s, or a pair of flared jeans with furry Birkenstocks. These are but a few looks that will never go out of style because they have been a staple not just with the masses, but with the elite as well.

Fashion is a chameleon in more ways than one. It adapts, it sticks, and it ends as well. Nothing is forever. It’s a cycle of styles coming and going, coming and going, and coming back somewhat new.

People cannot deny that trends will always appeal to them, but beyond that, I hope some of these style moments stay for a while or even a long time. Anything about clothing is welcome as long as you feel the excitement to face the day ahead of you, the confidence boost to dance the night away, and how it gives you comfort, most importantly in your own skin.