2020’s Net Obsession: Where Punk Met the Ballroom
2020 fashion has been full of surprises from the emerging new to the re-emerging old. The collections showcased have been completely contemporary and nowhere is this more apparent than in 2020’s net obsession. From Off-white to Burberry, netting was everywhere on the 2020 runway in a series of designs that are startlingly different showcasing both the versatility of the fabric and the innovation of the designer's collections. The look has embodied different iterations, from net draperies undercoats, fishnet gloves, nettops, and dresses that are straight out of a 90s thrift store. The range of the looks is profound, going from elegant to sensual.
Arguably one of the best versions of the trend was by Off-white whose fall 2020 ready to wear collection saw Virgil Abloh back after taking time out the previous season. The collection was comprehensive chic with a clear familiarity in the collections grungier pieces. The collection included a stunning fishnet dress that was worn over a bare chest and white trousers. The ends of the fishnet drapery were coated in bright pink and the look was accompanied by an ankle-length trench coat that had one sleeve in bright pink. The look Off-white showed was equal parts illustrious, edgy and creative, the kind that streetwear fanatics would die for.
Louis Vuitton, Off White Fall 2020, Maison Margiela images via Elle, What to Wear
Louis Vuitton and Maison Margiela also took on the look in designs that embody a new age of grunge. The Louis Vuitton look gives the impression of one having tumbled out of a 90s thrift store pairing fishnet with a bright red triangle bra and blue top with black vinyl trousers. Maison Margiela reflects edge, pairing a gothic net dress with a tartan scarf. Each look would go perfectly with cheap beer and a Nirvana concert.
Burberry also showcased embellished fishnet gloves, which were long length and black and embellished with crystals. Gloves have seen a resurgence on the 2020 runway, and Burberry’s take on the look screams modernity. Ports also took on the trend, pairing pantsuits with fishnet underpinnings.
While netting may be associated with grunge and edgy streetwear, Gabriela Hearst and Valentino showed that there is a range in this fabric in designs that are as ballroom as they are gothic. Gabriela Hearst also showcased fishnets but in a highly different way, the look reimagined evening wear with a jumpsuit with a bustier top accompanied by a draped black fishnet detail. The detailing hung off the shoulder and then ran down the forearm, with the netting draping around the rest of the clothing. Hearst took a classic look and intertwined it with a gothic and punk edge. Valentino took a similar approach reflecting that fishnet is not just for the nineties, reimagining it with an elegant spin. 2020’s net obsession is a re-imagination of elegance with a nod to nostalgia in a collection of looks that are as far-reaching in their style as they are incredibly cool. It would be insane not to.
Words by Marni McFall
Graphics by Latisha Fleckenstein