Modern women desire fashion freedom: new-generation designer challenges fall trends
Although this year’s fall–winter fashion trends include corsets, light textiles, and hot pink hues, the imposition that these trends showcase femininity might not sit well with fashion enthusiasts looking for comfortable fits.
For the coming fall–winter season, fashion houses like Burberry, Prada and Dior bring back feminine clothing with light colours, lingerie-inspired silhouettes, and feather accessories. Some trendsetters like Gucci or Balmain suggest boosting the feminine appearances with corsets, while Versace or Valentino reintroduce hot pink as one of the symbols of a woman.
Despite some of this season’s clothing items leaning toward being more female-presenting, Grėtė Švėgždaitė, a new-generation luxury fashion designer, says that fashion should, first and foremost, allow one to express themselves without sacrificing their comfort or values. ‘Luxury fashion should offer a feeling as if a person is naked—in a good sense—and free to live however they want to, despite the labels attached to their gender,’ Švėgždaitė commented. She explains the needs of her customer—a modern woman—that are often overlooked by big fashion houses.
• Fashionable clothes should be comfortable—like your second skin. While it is fairly easy to stay on top of trends and adapt the personal style to the constantly changing fashion collections, finding clothing items that are fashionable yet comfortable is not always that simple. For this reason, Švėgždaitė, who is also a founder of sustainable lounge-wear brand Gretes, believes that clothing has a certain power over how a person feels every day. ‘However fashionable a piece of clothing might be, whether it is comfortable should be the first question a person asks. Many of us have experienced situations when a trendy item does not make us feel comfortable in our skin, has restricted movements, and has ruined the entire day,’ the designer said. She advises women to sense how a piece of clothing feels on their bodies, to see if they can move freely and if it feels soft on their skins—and only then decide to buy it.
• Is it the right size? Clothing sizes are another pain point for many fashionistas since a large variety of bodies and shapes do not always get the much-needed representation in clothing. ‘Even in this day and age, it is almost taboo to talk about the uncomfortable aspects of certain clothing items: bralettes that fit only a certain body size, pyjama shorts that give you a wedgie which actually hurts—all of the discomforts are related to the lack of adequate sizing in luxury fashion.’ Švėgždaitė suggests taking the time to take a look at the fashion item before committing to the purchase and see whether the fit is comfortable and non-restrictive as these details transform a trendy outfit into a comfortable everyday staple.
• Is it cruelty-free? At the same time, going with luxury clothing should not be an excuse to forgo one’s environmental values and social consciousness, as brands are increasingly offering collections made of cruelty-free, sustainable materials like fabric from eucalyptus and pine wood pulp. ‘Read your labels carefully, and evaluate if the material it was made of is in fact sustainable, as there’s lots of green washing in the fashion industry,’ says Švėgždaitė.
She herself made a transfer from natural silk to a sustainable alternative because of environmental reasons: approximately 6,600 silkworms are killed to produce 1 kg of silk by boiling them alive in their cocoons. It is also estimated that one silk shirt requires 376 ℓ of water, leaving a severe water footprint on the environment.
‘I decided to find a fabric that was less harmful to the environment and living organisms but had all the qualities of silk, meaning it had to be non-allergenic and breathable. I understood how much effort it would take to be vegan and sustainable, and while I still haven’t achieved full sustainability, I am always trying to minimize harm. I am honest about that and what can be done at this point, and my goal is to do the best possible,’ she explains.
Founded by Grėtė Švėgždaitė in Lithuania, Gretes is a boutique-style international brand. It focuses on creating handmade, fashionable, and high-quality sleepwear and lounge-wear, using sustainable NAIA materials for a reasonable price. Dedicated to everyone’s quiet elegance, the brand represents a continuous journey of looking for a balance between fashion, nature, and oneself.