As many issues have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a return for many Americans to a sense of traditional, raw, and rustic formats. We have seen this play out in the films, television and music of the past few months, with everyone from Greta Gerwig to Sally Rooney to Taylor Swift showcasing this style in their own work.
Swift — releasing her eighth studio album “Folklore” in July 2020 — showcases an emphasis on the return to nature, and an introduction to cottage-core for her fans. The album artwork, shot in black and white, has the 30-year-old in her own hair and makeup, depicting a walk through a misty forest while wearing a long, double-breasted plaid coat over a white prairie dress, and with her hair pulled into loose buns.
The look is simple yet stylish, subdued yet statement; the styling goes against her previous album covers, with bubblegum pink on “Lover” (2019), the choker and sharp lipstick of “Reputation” (2017), and the over-saturated graphic sweatshirt on “1989” (2014). As Refinery29 said in regard to the newest addition to her discography, Swift is returning “to her truest self—both musically and stylistically.”
In a time of great unknowns, many of us are eager to tap into that sense of reviving our original selves, emphasizing a sense of tradition and community. This desire has manifested a return to rustic and utilitarian style, a greater appreciation for heritage, and valuing the authenticity of craft and handmade products.
These desires can further include a strong er connection to return to our roots, especially the literal ones we have nearby: plants and nature, fruits and vegetables, the earth in our backyard or across the street. With that desire comes common and established patterns — the fruit on a blouse, the floral and fauna patterns of homewares, and the landscapes that we frame in our homes, sharing in rich blues, greens and creams that we pair by way of our clothing.
Even before COVID-19 led to shelter-in-place orders around the world, the uncovered desire to return to ourselves was made apparent of many brands’ runways for Fall 2020, including Chloé, Isabel Marant, Jil Sander, and Tory Burch.
Designers returned to simplicity in style, colors and patterns. Lace, eyelets and woven materials appeared on the runway, emphasizing craftsmanship and handmade design. Florals were quiet, with even bolder styling at shows such as Zimmerman showcasing folkloric elements through a muted color palette and loose and organic materials.
Artists were inspired by the trend toward folk Americana for Sullivan Street’s 2021 Folkloric Farm story. Vintage trims, notions and borders add a touch of whimsy, while a focus on traditional craft evokes a calm nostalgia. With the trend toward the muted and conventional, the focus turns to slowing down and prioritizing family, nature and heritage.
Sullivan Street’s library will be accessible to clients on December 1st. Email to be put on the list for access.