Unrealistically Lo…ng!

Published for FFT

March, 2016


The oversize trend has been on the rise for quite some time now. Ramps have been overrun with anti-fit clothing and designers have been obsessed with larger than life silhouettes. This trend has gained much attention, and done well for both women’s and menswear styles.

This trend has, in fact, been carried forward to this season as well, only to be re-invented with a new perspective. The sleeves have become Unrealistically LONG!

How long will it stay?

Like every other trend in fashion, this too has now reached its peak, and will eventually pass. The pendulum will once again swing away from volume. But, let’s not forget that this trend, like most others, has travelled a long way to reach this level of largeness, and it may be long before it comes around again in the way it exists today.

Anything could become a “thing”, when a lot of designers start believing it’s a “thing”. But have the designers gone too far with the trend just to satisfy the insatiable appetite for something new?

Indian designer Druv Kapur of DRVV also does not seem to believe that this trend is going too far and says, “I find it a little bit too involved with just fashion for that moment, as it serves no function whatsoever. The only thing it’s doing is reiterating the oversize trend.”

Aki Choklat, Chair & Associate Professor at Fashion Accessories Design, said, “It’s already so over-done this season that I would almost categorise it as a fad. I don’t think this would be a popular thing as I believe it has a little taste and smells like a quick trend.”

The trend was most certainly all over the ramp this Fall. Designer Shweta Kapur of 431-88 thinks, “This trend adds a touch of casualness to the outfit. In the Winters, it can be easily carried off with long sleeved sweaters to cover your wrists and in the summers, the sleeves become extra loose for airiness, and the cuffs of the shirt cut longer to protect the hands from the sun.”

Only the coming seasons can tell how practical or impractical the trend has turned out to be; but for now it surely is the most relevant one.

Where did it come from ?

This trend came to be know as Vetements sleeve in the fashion industry parlance.
“Its a trend specially for the young market, targeting teenagers and the tweeny market. Designer Vetements is probably the leader of the trend,” says Johannes Egler, Professor at Polimoda and Senior designer at Rosso35.

Vetements has undoubtedly injected some young energy and fresh direction to the sedate world of fashion. The brands Fall 2015 collection was a fair mix of classic boxy suit, blazers, bombers, and leather jackets, which had fabric that hung below the fingers and sometimes as long as the knees.

Raf Simons, in his first collection for his eponymous label, showed some dramatically oversize sweaters, but most notably the sleeves that dangled almost till the knees.

Budding Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy’s showed a slightly less exaggerated proportions on the jackets. But it was interesting to see how Thom Browne, Hood by Air and Rihanna’s FENTY x Puma came up with collections that gave us ways to style the sleeved garments we already owned in our wardrobes.

Though, it was seen on the ramp more than once, building up the ambiguity of the trend’s origin was Raf Simon’s press note for his collection, wherein he named Margiela as an inspiration. Martin Margiela, the label’s founder, caused a sensation with experiments in proportion back in the 1990s.

No matter how far the origin goes, what we do know for sure is that proportion is one of the most determining factors of a designer’s toolkit while striving for freshness. Shorten here and extend there, or tighten up to get a completely never-seen-before collection.


Why did it become a ‘thing’?

We will be telling you nothing new if we were to begin with how the 90’s trend is coming back. What we would, however, be telling you is how these ultra-long sleeves relate to the era.

Sloppiness is the prime grunge determinant, it sure is a Declaration of Independence. Your body (read yourself) is hidden away in large unjudgmentable pieces of luxury.

Another reason is the rising touch of androgyny that is driving the silhouettes to be larger and more carefree. Oversize clothes are, in a way, a sign of how content one is — so carefree that you don’t need to dress up for anybody but yourself, anymore…


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