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2021 Kicks Off with Escapist ‘Bridgerton’ and Vegan Fashion

Escapism continues to be the coping mechanism of choice for consumers in the first week of January, which saw pro-Trump rioters storm the U.S. Capitol in response to President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory and Georgia voters make history by electing the state’s first Black senator and first Jewish senator.

Homebound consumers turned to their streaming services for distraction, with 63 million tuning in to “Bridgerton,” a new Netflix series set in the 19th century that combines the drama of “Gossip Girl” with the regality of upper-class London. The series is marked by the era’s lavish fashion and accessories, which is a welcomed respite from loungewear.

Global fashion search platform Lyst’s latest data drop highlights “regencycore” as a popular theme inspired by the series and defined by corsets, pearl and feather headbands, long gloves and empire line dresses, all of which have spiked in searches since the show’s debut four weeks ago. Simone Rocha, Magnetic Midnight, Rasario, Dion Lee, Brock Collection and Erdem are some of the designers leading in search results.

Edited also confirmed the trend’s impending popularity, noting that additional period pieces currently available on streaming services are bound to garner a large following and further the trend’s appeal. The show’s influence will not only appear in garments and accessories, but in color palettes as well. Edited noted that pastels and brights will surge in popularity, pointing to a number of designers that have included the colors in their Spring 2021 collections. Floral embroidery and light embellishments will also make their mark on fashion.

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Lyst identifies Bridgerton’s regencycore fashion, veganism, fitness and flashy attire as some of the top-searched trends of 2021 so far.
Bridgerton Courtesy of Liam Daniel/Netflix

Houndstooth is another regal trend growing in popularity as a result of other pop-culture royalty. An Instagram post showing Beyoncé in head-to-toe houndstooth inspired followers to scour the internet for similarly designed turtlenecks. In the days that followed the post, searches for “houndstooth turtleneck” surged 51 percent, according to Lyst. The demand for cardigans and sweater vests with the print also increased by 65 percent since the beginning of the month.

Lyst is also betting big on flashy attire that can lift consumers’ spirits during this period of uncertainty—specifically in the form of sequins. Pop artist Harry Styles and actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge wore Gucci vests adorned with sequins in a recent music video for the former’s “Treat People With Kindness,” driving a 425 percent spike in searches for sequins just a day after the single’s debut. White and wide-legged trousers, another defining fashion piece from the video, are also surging in popularity as a result.

Activewear is also a top trend, as is usually the case at the start of a new year, Lyst reported. Specifically, searches for yoga leggings, workout unitards and sports bras are up 144 percent, 71 percent and 86 percent, respectively.

Coinciding with the new year, consumers are also embracing “Veganuary,” an annual campaign promoting veganism in the month of January. In the first five days of the month, Lyst said the terms “vegan leather,” “eco-friendly” and “recycled” have spiked 62 percent collectively, underscoring experts’ predictions that veganism—and vegan denim—will be a top trend in 2021.