Trend-spotting: Kintsugi in Fashion

Updated: Jul 18

Although I'm not a big follower of trends (especially those on the verge of being a fad,) I do believe that trends can serve as an important mirror to our society.

Throughout fashion history, trends have been a reflection of the times. Whether it be the act of "bra-burning" in the 1970's or the "zoot suit riots" of the 1940's; trends are often employed to deliver an underlying social and political message.

While thinking ahead to fall fashion, I can't help but wonder what trends are on the horizon given our current political state. Will people continue embrace their life without pants? Will face masks continue to be a bone of contention?

What will it look like to "wear your heart on your sleeve" during a time of so much divisiveness?

While I continue to believe that color will make the important statement this fall, another trend worth noting is that of repair, more specifically "visible mending" or "Kintsugi".

Kintsugi, also known as "golden repair" is a Japanese technique used to mend broken pottery using gold, silver, or platinum to join the cracks. Kitsugi as a concept of highlights damage, while bringing focus to the break, rather than camoflouging it.

(DIY Kitsugi kit on Esty)

While the concept of mending is nothing new in clothing, what is new is a trend toward "visible mending" which aims to draw attention to the the repair work itself as a means of enhancing a design.

(Collingwood-Norris Visible mend offers both a mending service and DIY mending kits that comes with a video tutorial)

Modern mending is a badge of honor amongst those who want to extend the lives of their wardrobes or keep items out of landfills. But also serves as an optimistic reminder that things can be fixed with time and effort.

(Katrina Rodabaugh's book "Mending Matters" explores environmental and social issues through traditional craft techniques. It contains 22 how-to projects; six essays on fashion; twelve artist quotes and extensive resource lists.)

And while I will not put all my hope in "fashion" to fix the problems of the world, I find solace in the notion that there is an opportunity to create beauty in the work ahead.

(Darned Paper Sweater by Celia Pym)