People used to wear metal armor to defend themselves in battle or participate in jousting tournaments. The days of the Knight’s Tale are long gone, but designers have taken cues from medieval times and created chainmail-inspired collections.
This trend has been around for a while. For example, Tom Ford’s Spring 2020 collection featured a variety of glossy breastplates that were attached to the bodies of models in futuristic Maximus’ armor in Gladiator-like designs. This look was immediately embraced by Zendaya, who wore the pink version to 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards. Gwyneth Paltrow wore the same piece on the cover for Harper’s Bazaar’s February 2020 issue. The trend came back to the red carpet this week when actress Elle Fanning wore a Balmain Spring 2022 embellished link crop top to the 2021 InStyle Awards.
Schiaparelli’s latest collections are a good example of this trend’s widespread popularity. The fall 2021 couture collection featured metal bras, nipple covers, and full-torso chestplates (which came with six-packs! The fall 2021 ready to wear lineup mimicked the armor look but in a subtler way. It featured gold waist belts and metal bodice-shaped plates with a belly button! ), and boob-shaped, metal bras.
Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson was the one who took inspiration from King Arthur for spring 2022. Easy jersey dresses were paired with silver and gold metal plates in amorphous shapes. Trench coats were also sent by Loewe. The bodice was adorned with foil-looking pieces.
Although this trend was already there before the pandemic, it is expected to take off in the coming years. This is almost two years after people felt vulnerable and exposed due to the global health and social crisis. The armor trend follows the widespread adoption of full-face masks, gloves, and surgical face masks during the pandemic. We are ready to fight, just like the medieval knights who wore full-on armor while fighting plague.
A field armor, which was between 45 and 55 pounds, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is heavier than most modern garments. But have you ever seen platform shoes that are fashion’s top choice? Today’s armor can be worn around town because designers are moving away form head-to-toe metallic suits and creating new shields that border jewelry and clothing. The style is casual with metal plates and chainmail-like pieces paired with simple maxi skirts, jeans and trench coats. This adds interest to otherwise minimalist looks.
Clothing is often referred to as armor. However, it is possible to actually take this statement literally.