Spring 2020 Trend Watch|Coronavirus Edition

A new season is upon us and with it comes a wave of seasonal must-haves, but this year we’re trading in shoes and purses for non-perishables and medical grade accessories.

Spring season has come in hot – quite literally, as fever is one of the most common symptoms of those infected with COVID-19. As a fashion editor, I always like to keep an eye out for new trends that define the zeitgeist. It comes as no surprise that the hottest items this spring are defined by coronavirus-induced needs.

But one thing we can rely on is that people purchase in herds and will likely latch on to new trends that arise. This article breaks down the trends that have arrived in Vienna and predicts the obsessions to come.

1. Hand Sanitizer

Back when we were still going places, this handy germ extinguisher was already a must-have. Genderless and pocket sized, these little bottles were any city-dwellers commuting companion and transitioned effortlessly from the office to the bar. Post outbreak, they became so coveted, they were soon sold out in drug stores, not just in the big bad city but across Austria.

Pro tip: Get a silicone holder and dangle it from your purse straps or the side of your baby’s stroller to show the world that viruses are no match for you.

Spring 2020 Trend: Hand Sanitizer

2. Face Masks

While moisturizing face masks are year-round staples in the bathroom of many a beauty product addict, the surgical kind have been having a real moment outside of Asia where they’ve been style basics for decades. Despite luxury brands like Off-White trying to break into the germaphobia market during last year’s festival season, the pandemic has revealed a lean towards the more utilitarian variety.

Pro tip: Pair with a large pair of sunglasses for a fully obscured look that adds an extra layer of mystery to the mass hysteria.

3. Canned Tomatoes

For the first time in 60 years, this cousin to the legendary pop art motif is more popular in the pantry than on the wall. Perishables are so last season, and nothing is more versatile than a peeled red tomato in a can. Much like Goop queen Gwyneth Paltrow, we find nothing more comforting than hot tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. As the empty cans pile up, channel your inner artist: bangles, hats, a sculptural masterpiece, the sky’s the limit.

Pro tip: Don a Warholian wig as you fill up an entire shopping cart with tomato cans for a meta fashion moment that will dazzle your fellow panic shoppers.

4. Toilet Paper

Why an endless supply of TP would be the saving grace in an epidemic is anybody’s guess. Thank goodness we’re not dealing with a global norovirus outbreak, amirite? We can count our blessings. But trends arise in mysterious ways. I myself am sticking to the same philosophy that I apply to every other aspect of my consumer behavior: quality over quantity. In other words, nothing less than four-ply and quilted will make it into my water closet. The day I will use off-brand toilet paper will be the day hell freezes over.

Fall fashion prediction: This year, Halloween will see a 300% increase in mummy costumes. Get ready for countless “Who Wore It Better?” polls in tabloids and on social media.

5. Yeast

Truly the season’s oddest and most unforeseen craze, the corona quarantine (or quoronantine, trademark pending) has inspired a revival of baking. While purists and seasoned bakers often opt for fresh yeast, non-perishable dry yeast is this season’s preferred form of the iconic microorganism that will get your dough rising. These handy little multi-packs are giving last year’s tiny bag trend a run for its money and are practically flying off the shelves.

Pro tip: Try your hand at carving the Fendi logo into the crust for your own take on the brand’s iconic baguette.

Trend Forecast

What developments can we expect in the weeks to come?

1. White Onions

All the rage in Italy a few weeks ago, this layered and versatile kitchen staple is on the top of our watch list. Since our southern neighbors are always a step ahead – both in fashion and virus-related news – it’s all but inevitable for this tear-inducing flavor enhancer to be the next bestseller.

Pro tip: Opt for waterproof mascara to avoid raccoon eyes during your dinner time livestream.

2. Buckwheat

All this baking is bound to reveal an alarming number of gluten allergies and one thing that will never make our trend watch is painful indigestion. Enter buckwheat, the ancient pseudocereal that’s always gone against the grain. An acquired taste, this healthy gluten-free alternative is like bike shorts – it takes some getting used to, but it’s actually a solid choice.

Influencer suggestion: Take to social media to preach your newfound dietary restriction and make sure to stress how much better you feel. People live for that kind of content. You’re welcome.

3. Condoms

This timeless accessory is quite passé with potential wearers blissfully unattached in their solitary confinement, but it will make a real comeback with couples that usually take a less is more approach in the contraception department. While the first few weeks of twosome isolation might have been romantic, relationship drama will inevitably rear its ugly head when cabin fever reaches its peak. Best be safe than sorry, stock up to ensure all that make up sex doesn’t cause a 2020s baby boom. Ideally we would like to retire the phrase “Ok, boomer” this year and be done with it.

Pro tip: Stick to the classics – ribbed if you must – and leave the colorful packaging to the snacks in your pantry.

Down and Out

What’s now so last season?

Ibuprofen and Aspirin

The rumor mill is ablaze with reports of medicine cabinet essentials Ibuprofen and Aspirin allegedly worsening the symptoms of COVID-19. While we can’t confirm these claims, it’s best to avoid the potential agony and look to UK tastemakers for guidance. With its cult following on the island, it was only a matter of time for the Paracetamol craze to reach the continent and make some serious waves here as well, so stock up on that baby. Much like a good Burberry trench, a reliable hangover cure never goes out of style.

Philipp Rossmann
Philipp Josef Rossmann is Head of Sales and a columnist at METROPOLE who is is known for his loud style, loud shoes and loud cries for coffee. He moved to Vienna in pursuit of a more metropolitan life after finishing a Master's in English and American Studies in Graz, Austria.

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