The Rise of Escapism in Fashion: 7 Fashion Brands That Feel Like a Permanent Holiday
Shop our favorite pieces from their collections.
It is often said that fashion is society's reflection—that clothing goes beyond looks, becoming an honest depiction of emotion. And as we have spent the past year in the comfort of our homes, a newfound desire to escape has emerged. While at-home style has deemed loungewear and fancy pajama sets a massive trend, there is a rise of escapism in everyday dressing like never before. Escapism, by definition, means to seek distraction, especially through engaging in fantasy. Through dressing in beach-inspired looks or seeking resort-esque prints, fashion is filling the void and nurturing our yearning for a holiday this season.
As we approach the summer—whether we are on a holiday or not—we're embracing styles that replicate the feeling of escaping to the Amalfi Coast, styles that give us a breath of fresh air to brighten our moods, and, most important, styles that, for just one second, feel like a holiday. From beach-adorned jewels and crafted crochet bags to whimsical silhouettes and playful terry-cloth cabana shirts, we're sharing seven fashion brands that have mastered the art of escapism through design. Ahead, discover fashion brands whose ethos is to achieve a permanent holiday through dressing—and some of our favorite pieces from their collections.
Photo: Courtesy of SVNR
"Escapism has been ingrained in SVNR's DNA from the very start—I wanted to take a global approach to design, spotlighting beauty in the landscapes and culture from all over the world. Given COVID, armchair travel and daydreaming about far-flung destinations are all that many of us can muster. Wearing pieces that make us feel joyful and carefree is so important, particularly now." — Christina Tung, SVNR Designer & Founder
Photo: Courtesy of Tombolo
"We call our products 'escapewear'—a term we dreamed up for weird and wonderful clothes that transport you to a different place, time, or state of mind. We've always wanted wearing our clothing to be an experience more than just a mundane part of getting dressed. Pre-COVID, when we could interact with our customers almost daily, we would see this firsthand time and again. A customer would try on a shirt and instantly throw a giddy, smiling glance to their partner or friend in the shop. If we're doing our jobs right, the shirts put a little pep in your step and a smile on your face!
"The other concept that continues to motivate us is creating a brand that is playful and escapist, but at the same time tethered to the very down-to-earth principles of sustainability and social responsibility. Those virtues are often core to brands that aren't necessarily fun or surprising, but there's no reason they can't also be core to a brand that makes you smile and giggle." — Michael Sard and Chriss Galasso, Co-founders of Tombolo
Photo: Courtesy of Carolina K
"At Carolina K, travel has been an endless source of inspiration and wonderful discoveries, including the people we work with and how daily activities can truly be done in sustainable and meaningful ways. We want to bring ancient cultures into your wardrobe—so many artisanal hands put in great intention with their craftsmanship. Our goal is to empower the women who wear our collection and help uplift their moods while feeling transported to anywhere in the world. Because our collections draw from all of our travels, we hope to bring a piece of that nomadic spirit to all of you." — Carolina Kleinman, Founder & Creative Director of Carolina K.
Photo: Courtesy of The Beach People
"We truly value rest and relaxation. We think the world has gone a little fast-forward-crazy. We all need to slow down, nelly (that's possibly an Australian saying). We think it's important to draw rituals of calm and peace into our daily lives, including the items we choose to purchase and surround ourselves with. It's our greatest joy creating beautiful and functional products for people of all ages to enjoy with their loved ones by the sea, around the pool, and in their homes." — Emma Henderson and Victoria Beattie, Co-founders of The Beach People
Photo: Courtesy of Agua Bendita
"You can see our uniqueness all over our handmade in-house illustrated prints, in our handcrafted details, in every embroidered piece made by our community of local women artisans, celebrating Colombian aesthetics, design, and local craftsmanship. Our most recent collection tells a story about 'unexpected beauty' in escaping and the small rays of the sun. Our inspiration? Ibiza, Cannes, and the perfect boulevard at the beach—it's all about different hours, different places, but always under the same sun." — Catalina Álvarez and Mariana Hinestroza, Co-founders of Agua Bendita
Photo: Courtesy of Cult Gaia
"As a brand, Cult Gaia really made its mark in the resortwear space, so our designs have always had a sense of whimsy, fantasy, and escapism to them. During the pandemic, we found that our girl, now more than ever, wanted to dream and feel inspired and wanted pieces that helped her escape the realities of the past year and imagine the possibilities to come. As a designer, it's always been my goal to make a woman feel truly special, create pieces that spark conversation and transport you to a different time and place. The idea of transcendence and escapism served as a huge source of inspiration for our most recent collections. After a year of dressing down and having minimal social interactions with those around us, our designs are made with the intention of feeding the pent-up demand for glamour, with knockout celebratory looks and extravagant pieces that still feel effortless." — Jasmin Larian, Founder & Creative Director of Cult Gaia
Photo: Courtesy of Emily Levine
"For me, escapism and creating comfortable holiday clothing is one of the reasons why I started the brand, so I guess you could say it is the DNA. Each piece can easily be translated from city, road trip, or beach, which makes getting dressed in the morning exciting to me. I wanted to create feel-good colorful clothing I, myself, felt I couldn't find, while focusing on traditional textile techniques. With each piece artfully handcrafted in India or Italy, our capsules link old-world techniques with new-world energy. We're inspired by the heritage of local textile traditions and are invested in the preservation of our partners' artistry with each collection we create together, while also partnering to develop new ideas to support present and future needs. Most of our bags are one-of-a-kind, if not limited in quantity, and celebrate my personal guiding philosophy of wabi sabi—the Japanese concept of accepting and appreciating imperfections and seeing them as beautiful." — Emily Levine, Founder of Emily Levine
Top photo: Courtesy of Carolina K
Want more stories like this?