Fashion & Emotions

Visual Optimism: The Power of Positive Dressing

It is in times of chaos and hopelessness when we turn towards fashion as a coping mechanism. When the outside world is filled with images that make us want to curl up in our room, there’s something about colors, patterns and prints that bring back the joy of living and the hope for a better tomorrow. 

Not Just a Label sits down with Gaba Najmanovich, consumer trend analyst, who uses her magical crystal ball to predict the future, explore the present and the past, to learn and get an in-depth information session on Visual Optimism, the trend of the moment.


Xinyao Ye's CollectionPhoto courtesy of Xinyao Ye


Could you tell us a little bit about the Visual Optimism micro trend?

I like to present Visual Optimism as a realist micro trend that acknowledges the duality of contemporary life. It perceives the uncertainties of current contexts and their effect on consumer's mental health, recognizes that we’re sometimes happy and stable but that that state can shift, and opens up a perspective in which everything will be better in the future. It talks about the effect of fashion over our emotions and brings nostalgic consumption as a source of comfort to the table. Visual Optimism deconstructs the idea of adulthood, expressing complex concepts with a childish and playful aesthetic.


The Road Capensis Dress
Photo courtesy of The Road


Even though Visual Optimism's key introduction took place in 2021, whilst fighting against strict quarantine policies and uncertainty thanks to COVID-19 outbursts, do you think that this trend can re-emerge due to current social, political and cultural context?

I think that the concept behind Visual Optimism is still strong and relevant, especially in such a hostile context as the one we are currently facing. Being a trend that connects uncertain contexts with the willingness to express ourselves and the hope for a better future, I see a vast opportunity for the trend to keep on growing. 

What I do believe is that there has been an aesthetic and expressive evolution to the trend in regards to its initial expression in 2021. Almost three years have passed since I introduced the concept, and both consumer’s interests and expectations as well as aesthetics have evolved. There’s something that has radicalized in these past years, mostly in Early Adopters of the trend. What we see today is more interest in what are called “mood lifters”, aesthetics that cheer up our mood, that have almost a direct effect on users emotional states. The first wave of Visual Optimism anchored this emotional aspect in a softer way in hope and emotional contrasts in a context that was changing daily.


Do you think there are any other micro trends that can emerge or re-emerge as a way to face the current context (climate crisis, wars, political unrest, etc) ?

What we see today is a radicalization of the aesthetic discourses. With the rise of hostility and the fall of values, there’s an increased search for the comical, the stimulating. Humor surges as a counter effect of darkness and violence. This need to focus on the comical will keep rising and rising. On the one hand, we will start seeing that consumers will start taking life with a grain of salt, as a way to face and cope with our contradictory reality. This will translate into visual aesthetics and strategies. I believe we will see an urban reconceptualization of the idea of costumes as a way to integrate comical aspects into our lives.


Lorena Pipenco CollectionCourtesy of Lorena Pipenco


There is no doubt that what we’re facing as a society is of utmost strife. Political sides, cultures, religions and social backgrounds set aside. We are all grieving and longing for something or someone, be it a person, the past or the uncertain future of a generation. But as fashion creators, seekers, editors, communicators, firsthand supporters and, above all, consumers, we invite you to embrace Visual Optimism. To reach out to fashion to help you cope with the current context, let it soothe you and, in the process, have a little fun. Fashion has become our playground, in which, with the curiousness of a child and an avid hunger for wellness and stability, we navigate, mix and match, and play, without rules, limits nor stereotypes


Shop this November’s Curation “Visual Optimism”, and fill your winter wardrobe with light and color while supporting independent designers all over the world