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What is "Lagenlook," and Why Don't Americans like it?


Design by Ivey Abitz, USA

In Europe, Lagenlook is a fashion trend that's pretty popular but it never enjoyed the same popularity in the USA. One Reddit author described what Lagenlook is so well! They write:

"Lagenlook is the term that refers to a particular style (it means "layered look" in German): layers of deliberately oversized, casual and quirky "art to wear" clothing. Usually in either neutral natural fibers or bright, whimsical patterns and colors, lagenlook means loose, comfortable, draped layers that don't highlight or draw attention to any part of the body. It's almost "anti-fashion" in a way.

It's similar to "work wear" fashions of Japan and there are many iterations in fashion right now. One branch of lagenlook is a western/southern USA historically influenced style that involves ruffles, lace, florals, and very feminine details such as bloomers, slips, and tons of jewelry with the linen or rustic layers."


Design by Kedem Sasson, Israel

IMHO, I think American women are pretty committed to the idea that "designer clothing" should make them look desirable--sexy, successful, powerful, young, or exciting. In all honesty, I don't really think Lagenlook in general ticks off many of these boxes. It also can be very attention-getting but for completely different reasons. Maybe we think that if you're not going to be young or sexy, maybe you should just try to blend in? 

Design by Issey Miyake, Japan

What I still love about it is that it is very comfortable, can be worn by any woman of any shape or size, and that the risks it takes with asymmetry, surprising details, interesting layers, and unusual silhouettes is so refreshing, whimsical, and fun. It probably helps that I'm 55 and "artsy." But, I'm not going to apologize for that, so...

Design by Rick Owens, Paris Based American Designer

Lagenlook is evolving, and there are certainly places where similar design trends are flourishing. If you like Japanese fashion, Mori is quite similar to the more feminine and lacey versions of Lagenlook in Europe.

If nothing else, you'll see something unusual that stretches your imagination about what it means to be a beautifully dressed human being.

Here's a Lagenlook-inspired design I've been working on lately... And there's more to come, because it is so. much. fun.

Design by Ellen Dayan, USA 






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