Fashion

Hands off! Why statement gloves are having a fashion moment


Last Sunday’s Grammys were a triumph for female artists but for the fashion minded they were also a big moment for statement gloves.

Both Beyoncé and Billie Eilish, two of the most fashion-forward names in music, took to the stage gloved up.

They follow Cynthia Eviro, who set off her neon-green dress with a pair at the Golden Globes earlier this month, and Anya Taylor-Joy wore a sheer burgundy pair for the Critics’ Choice awards, confirming that gloves are definitely having a moment.

Anya Taylor-Joy reveals a gloved hand at the Critics’ Choice awards.
Anya Taylor-Joy reveals a gloved hand at the Critics’ Choice awards. Photograph: Critics Choice Association/Reuters

In last summer’s most talked-about music video, WAP, Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B both wear elaborate feathered gloves. And from Moschino to Dolce & Gabbana, dramatic bicep-grazing gloves have been seen on numerous catwalks in the last few seasons.

Art imitates life. In May 2020, passengers at some UK airports were told to wear gloves in a bid to make travelling safer, while on the July day that face masks became mandatory in shops, ministers admitted that similar measures were being looked at around gloves.

Many recent trends have been inspired by the pandemic, from face masks to home-working friendly elasticated waists. The current trend for gloves “might well be associated with Covid,” according to behavioural psychologist, Prof Carolyn Mair, author of The Psychology of Fashion and Founder of psychology.fashion.

Beyoncé at the Grammys in Los Angeles wearing gloves with goldnails stuck to the outside.
Beyoncé at the Grammys in Los Angeles wearing gloves with goldnails stuck to the outside. Photograph: Kevin Winter/The Recording Academy/AFP/Getty Images

According to Mair, gloves have greater allure than their Covid association: “[they] add intrigue, another focal point, and can change the overall look into something more glamorous and attractive.”

For her, the most interesting thing about Beyoncé’s gloves are the gold nails that are stuck on to the outside.

“They make the look a little unnerving,” she said, likening them to the kind of uncanny trainers that have provoked horror and fascination in recent years for having separate toes.



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