Utilitarian Style Undergoes a Brutalist Revision

Combining dystopian sensibilities with polished aesthetics.


After a year of slowly re-entering society, culture is ready to move beyond a life of sweatpants and hoodies. Enter a return to formalwear, and with it, a move towards a new vision of what is often seen as a staid, conservative space. 

Dark, dystopian and marked by subtle stamps of subversion, the new tailoring reimagines full dress with a quiet, piercing edge. After all, we're living in an era in which apocalyptic imagination is almost indistinguishable from the everyday. In fashion, this vision takes the form of Y2K pop meets futurism and ’90s techno aesthetics, filtered through a TikTok lens.

One particularly strong accent in today’s polished dress redux is hardware detailing, noticeably present throughout the Fall/Winter 2022 runway circuit. DIY punk mixed with an undercurrent of Brutalism, these metallic embellishments distort otherwise utilitarian pieces. 

Here, we curate our top styles from brands driving the movement forward.