Corporate, Sporty, & Nude

With fashion churning out trends at hyper-speed, you’ll suffer from whiplash before you see nascent trends on sale at Nordstrom. Upon embracing the statement off-shoulder trend, its ubiquity at Forever21 made me feel like Ace Ventura in a room full of taxidermied animal heads.

While hiding under my covers from a sea of exposed shoulders, I looked to Vogue, desperate to discover something other than a collar bone. There, I laid eyes on Calvin Klein’s Fall 2017 collection designed by Raf Simmons.

In true Calvin Klein spirit accentuated with a Simmons twist, the show nodded towards new-wave patriotism. Described as, “the coming together of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself,” its versatility accented by tradition was beyond respectable.

Male and female models donned near identical outfits, emboldening a common place between the sexes. Scattered through was a wide range of Americana including steel-tipped cowboy boots, Wall Street-style suiting, and obscure couch-like plastic gleaming off trench coats, pairing oh so well with soft gender ambiguity.

Most admirably, Raf’s take on the Calvin Klein spirit was embodied by varsity sweater sleeves attached to tight mesh bodies. This uniform of modern, rule-bending Americana expertly combined pedestrian values of sport and career with some much-needed men in mesh .

The designs were prescient, palatable, and pioneering, a trifecta few designers achieve. Simmons embraces the spirit of the times, pushes the envelope, then delicately serves it on a silver platter. He manages to be loud and muted, forward-thinking with an ear to the past, and true to both himself and the brands he steps into.

Thanks to Raf, I emerged from my covers refreshed and anew, with my spirits high and shoulders proudly covered.

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Now Trending: Split Personalities

We often dress according to how we feel. It’s an understandable concept until you realize feelings are complex and outfits are not encompassing of our daily mood changes. Luckily, thanks to a few pioneering designers, this year’s latest designs have taken an ambiguous turn.

Riding on the back of the “more is more” mantra is duo-dressing. These new designs hailing from fashion month stem from either an indecisiveness or genius collaboration resulting in Two-Face inspired models on the runway. Duo-dressing incorporates everything we love: color-blocking, mismatched patterns, the newly-coveted quirky aesthetic, and, of course, being indecisive. Just the other day, I actually thought about wearing two different pairs of shoes, then told myself to calm down.

Whether it’s  organized chaos or a seamless duo-chromatic number, the side-by-side placement emboldens both personalities. You can channel YSL circa 1965 or an Elizabethan princess with multiple personality disorder. The choice is yours.

It’s beautiful, absurd, and simply put- awesome. Piggybacking on Now Trending: Random Shit, I love when quirky fashion is placed on a pedestal. Just like random imagery, duo-dressing widens our comfort zones and extends an invitation to do whatever we please. These two looks in particular tap into our adolescent desires to wear a watermelon on our sweater, or wear all our favorite clothes at once.

Simply put, there’s a sense of freedom there, as long as you color within the lines.

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The Next Step For The Corset

Corsets are a fashion relic. Previously used to consolidate organs, they were popularized in modern times as a staple lingerie item, a sexy top paired with bad decisions, and now a casual item. We’ve seen a surge in layering tees under corsets, sweaters, and even a little peak-a-boo action under a blouse.

The evolution is apparent, and next on the agenda is this:

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Enter Zara. This ahead-of-the-curve fashion retailer just released a corset-dolman hybrid that combines soft materials, a slim laced-up waist, and an easy breezy top. An approachable take on the timeless trend invites less daring consumers and possibly a new silhouette entirely for casual attire. The ability to adjust tightness is pretty rad too, because morning bod bears no resemblance to post-lunch bod.

UPDATED: 2/19/2017

According to NYFW, the corset effect can also work its way from the bottom up. High waisted pants have been trending for some time now, and right when we thought they were destined to plummet, they shot right up to the waist. Designers like Rosie Assoulin and The Row introduced waist-defining trousers that redefine the corset as something to step into.

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Color(s) Of The Year

We’re deep into 2017 and have therefore already accepted Pantone’s Color of the Year: Greenery. With so much Pinterest inspo we’re ready to turn our home into a scene from Jumanji. The yellow-green hue is an optimistic tone. Referred to as “nature’s neutral,” it screams vitality in a modern age where we’re desperate for a refresher. This zesty addition to neutrals and natural familiarity has made me a fan, yet I feel one hue can’t be all-encompassing for an entire year.

Naturally, I decided to take it upon myself to pick a few other hues that will represent the year of uncertainty.

Silver Lining 

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This year welcomed the inevitable transition from minimalism to maximalism, and the most showstoppin’ of statements is  metallics. It’s the year of the spotlight, so why not shimmer?

90’s Red & Blue

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Pantone introduced two tones for 2016 so naturally I must introduce my own duo. 2016 welcomed the 90’s alongside rampant athleisure. We’re thinking of brands like Tommy Hilfiger, whose nostalgia has permeated into 2017 through collections from Alexandre Vauthier, Raf Simons, and a revitalized FILA collection.

The Pink Party

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This is the year of the most divine of creatures, the lady. While pink may denote fragile femininity, we’re taking the color back and giving it sharper edges. Peep into the latest Zara looks and Refinery29 for some fierce feminine inspiration.

How To Rock The Middle Finger

2017 is a different kind of year. With a reeling populace that’s heartbroken, confused, and empowered, the spirit is palpable, and more of a civic duty rather than a mere inclination. With the issues of the world becoming widely reported rather than only apparent to a few, they have seeped into the public consciousness and into our expressions of selves.

With corruption comes anarchy and with that a celebration of individuality. Artists, activists, and entrepreneurs have rolled through leaving a wake of inspiration, fearlessness, and a “why the fuck not?” message in the sand.

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History reveals a correlation between civil discourse and fashion. Whether it’s the hippies of the 60s or the underground punk scene of the 80s, there were uniforms for rebellion. The current spread of information and the bulk of the opposition has redefined anarchy style as less defined and more mainstream. It ranges from a liberated nipple to a plain black tee to prickly legs because who has time to shave when saving the world is on your to-do list?

If you were to attend a protest today you would see varying styles, even among those considered ‘conservative.’ The rumblings of objections are so visible and ubiquitous. We’re past the age of word-of-mouth among subcultures, where group think expanded past politics and into bell-bottoms for all. We have landed into an era where everyone owns a megaphone and a handle on their individuality, which I think is pretty damn cool.

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So, how do you find your anarchy look? Wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, floss (maybe) and wear whatever you fucking please. Whether you’re rocking a Nasty Woman tee or you just managed to put on socks, you’re an influencer. Just make sure you have your opinions and a shiny middle finger to match.

Now Trending: Random Shit

When I was a wee fashionista I ironed patches onto my jeans. Nothing that took too much deliberation, it was basically a mess of all the things I felt a deep connection to: soccer balls, cupcakes, hotdogs, and the “oh snap” phrase. Essentially my pants were covered in emojis.

I am ecstatic to announce that the art of pasting inanimate objects onto clothing is back and is slightly more regal than my Limited Too-clad 11 year old self.

Similar to the high-low contrast, the juxtaposition of classic and cartoonish is severely refreshing. While it may seem to be an easy fix to sartorial boredom- like, hey, lets spice up this blazer with an appliqué watermelon, it is so much more.

Illustrations, cartoons, and pop culture references are nostalgic, relevant, and thought-provoking. Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen featured whimsical butterflies, horses, and timepieces on structured trench coats and leather dresses. A mix of reality and fantasy. A quick acid trip during a structured 9-5 life.

Jeremy Scott, who is fearless when it comes to his pop culture adaptations, adopted this trend by adorning an LBD with a plethora of cigarette-clad red lips. A sassy interpretation of a timeless classic with an instant mood-inducing effect.

It’s obvious, obnoxious, and stunning. My favorite stylistic approach to this trend is when objects are intertwined, connected to, and almost melt into one another resulting in an optical illusion of a  pleasing textured aesthetic from afar and a whimsical garden scene when viewed up close.

I think it’s the ability to put whatever we damn well please on our bodies that is so refreshing. We can make it bold and conspicuous or it can be applied artfully. Regardless, I will be wearing sloth-themed clothing for the rest of the season. Oh snap!

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Shoulder Game

Shifting erogenous zones have been an essential part of fashion for some time now. Different decades welcomed different body parts as often as different presidents. The 20’s were all about leg, 30’s the back, and the 50’s the shoulders.

While the rejection of modesty and women’s control over their own bodies were catalysts to these looks, it was also fueled by simple boredom.

Boredom from looking at a knee cap for too long.

The shifting of what constitutes as an erogenous zone occurs when we grow tired of looking at the same body part. Its ubiquity detracts from its allure and its forbidden qualities. Therefore cutouts, hemlines, and sleeve lengths redirect themselves towards an area that was previously left to the imagination.

The undeniable erogenous zone at the moment is the shoulder, and before that, the midriff, prolonged by a hale storm of crop tops.

Shoulders, to me, are the epitome of eroticism. A woman is revealed in her rawest form, an exposed top eighth of the body, cut horizontally, with lines that leave the rest of the body easily imagined. The suggestiveness is not pervy; in fact, it creates a sense of romanticism. A close proximity to the face portrays a woman as who she is… vulnerable, bare, and her authentic self. The shoulders express emotion and can compliment a laugh. They exude nakedness not through perversion, but through certainty of self.

Though other erogenous zones are intriguing, they are disconnected. A waist cutout is flesh, beautiful flesh, but without personality. Shoulders portray the woman as she is.

So pull them shirts down (just a little) and shrug those shoulders with pride. Which, if you’re like me, will be permanently stuck that way because I rarely know the answer to anything.

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Wear In The Now

 

What are the longest lasting trends?

Boho Chic? Grunge? This infectious athleisure wave?

The reason for their permanence is because these styles are a reflection of lifestyles. Lifestyles are a response to socioeconomics. Boho and grunge were both an immediate display of rejection of norms. Whether it’s a free spirit beatnik or an angsty metal head, style was a passive aggressive fuck you slogan to conventional ideals.

Athleisure is a bit different, but once again it is a statement. Now more than ever health is the core of our priorities. To be healthy is to  be trendy, and leggings are now gateway drugs to an entire closet of spandex.

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A less ubiquitious trend, but impactful nonetheless is the pajama trend. No, this trend does not mean we value a horizontal life. It means, we embrace comfort and freedom of movement. Angular fashions, shoulder pads, and even non-stretch jeans are foreign at the moment. Keep in mind we are not forsaking our sartorial priorities, we are simply shifting them to align with the mood of the moment.

All I’m trying to say is.. get used to these styles. Athleisure wear in particular is a result of society moving in an inarguably positive direction. Therefore, designers will continue to experiment with sporty designs.

Also observe the current cultural climate to spot the next lifestyle trend and from there fashions will follow…

…Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimal vs. Maximal

Similar to how seasons change and flowers bloom our sartorial tastes rotate magically to keep us on our toes. What if certain trends were as predictable as leaves falling or seasonal depression? What if the foundations of our styling preferences were on a cycle?

I believe this is the case with minimalism and maxism. (Maxism being the boisterous cousin of minimalism and a clever word I stole from Refinery29.)

Keep in mind these are macro trends so they have a longer life expectancy. They are also umbrella trends meaning an abundance of other trends fall beneath them. These particular umbrellas can shield a family of six, therefore encompassing hundreds of other micro trends which aids in their longevity.

Minimalism and Maxism have returned about every 1o years or so. We had the 80’s, offensively maxist, and then the squeaky clean 90’s when the bellybutton was the most compelling accessory. The 2000’s were the decade of ostentatious dressing. Rhinestones and Ed Hardy happened. Never forget. It also ended with the high-drama  of Alexander Mcqueen’s penultimate collection in 2009.

While the beginning of the 2010’s was not blatantly minimal the rest of the decade caught up quickly. We began to embrace less because we exhausted the idea of more. Over-indulgence and pretentious display became unsavory. Our fashion-forward uniform for conscious consumption became simplicity.

But soon, guaranteed we will become bored with our modesty. Ethics within the consumer realm will continue to thrive because modes of living tend to stick. But, aesthetically speaking, eccentric fashion will cartwheel itself out of the closet. Bold colors, clashing patterns, and attention-deficit dressing will be the industry’s new comfort zone.

While the span of life for these macro trends used to last a decade- our current age of immediate information has put trend cycles into hyper speed. Which is why minimalism will devolve by the end of this year.

Don’t worry minimalism will be a thing like how maxist dressing is a thing now. One will simply surpass the other in prominence. Also, save your monochromatic sets.. they will be back soon enough.

But Ed Hardy will not.. Ed was beaten, bludgeoned, set on fire, and buried six feet deep in a rhinestone coffin.