The spring/summer 2018 design patterns are nothing if not splendid, striking and extremely very lovely. Truth be told, it was a show season brimming with real fashion moments, and that is not overstatement. I’m discussing the sort that had even the coolest critics going after their Google Pixel 2 cameraphones. Also, the one catwalk that extremely set the tone, inspired everybody and just so happens to tick off relatively every S/S 18 incline under the sun was, obviously, Versace.
The Infinite Churn of Balenciaga Plaid
It was only a year ago that Balenciaga debuted under Demna Gvesalia’s creative direction, and a year since we witnessed the return of the Power Suit. “How do you persuade a woman to wear a two-piece suit who is not the German Chancellor?,” he’s quoted as saying, and apparently the answer comes in the form of an oversized jacket and matching trousers, both in a stark and stereotypically stuffy gray plaid. Since then, glen plaids, tartans, houndstooths, and tattersalls have all had their place in the sartorial sun, with everyone from Zara to Reformation making their own versions. For those of us who always harbored Working Girl fantasies, this has been a glorious gift — a time to stock up for when the tide turns back to slip dresses or low-rise acid-wash jeans.
Calvin Klein Celebrates Warhol’s Most Intense Art
What do you put on graphic T-shirts? Ironic puns. Rock stars. Feminist bon mots. But scenes of death and destruction? Leave it to Raf Simons, whose spring ‘18 collection for Calvin Kleinborrowed artwork from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts that were far grimmer than rainbow-hued soup cans. There was a solitary electric chair printed onto a mesh top, an overturned ambulance on the bottom half of a sky-blue silk shift, and a screenprint of smiling faces and tins of tuna from a Newsweek report of two Detroit mothers who ate poisoned tuna sandwiches. Paired with pretty skirts, high heels, and strands of tinsel, the effect was both bewitching and disturbing. “Horror is juxtaposed, always, with dreams,” the Calvin Klein show notes read. But, “it always becomes beautiful. Good always triumphs.”
The Ever-Controversial Runway Croc
As much as fashion loves to pretend it’s all about the newest and edgiest, sometimes, it can also be a bit of old man yells at cloud! You know, decrying the state of “kids today” with their new-fangled technology, and sharing stories about how back in the day things were different (a.k.a. better). But a certain group of designers have embraced the zeitgeist, creating pieces that are absolutely of the now. And nothing (and we mean nothing!) says 2017 like a Croc sent down a Balenciaga runway. Sure, Christopher Kane had already done it last season (and reprised it again for spring), but Demna Gvasalia has officially taken clickbait fashion to the next-level (like, literally — check out that platform). Will people wear it? Of course — it was made for street style!
Tacky Leopard Print
The first rule about leopard print is that not all are created equal: Some spots, tastemakers are sure to warn you, are tacky. Typically two-toned, flat-looking, or more ‘80s mallrat than ‘40s MGM star, tacky leopard print has been relegated to the back of thrift shop racks. But this season, tacky started to look awfully appealing. From Saint Laurent to Prada (and on the streets, too), full-blown leopard print — the kind you’d find attached to a strung-out hair-metal band — burrowed its way into our brain. If you decide to go there, throw any preconception of good taste you have out the window. Tacky leopard looks great with lots of stuff, but right now, we like it best with rockabilly shoes, lots of leather, and a good sneer.
The Modest Street Style Trend You Never Thought Would Happen
Cults are poised for a comeback — not literally we hope. But with last year’s success of Emma Cline’s novel The Girls (and it’s eventual film adaptation), it seems as though a slew of Fashion Girls were inspired by the look of some cults/religious subcultures (tomato/tomatoe?). How else could we explain the sudden rise of the oversized, long-sleeved, floor-length, cotton dress that became a de-facto uniform outside the shows this season? Part-Little House On The Prairie, part-Source Family, is it only a matter of time before everyone starts wearing Nikes and purple shawls?
Jackets Move From Your Shoulder To Your Waist
Some people are still arguing that global warming isn’t real. Meanwhile, it’s mid-fall, and we’re still wearing sandals to work. But for those days that start off chilly and end up humid, you’re oftentimes stuck carrying a jacket. This season, designers are turning that hassle into a clever styling tip, with brands like Creatures of Comfort, Y/Project, and Sacai transforming jackets and sweaters into fashionable, obi-like torso accessories. If you’re really advanced, you’ll take this as carte blanche that you can now wear anything on any body part. Socks as a scarf! Skirt as a sleeve! Pants as a hat! The world is your fashionably (off) oyster.
Earrings Grow To Comically Huge Proportions
Statement earrings might be the selfie fans’ favorite accessory, but judging from the size of the notable ones on the runways, we might need a selfie stick to capture the whole damn thing. There were giant crystal drop earrings the size of an adult man’s hand at Burberry, hoops so big at Fenty you could fit Kaia Gerber’s head through them, and chandelier earrings at Marc Jacobs so long they nestled into the models’ clavicle; on the streets, Céline’s rhinestoned reef earrings and Balenciaga’s extra-large safety pinreigned supreme. If bigger is better, then these are the best!