Layers of mismatched apparel, clashing colours and outrageous embellishments are all the rage. “Nothing is so boring as something beautiful,” noted designer Dries Van Noten whose F/W 2018 featured outlandish pattern on pattern combinations of plaid and chintz.
Fashion trends are cyclical and ugly fashion is nothing new, Ugg boots or Birkenstock anyone? However, today, the trend is also fuelled by consumers. Uglier the ensemble the more eyeballs it receives in our times of memes, followers and views.
If Andy Warhol exemplified the 60s with pop aesthetics, Demna Gvaslia leads the pack today with Balenciaga and Vetements. Balenciaga’s triple-soled sneakers sold out in hours, while Vetements has continued to grow in 2018 despite rumours to the contrary. The brands are joined by established fashion house Gucci, which showcased ungainly cut suits in its last runway show.
Belt bags, socks and stilettos, clothes fashioned with industrial material... nothing is off-limits. Perhaps the trend reflects the zeitgeist, subverting the expected and embracing the alternative as mainstream. Collaborations between Crocs and Balenciaga or Marc Jacobs taking on sportswear seem to indicate that the worlds of fashion and function no longer run parallel.
Think over the top, and spin your next outfit. Rock ‘mom jeans’, tiny sunglasses, competing patterns and clashing colours. The only way to rock this style is to layer it on thick: accessories, clothing and attitude!