We are lucky to live in a ‘fashion era’ that has borrowed so extensively from the past and adapted it into a wearable series of collections that remain palatable for future generations. Confused? Put simply, modern trend reports cite that eras from the past such as the 60’s, 70’s and 90’s remain intrinsic to how we put looks together and also how brands who are inspired by the modern online phenomenon such as Pretty Little Thing, have used to curate their fashion to a mainstream, youth led audience. After all if we were to define 2018 style, unlike the noughties, 90’s and hence forth, we don’t have a distinguishable trend that has defined our year of fashion just yet because the truth is, what we as the public love is being able to borrow from the past and transforming it into a modern, wearable look. Whether it be floral ruffle dresses worn with chunky trainers for a 70’s/90’s crossover episode or our obsession with Gypsy Shrine esque glitter butt cheeks, juxtaposed with sequin co-ords and flower crowns for an updated 80’s cult classic look, its clear that our trends are recycled from the past.
And there is nothing wrong from borrowing from the past, besides looking at my own personal style, while I might class myself as being a ‘part time mermaid’ and ‘unicorn at weekends’, it is clear that colourful sprinkles aside, my aesthetic is mostly inspired by 60’s mod culture (through Mary Quant esque micro mini skirts) and 70’s Nouveau bohemianism (with tropical floral maxi dresses and floppy hats). But what does ‘borrowing from the past’ have to do with trends that you need in your wardrobe this 2018 , I hear you ask? Well it’s simple; fashion eras are essentially re-cycled versions of decades past, or a direct retaliation against the previous eras, which means that fashion is either trying to reject trends from years past by ‘creating a trend that is the direct opposite’ (i.e. the 60’s mini skirt was a rejection of the modesty of the 50’s) or using that trend and updating it for modern consumption (i.e. the 70’s knee high boot is still popular today, but comes in more modern styles like a perspex heel, printed boots or new vegan fabrics like suedette and PVC). So in this case the four trends I have highlighted below are all examples of trends from the past that have been adopted into modern fashion culture and are trending in 2018. From looking into the lace trend, with a pop of yellow to accentuate the ‘summer fun vibe’ to re-vamping the humble playsuit and transforming it into a ‘all year round’ wearable item, here are four trends that you need in your wardrobe in 2018. Question is which outfit has your seal of approval?
1.The Green Vinyl PVC Skirt
The 1960’s cult classic has made the rounds once more, and the humble vinyl trend has exploded in 2018 with everyone from Kim Kardashian Kylie Jenner, wearing vinyl in the street style archives. While vinyl was originally discovered in 1926 by Waldo L. Semon (who accidentally discovered this compound while trying to form a synthetic rubber), Vinyl’s popularity is clearly rooted in the eccentricity of the sixties, where fashion designers like André Courréges introduced ‘space age couture to the masses’ , where vinyl fabrics were heavily featured as a ‘fashionable, outlandish trend to wear’ and was a direct contrast to the ‘prim conformity’ of the 1950’s. In England, the ‘Mod’ look also embraced the ‘vinyl trend’ and while Mary Quant is known for her A-line mini skirts in corduroy and suede, she also created ‘wet look mini skirts’ often paired with ‘go go boots’ and PVC or Vinyl raincoats, for that ‘Kings Road’ approved aesthetic that was so popular with the youth culture. Today vinyl has had a resurgence in popularity with everything from vinyl trousers ( as seen in the rise of the ‘Motocross trend ) to the always popular mini skirt, worn with fishnets and heels.
A plasticized form of PVC, vinyl is often used as a vegan and cruelty free alternative to leather, which as someone who does not wear any animal materials, has become a mainstay fabric in my wardrobe. This gorgeous green vinyl skirt with pearl buckle detail from Elvi is no exception; worn with a loose floral bodysuit, khaki fedora, fishnets and 60’s sandals, the aesthetic borderlines 60’s mod culture with a hint of psychotropicalism exemplified through the moody floral prints. Even if you are new to the ‘vinyl trend’ like me, don’t be afraid to jump into the deep end by choosing a ‘base’ colour that you are comfortable with (i.e. I chose green) and centering your ‘outfit’ around this colour for head to toe polished vinyl realness. While Elvi has inspired me to merge the 70’s and 60’s with a touch of 90’s grunge, vinyl can be easily modernized with motocross vinyl trousers and a slogan t shirt worn with trousers or for a more glam look go 50’s with a pink vinyl pleated midi skirt, faux leather jacket and blouse.
Trend Alert: Vinyl
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2.The Yellow Lace Dress
The origins of lace have often been disputed among historians who say that it has no ‘definitive origins’, although they do concur that lace as we ‘see it today’ most likely originated in the sixteenth century. And while the origins of lace in clothing might be mysterious, one thing is for certain and that is that ‘lace’ was particularly popular in the 1950’s, where midi dresses (a staple in 50’s wardrobes for formal wear) were etched with bobbin and needle lace, although modern variants- in part thanks to the popularity of ‘Self Portrait’s eponymous collection- use ‘eyelet’ and crochet lace, like the yellow lace dress above from Brand Attic, to add structure and definition to the 50’s inspired trend. Given a Frida Khalo inspired twist with a red flower crown and accentuated with a red vinyl belt and red heeled sandals, the neon yellow lace is still attuned to the 50’s midi dress and lace trend, but is given a modern edge with the inclusion of the neon yellow, most associated with the glamour of the 80’s neon craze, albeit a pared back version.
Yellow as a colour is often seen as a ‘scary colour’ to add into your wardrobe but there is no need to be afraid; after all not only is yellow proven to be a ‘mood boosting hue’ akin to getting your daily dose of sunshine, but it is also more wearable than you may think. For example, depending on the shade of yellow, whether it be pastel, lemon or neon, primary shades such as cobalt blue, pillarbox red and a jewel forest green, will add a touch of the rainbow into your wardrobe. And don’t worry if colour isn’t really your thing, even something as simple as a yellow lace headband, will allow you to gradually add colour into your wardrobe, to still be within your comfort zone. You don’t necessarily have to choose a 50’s inspired summer ‘yellow’ look like me either; go 60’s with a yellow pleather mini skirt, Mary Quant style, go 70’s with a yellow floral wrap over maxi dress or get down with it in the 90’s with a dungaree dress, accentuated with a mustard turtleneck and matching mustard Chelsea boots.
Trend Alert: Yellow
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3.The Floral Playsuit Re-Vamped
The playsuit needs no introduction: a mainstay in most people’s summer wardrobes, it is a modern misconception that playsuits cannot be worn all year round when the case is proven otherwise. Invented in the 1930’s as a ‘stylish piece’ of sportswear, playsuits as we know them today can be most commonly associated with 70’s , where women wore them on the ‘beaches’ , at the ‘parks’ and to swimming pools, most commonly made from casual fabrics like terrycloth and featuring a ‘tube boob’ style top or ‘bandeau’ as we might call these type of playsuits today. In the 1980’s playsuits were created in more styles and fabrics like sequins and tassels, which were akin to the ‘fun loving me-me’ aesthetic that the eighties were known for. After all noone wanted to fade into the background. The floral wrap over playsuit above from Select Fashion however is more similar to the types of playsuits that would have been worn in the 70’s, as accentuated by the black floppy hat, while the oriental floral print kimono borrows from the 90’s and the black perspex boots from the noughties, creating a multi-trend led generational look, that demonstrates how playsuits are not just suitable for the beach.
For example even if you were to take away the fishnets and boots, which makes it a more wearable look outside of the beach or swimming pool, another way that you could wear the playsuit all year round, would be to layer a turtleneck underneath and knee high boots, depending on your own personal preferences or era you most feel aligned to. You can see that my ‘layering’ techniques to re-vamp the playsuit for modern use borrows from the 70’s with a hint of noughties nostalgia, but a 50’s version can simply feature a cropped jacket or cardigan, with some ballerina pumps or court shoe heels.
Trend Alert: Playsuits All Year Round
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4.The Floral Culottes
Culottes was always a trend that I was so adamantly against, confused as to why someone would want to wear something that couldn’t decide which length it wanted to be, until one day everything changed. The tropical floral print pink culotte jumpsuit from Mela London above was well tailored and its awkward length was visibly more endearing than its predecessors that I had tried before, until gradually it crept up on me, that I had finally converted into the ‘culotte crowd’. And I am not the only one who has fallen prey to a culottes charms; the culottes can be traced back as far back as the French Revolution (circa 1789-1799), where trouser-wearing revolutionary soldiers were coined the ‘Sans Culottes’, (although culottes made a brief unspectacular appearance in the 1500’s too). Culottes as we see them today however are most associated with the 30’s when Elsa Schiaparelli wore her true undivided skirt, undisguised by panels or a wraparound skirt, in London during a trip to buy tweeds. The garment caused much controversy and was loudly condemned by the British press, but has been widely reputed to be a ‘zombie trend’ in fashion, as despite how much people call it the ‘marmite’ of each fashion era, each decade since the 30’s (especially the 70’s) has resurrected it in the most spectacular fashion, proving true fashion trends never die out.
What is even more remarkable about the humble culotte is not only its ability to strike up a conversation but also its importance as a socio-economic political tool within fashion. For example culottes are cited by Véronique Hyland, 2015, New York Times to have been worn by suffragists and female athletes who are believed to epitomize strength, whose desire to wear the culottes was apparently as a symbol of liberation from the patriarchy and its need to condition women into wearing dresses against their will. And while culottes are no longer seen as revolutionary in 2018, it is undoubtable that these trousers are comfortable, stylish and a reminder of our ancestors brave past.
Trend Alert: Culottes
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Which Trend Would You Add Into Your Wardrobe In 2018?
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