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The '80s Will Be The Biggest Trend of 2017

Marc Jacobs was on to something when he threw a recent party in Brooklyn with a wildly specific dress code that started with the mandate of "Chic '80s." Apparently, in 2017 we'll all be wearing 1980s-inspired clothing, at least according to two of the latest analytical forecasts of next year's trends.

It all sort of makes a bit of sense. We'll have a controversial celebrity turned Republican politician in the White House. Popular music is as synth-heavy as it's ever been since that decade. People are actually excited about new Star Wars movies. Stranger Things is the most buzzed about show of the year. Makeup on men is an even bigger trend than it was during the glam rock heyday. Heck, Hollywood is even rebooting Dynasty.

According to Pinterest's in-house analytic team, the '80s trend isn't about to die down. According to WWD, the team has analyzed the trends that have seen the most year-over-year pinning growth over the past year and that seem primed to peak in 2017. Among their forecasts is the belle sleeve top silhouette taking over the off-the-shoulder look, an even more heated interest in flair (as in things like stickers and pins), and, of course, more '80s.

"Other big shifts were in political Ts (no surprise there), backless shoes — and not just the mule — and multiple earrings," writes WWD. "That goes hand-in-hand with the popularity of Eighties-style trends, such as high-tops, peg legs and denim skirts."

"The 1980s will be huge — everything from power suits and slouchy tailored trousers for office wear, through to off-the-shoulder looks, activewear and [over-the-top] ruffles".

So, while there are some disagreements as to the fate of off-the-shoulder tops, both agree that '80s are in.

Which isn't a surprise. Designers have packed recent collections with '80s details. Hedi Slimane's last collection for Saint Laurent saw more dramatic shoulders since the series finale of Dynasty, and other designers followed suit with Reagan-era stylings in their Spring 2017 collections.

Li Edelkoort, the Danish consultant widely regarded as the master of all fashion trend prognosticators, also sees fashion's increasing obsession with trends of the past as well, but she's not happy about it. In a recent talk in London, Edelkoort decided to forgo a traditional trend-setting talk, and instead delivered a stern chiding of fashion's recent practices.

According to Business of Fashion, she pointed out that designers of the past made their names by creating radically new silhouettes and types of clothing, while too many today rely on simply reinventing old ideas from the past.

“These categories of designers are working on clothes and are no longer concerned or interested in change for change’s sake – unanimously declaring newness a thing of the past," Edelkoort said. “With this lack of conceptual innovation, the world is losing the idea of fashion.”

Which does make a certain amount of sense. Why head to the department store to find the latest trend when you can just as easily find it in the thrift store?


Whether you have been avidly following fashion news for the last few years or occasionally reading over it for the last few months, it’s unlikely – let’s go ahead and say impossible – that you missed the Vetements phenomenon, or the phenomenon that is Vetements. Since its first collection in 2014, its sudden popularity and rapid ascent has resulted in a consistent and unique influence. Now granted Vetements’ head designer and spokesperson Demna Gvasalia’s previous design experience before this sudden rise included senior responsibilities for Maison Margelia and Louis Vuitton (under Marc Jacobs). But considering the time it generally takes for designers to bubble up to such popularity, it’s hard to believe that Vetement’s iconic pullover hoodie debuted exactly this time two years ago. It’s perhaps even harder to believe that these hoodies are sold for close to $1200 and that they pretty much sell like hotcakes.

VĂȘtements Fall/Winter 2016 show, Paris (by Regis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION)

Even as this is being published, there is no denying the sweeping impact Vetements continues to have on the fashion industry. So much so that designers at New York Fashion Week have bought into the youthful and street-inspired ways of the Paris-based label.

Yeezy by Kanye West Season 4, New-York (Courtesy of PR)

The unofficial first day of NYFW saw Kanye drop the first hoodie of the season – but that was possibly to be expected, even if it did sway away from an ominous, black hue. Either way, it was well present, elongated sleeves and all, further validating the hoodie as a catwalk staple. Some might even go as far as saying – when observing the different Yeezy Seasons – that Mr. West re-appropriated it as a staple for his own designs.

VFiles ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2017 show, New-York (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)

Just a few hours later, at Vfiles, it was Ground Zero who used the street-inspired silhouette as a vehicle for front-and-center graphics (namely a bright and bold anime design) and accentuated the waist to highlight the extra volume floating around. A new twist was there, agreed, but so was the clearly recognizable influence.

Tommy Hilfiger ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York (by Elizabeth Pantaleo for NOWFASHION)

And even when the lines of that specific oversized design are not as easily (or immediately) identifiable, the fact that such a simple – and until then considered by many overly basic – piece of clothing has infiltrated so many collections can probably be credited to Vetements’ influence. In fact, it’s hard to recall any other particular piece of clothing that has transcended the high-low paradigm in such a way: referencing and appropriating the once racially and socially charged garment and catapulting it onto the torsos of models and bloggers alike. Such, for instance, was the case at Tommy Hilfiger’s show Thursday night, where for various reasons it felt most out of place, yet somehow worked because of how familiar it felt – in part probably due to the fact that nowadays we often see models wearing a hoodie while “off duty." Gigi Hadid closed the show in a long-sleeve hoodie with the iconic throwback Hilfiger color codes, but not before showing a strictly Vetements-inspired piece with side sleeve slogan statements.

left: Baja East Spring/Summer 2017 show, New-York / right: Band of Outsiders Spring/Summer 2017 show, New-York (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)

Today was no exception either and the list of designers who continue to fuel the hoodie’s notoriety grew a little longer as both Baja East and Band of Outsiders incorporated similar styles – or at the very least variations of it – in their collections. So for the time being, it’s safe to assume the hoodie is set to reappear as the week unfolds, and that Vetements’ ripple will continue to travel across certain of NFWS’s shows. What isn’t all that certain, however, is whether designers will actually be able to continue selling basic pieces at such high-end price tags.

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