Keeping Up with the trends: If there’s one overarching message from the Fall 2018 shows, it’s that fashion is changing. Menswear and womenswear are being presented together on the runways, brands are questioning the very notion of seasons (hello, Moncler), and the designer revolving door keeps spinning. Just as we were taking our seats at Chloé in Paris, we learned that Riccardo Tisci is in at Burberry, though we’re still waiting to hear who will fill Kim Jones’s prodigious shoes at Louis Vuitton men’s.
But the world is changing, too, and it’s doing so at an arresting clip. Time’s Up, #MeToo, Everytown for Gun Safety, NeverAgain, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and many more activist organizations are dominating conversations in America and abroad. Fashion can’t ignore the world around it, especially when people of all strokes are becoming more and more inspired to use their appearances as a form of visual protest—from the black dresses at the Golden Globes to the orange bandannas of Everytown.
So, what to do on the runways? In many ways, this season seemed to be one less about the actuality of a garment and more about the person inside it. Do you need to feel safe? Try a shaggy faux fur from Givenchy or some reflective gear in radioactive colors from Prada. Are you desperately trying to stay optimistic? A shimmery, jingly dress from Paco Rabanne or a bold flashback to the better-days ’80s by Tom Ford could do the trick. Unity was represented by a team spirit at Versace, while the freedom and potential of the American West was evoked at Calvin Klein and Coach.
In the end, though, the season’s most arresting trend might be the most obvious. Or maybe essential is a better word, with designers taking up the call for a new practicality. You could call it the Philo effect, but that would be doing a disservice to labels like Lemaire and The Row, which have been peddling this kind of luxurious nonchalance for years. When everything’s gone haywire, don’t you just want a coat that makes you feel strong, a dress that lets you feel powerfully sexy, or a shirt that turns up your mood to 11, no bells or whistles attached? The luxury of the everyday can be solace in “time’s like these.”