If we’ve learned anything from 2017’s wild and wacky fashion, it’s to expect the unexpected. Austere minimalism went out the window in favor of a magpie-like love of glitz, glamour, and granny-chic style. Artists outpaced musicians as the coolest collaborators. And a new crop of models brought their outsize personalities to the catwalks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris.
Even in this time of change, we’re putting our money on nine trends that will dominate fashion in 2018. And if they don’t, well, don’t worry—we’ll be the first to tell you.
KiraKira clothing is the new naked dress.
Sexiness has a new form. Rather than reveal, 2018’s best frocks will conceal the body in a maelstrom of sequins and shine. Championed by London upstart Michael Halpern, the KiraKira-friendly look gained traction at Paco Rabanne, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, and Dior. The future is bright.
Art collaborations are the new music collaborations.
The merch-mania that ruled 2017 will give way to a new kind of collaboration in 2018: the upgraded art-fashion pairing. At Calvin Klein, Raf Simons made headlines by including Andy Warhol screen prints in his Spring 2018 collection. That turned out to be the beginning of a multiyear collaboration between the brand and the Warhol Foundation, a partnership that promises to test the boundaries between fashion and art. Over at Gucci, Alessandro Michele, too, has embraced the power of fine art. Rather than book an A-list photographer, Michele asked artist Ignasi Monreal to paint Gucci’s Spring 2018 campaign. The results are otherworldly. And as with many trends, you can bet that where Simons and Michele go, others will follow.
Scrunchies are the new dad hats.
Was every cool girl in your feed wearing a fitted dad cap in 2017? You weren’t alone. Yet we bet that by summertime next year, those embroidered hats will be replaced by another throwback accessory: the scrunchie. Seen in Balenciaga and Mansur Gavriel’s recent collections, the chunky hair accessories are poised to become a popular post-ironic piece of flair among twentysomethings.
Cargo pants are the new jeans.
“Denim has had a slowdown,” MatchesFashion.com’s buying director Natalie Kingham recently told Vogue. Are you surprised? Over the course of 2017 everything that could possibly happen to a pair of jeans did—including being deconstructed to their bare seams. In denim’s wake, a new look has emerged. Loose, comfortable cargo pants in camouflage, khaki, and army green have been spotted everywhere from the Sacai runway to the Vogue office. Even Kaia Gerber is wearing them, meaning this trend has legs.
Jolie-laide sneakers are the new Stan Smiths.
Adidas’s Stan Smith has reigned supreme as the coolest sneaker for upward of two years, but that trend was upended in 2017 with the rise of ugly-pretty kicks. Balenciaga’s weighty Triple S sneakers led the pack, followed by Prada’s neon scuba shoe, Loewe’s elfin suede sneakers, and Yeezy’s Wave Runners. Then again, the pendulum might swing back to Stans soon—Vetements has plans to release a Stan Smith–inspired shoe this winter.
Mashed-up prints are the new shocking pink.
We need optimism and happiness now more than ever. In 2017 that meant an abundance of floaty pink frocks from Rejina Pyo, Valentino, and Céline. This coming spring, pink will still be going strong, but we’ll see a new trend emerging too: Ultra-clashing prints in a range of bright colors. At Marni, Francesco Risso mashed up florals and plaids, and the street style set has already been remixing optic florals-on-florals.
The micro purse is the new fanny pack.
We’re calling our favorite new bags the “carry-nothings.” So small you can barely fit a credit card inside, these teensy totes already have the celebrity stamp of approval. Rihanna, who started 2017’s fanny pack trend, has been seen carrying Jacquemus’s petite purse around Barbados.
Coed runway shows are the new see-now-buy-now.
Remember when see-now-buy-now was fashion’s hottest buzzword? In 2018, that will be replaced by coed. Following Gucci’s move early this year, over a dozen fashion brands have announced that they will be blending their men’s and women’s shows. With tired notions of gendered fashion going by the wayside, this is a phenomenon we expect to stick around for a while.
Cool girls are the new Insta-girls.
Social media stars and the high-cheekboned sons and daughters of A-listers will always have a place in the fashion world, but 2017 saw a new crop of cool-girl models rise to the top. Take Sophie Koella, the French-American model who had never walked a runway when we met her in 2016. This year, she became a muse to Chloé’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi and a fashion world mainstay without losing any of her vivacious charm. Alongside Koella are models like Selena Forrest and Grace Hartzel, whose personal style and energy seep into their modeling work. “I cast girls with strong personality,” says Dior’s artistic director, Maria Grazia Chiuri. “That’s what I want. I’m very happy that now there are a lot of models that have really strong personalities.”