AW19 STREETWEAR TRENDS ON OUR RADAR
All summer long, we’ve been hearing about how streetwear’s done and fashion’s entering its post-streetwear period. While it’s the case definitely on runways, streetwear’s sudden and rapid explosion doesn’t mean that everyone’s putting on suits and leaving their hoodies at home. Rather, streetwear-rooted brands have taken a back-to-basics approach, parodying, reorganising, and revisiting older trends with a more skeptical eye.
Whether with parody logos or intentionally baggy, form-obscuring fits, the streetwear we knew 20 years ago was reactionary, intentionally appropriating something mainstream or high-end and turning it into a subculture statement or diluting it down to its trashier, tarnished aspects. Although that momentum in many regards has slowed down, especially where bigger-name brands are concerned, it’s not completely obsolete. Case in point, ironic ‘90s preppy style. The question begins with, “If the suit’s up for grabs, why not everything else?” Indeed, another faction of fashion perceived to be high class is ripe for being reworked and regurgitated for the individual who’d never intentionally set foot in a country club. With brands like NOAH and Beams Plus leading the way, the trend comes back as rugby and polo shirts, sweater vests, and double-breasted blazers, mixed up amongst ‘70s-esque maroons and golden rod, pastels, and neon hues. Indirectly, it’s a thumbed nose toward traditional menswear, and intentionally shows that even classics can turn into eyesores.
Shirt-jacs, cotton canvas, and heavily-pocketed clothing? Yeah, it’s kind of tired. For real authenticity (and another way to incorporate neon), hi-vis gear and technical fabrics are having their moment. If you’ve studied construction workers as you’re passing through a work zone, you know exactly what we mean: orange, yellow, or bright green, in solid shades, with reflective strips. As well, in line with the whole working-outdoors inspo, PVC, synthetics, and coated nylon pull directly from classic water-resistant and waterproof materials without looking like they belong on a hiker or in The Matrix. For inspiration, check out Adsum’s and Patta’s AW19 collections to see what we mean.
Right now, “Bad Guy” hitmaker Billie Eilish is everyone’s fashion icon – male or female – whether you want to admit it or not. The singer’s stage presence proves that baggy, extremely spacious fits in swaggy prints can envelope and obscure every body shape, and regardless of how unflattering they appear, can seem pretty darn comfy. After all, if it works on the stage, why not at the pub? Of course, Eilish is far from the first and only proponent of this look, and unisex fashion has picked up steam and professional clout over the past five years. This trend, then, is more of a cultural intersection based on a lightly regressive concept: Not all unisex wear has to be wide-legged trousers, thigh-length T-shirts, and drop-shoulder hoodies, regardless of whether they’re solid or splashed in large prints. Still, though, the juxtaposition proves that hypebeast behaviour and tastes don’t always run along gendered lines.
Tie-dye tees are an inevitable and perhaps banal ‘90s revival. On the other hand, the recent @mattttttttter x Filling Pieces FW19 collaboration – a 50-piece custom-dyed effort titled 'New World' – shows that this technique adds a mottled, marled (and somewhat mature) appearance to everything – hoodies, sweatpants, and even trainers. Adding to the exclusiveness in this case, the process involving peach, navy, and forest green shades results in a unique look every time.
The 10.Deep x Akila collaboration got us thinking: Beyond all the classics, geometric frames have been this summer’s most prominent trend. Whether you go small for some Bad Bunny vibes or prefer them bright and oversized, perhaps influenced by the summer’s Elton John biopic, it’s really all about the angles, and secondarily, high contrasts and neon shades elevate them into statement territory. And, as a bonus, this style tends to flatter all face shapes – square to round – assuming you pick a proportional size.
On the Trails
Are we still using gorpcore as a term? Perhaps a couple years into this ongoing trend, it’s a bit dated – much like the concept of dad fashion. With the novelty worn off, higher waists, lighter washes, and oversized button-downs, plus a pair of accompanying chunky trainers, are all part of streetwear parlance. They’re just how casual clothing is now done. Too, fleece, anoraks, and parkas have shed their gaudy, occasionally metallic exteriors. These days, they simply exist – no retro camping trip imagery needed. Perhaps as the point where practicality overtakes cheeky irony, tech features are no longer extras – they’re the entire reason to buy the product. After all, if you’re going to splurge on that coat, it better do something.
Skinnies Are Out
Unless they’re skin-tight, spray-ons. Middle-of-the-road slim fits seem to be for the unexceptional frat boys out there, and at the other end, the wider-cut jean is gaining ground amongst both streetwear and high-fashion crowds. Although it’s easy to dismiss it as another ‘90s throwback – after all, this fit predominated all the way through the early aughts – it’s a bit more structured this time, with no bunching or bagging around the ankles. Rather, strive for a mid or even high rise, and at the end, the approaching-bell bottoms fit should still have clear angles right where the cuffs hit your shoes. And, it’s no sin to show a bit of ankle: A cropped cut makes it clear you have a touch more confidence.