Having enjoyed and endured New York Fashion Week, I can conclusively announce that God is indeed a Baylor fan. I will walk that back a little as half-serious rather than declarative, as I would not be able to definitively answer the following questions that would naturally ensue: Does God care about college football? Does God care about fashion trends? Does God wear clothes? And if he does, does he love turtlenecks as much as I do?
Maybe I should use a statement of broader appeal and just say that to participate in spring 2019 fashion, one will require a lot of green and yellow (we can say gold, if you are of the sic ’em persuasion).
In fact, the runways and presentations were nothing but color. The assertive, unapologetic and often hallucinatory shades made the pastoral neutrals of seasons past seem like they could have never happened. At Rodarte, shocking colors of magenta and citron in layered tulle set an almost fairytale-like tone, with models painted in Technicolor makeup and cascading floral headpieces. Marc Jacobs leaned toward more cotton candy tones but contrasted the feminine elements like slip dresses and portrait collars with oversized ’80s blazers and shiny top hats. It seemed like a trippy “Alice in Wonderland” meets “Dynasty.” One look featured a sunshine yellow bracelet-sleeve leather coat with matching head wrap, which was styled playfully with studded gloves, a top handle box clutch and lamé tights, which felt both random and studied.
Also a contrast from fall, spring imagery left behind the ’70s flower child and ’60s Ivy League kid sailing in the Boston Harbor, introducing the contemporary, cool and extroverted girl in her stead. The American West has long been a darling of the fashion world but the pointed slouchy leather boot and fringed duster are nowhere to be found. Instead, like at Sally LaPointe, the vision pointed futuristic, pairing shiny, colorful, plaid cropped tops back to body skimming boucle skirts in a mismatched yet equally vibrant plaid. Another look featured a head-to-toe shorts look in neon magenta, finished with a transparent plastic trench coat in the same shocking hue.
Color with a capital C even found its way through the tributary categories of shoes, belts and accessories. Big pieces ruled, like multi-tiered hair-cum-ear accessories in colorful rhinestones at Zimmermann, dip-dyed concentric feathers in terracotta at Ulla Johnson and electric blue, bulbous platform shoes on cork edged in white rubber. Longview native turned celebrity and model favorite, Brandon Maxwell, featured three-quarter high stiletto boots in fire-engine red suede with a pink-and-white candy cane-like rope wrapping around the front. Color felt aggressive, punchy and shocking in contrast to the philosophical and physical spring with which we traditionally associate, when flowers gently bud, the earth slowly warms and leggy, shaky colts take their first steps.
It inevitably lends to the discussion and speculation of what informs a seismic, nearly uniform shift in the fashion consciousness. It could be just that spring hasn’t introduced anything very novel in several seasons. The more realistic answer is that it is a mix of optimism, of revolt, of politics, and of course, the enormous and constantly inflating pressure for artistic collections to produce commercial revenue. At least from our vantage point, we can see that at the end of this moody and dramatic season, the light is indeed bright at the end of the tunnel, and possibly shrouded in transparent PVC.