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From Skelts to Orbs: My Silliest (But Most Serious) Trend Predictions
I am deadly serious about only two things in life: trend predictions and karaoke.
This post was originally a Patreon bonus from last December—patrons get an extra (and extra wild) HR post every two weeks for $2/month—they’ll be getting three bonus posts this month, as I’m making this one public to spread my only-barely-hinged gospel. I’ll also be polling patrons as to whether or not they’d rather have the bonus posts as part of a $2 Substack tier than on Patreon, will keep you posted!
About once a season, I like to throw out a few guesses as to what the following season’s fashion tide will wash up. I make these guesses partially because it’s fun, in part because a monkey irreverently banging on a keyboard will eventually write a Bright Eyes song or whatever, and lastly, because trends are manifested by individuals with a sense of humor and bowels of steel, so who knows? One day I might accidentally get a bunch of tweenagers to dress like Kim Kitsuragi, and the world would be better for it!
I base my dart-throwing off a few factors:
What the people I follow on social media who always seem to be inexplicably ahead of the curve are wearing
The obvious trends as per the most recent fashion shows/SSENSE front-pagers
What would be the weirdest, funniest, most underdog trend (these are usually the most robust, see: Keens; gas station-style sunglasses; clear, wire-rim aviator glasses)
What I want to manifest into omnipresence!
I like sharing these predictions with you, my valued enablers, because you may not have considered some of them as having trend potential, you might be into one of them whether or not it ends up trending, or you may be one of those metal-colon heroes powerful enough to manifest a trend into existence, thereby further enabling me. Maybe you’ll also think they’re kind of funny. If you end up wearing any of them, please oh please let me know at email@example.com or on Instagram.
I hope this exercise is as rewarding for you as it is for me. And if you ever wanna go to karaoke with me, bring xanax, tissues, and an Amy Winehouse lyrics cheat sheet.
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When SSENSE suggested, at the very top of their “freaky festive” holiday dress guide, to wear a bathrobe to the function for an air of “nonchalance,” I literally laughed out loud. Nothing is more chalant than dressing like a goddamned J.D. Salinger character jovially partying while on suicide watch. But I like the pragmatic aspects of this choice: built-in towel for spills, warm but not too warm. I think the keys are A) choosing a dark-colored (less potential for nastiness) terrycloth (commits to the bit of wearing a bathrobe) robe B) I hope this one’s obvious, but not using a robe you wear while you’re wet because the idea of donning matted and stained terrycloth is truly a nightmare C) freaking the patterns to add visual interest and make things look a little more intentional.
I don’t like the robe SSENSE recommends at all for this purpose. It’s incredibly boring in its thundercloud colorway and… is that literally a newspaper print? Together, all these factors read as Divorced Man Gets Dragged Out On The Town Unwittingly-core. Here are some options that I think work better.
The logical next step after skirts over pants is skirt-as-belt, or belt-as-skirt, or the unfathomable term “skelt.” I first saw these at Collina Strada, where the options are much more fun and wearable than the famed Diesel iteration (seriously, is it possible to sit in this? Or do you just… stay upright while wearing it?). I think pleated and flouncy is the way to go, with a mid waist and short enough skirt portion that it would be illegal to wear sans pants in public, or else you might as well just be wearing a skirt + pants combo. Leather or lace corset-y styles tend to be cheaper because the cosplayers and steampunks have BEEN on this one for a while, and they could probably work if the rest of the outfit was sleek or sporty enough to not bring the skelt into poly ren faire frequenter territory (no offense to them, they’re living their best lives, just not the look I’m interested in!). Below, a few options.
Trendspotting credit goes to I <3 Mess, who has been talking about panniers on the runway and red carpets for months (my favorites being the Loewe SS23 show and, once again ahead of the curve, Collina—their stuff is sometimes a huge miss for me, but when it works, it really works). However, there are a few twists on panniers (in fashion, traditionally bulbous padding/cage-like structures around the hips) that I think could be ripe for future trends.
One is a pannier-ed pant, the other is an adaptation of another kind of pannier—the kind used on bicycles. Wouldn’t it be cute (and handy) to have what would essentially manifest as a double fanny pack, with one pouch on each hip? This look could also work with two layers of separate fanny packs, one positioned on each hip, which also nods to the alleged double-belt trend that I’ve seen going absolutely nowhere fast since the Miu Miu SS23 show that everyone except for me went feral over (or so it seemed, if you also hated that show, imagine me giving you a good-natured, fraternal punch on the shoulder). The sheer impracticality or superfluousness of the double-belt might be its core weakness, whereas a pannier situation is extremely practical and might in fact be the difference behind having to carry a bag in addition to a fanny pack or going fully hands-free. A few options for fanny pack pairings I’ve chosen are below.
Pearls ‘n’ Fuzz
I was enchanted by these Karo Koru necklaces upon coming across them through my job; the contrast of the orderly, sizable, perfectly spherical pearls sandwiching tufts of frizzy, multicolored mohair was delicious to me. However, I realized that A) the pearls aren’t real, which makes me nervous about their longevity and durability and B) this would be a very easy (and much cheaper) DIY. Below, some materials—I would do this by simply cutting off 1-2 inch lengths of a rainbow mohair yarn, tying each in a knot between two pearls on a (not too long, not too short, 15-16 inches is probably the length you’re going for. Not choker-strangulation-tight, but not dipping much lower than your collarbone) premade necklace, then fluffing them a little by pulling their strands apart just a bit.
Red Leather Loafers
Just trust me on this one. They look soooo cool with black socks and a black, knee-length slip or straight-draping skirt or some long black shorts. They look great with tights. They make black jeans or trousers less dour. They are happy but nuanced, sexy but can be restrained, appropriate for work, flights, dates, babysitting. They should be penny-style with the slitted strap, should not be lug-soled, and should veer towards fire engine or candy apple, not maroon or oxblood. See below.
Thick, Round Sunglasses
They’re coming back around. HR’s most-loved post is still How to Dress Like Kim Kitsuragi, and I think that says something. The musts: a centimeter or larger-ish (I’m obviously just eyeballing it) thick rim made of black plastic. No wire rims here. The really challenging thing here is size: too small and you go full John Lennon in an instant, too big and you look like an ant. A couple potential Goldilocks options (though, of course, it all depends on your face’s size and what you’re into) are below.
The garter belt was absorbed into shirts and rendered an aesthetic, as opposed to practical, object by Dion Lee in the past year or so, but I wonder if thigh garters could maintain both facets. They could add shape strapped over puffy pants, peek out from under a skelt layered with bike shorts, connect to a top via chains or something… Or they could just be a cute vintage secret under your skirt. Or hold a knife, *if that’s legal in your state/country!* :)
Since tabis are verifiably fashion-mainstream now, I wouldn’t be surprised if people turned to one of the actual shoes worn with the tabi socks that inspired Margiela. Geta are wooden platforms balanced on two wooden blocks and held to the foot with a fabric thong. They seem hard to walk in, but actually, I had a pair that I got in Japan almost a decade ago and the way the blocks are placed under the foot makes taking steps feel very easy. It felt like I was propelled forward with each step.
I’m not explaining this well, but basically, I like the geta construction and always get excited when I see shoes with this kind of platform! Trippen is always a good bet for shoes that take the geta shape and turn it into something both traditional and futuristic, avoiding any cosplay vibes. I don’t thiiiink it’s weird for non-Japanese people to wear geta, as they aren’t sacred garments (they were often used pragmatically, like to keep one’s feet out of the rain), but if you know better than me, feel free to let me know! Picks impending (and many options for all genders via my beloved Trippen):
I dunno, I just thought the idea of basically a neck brace, but fashion, or somehow just the neck of a turtleneck, maybe studded or bedazzled, maybe hewn from leather or chains, maybe knit, sky’s the limit. Or, I guess, chin’s the limit. Sorry. We are winding down now!! First, an example:
I adored the big pearly eggs carried as purses by Simone Rocha models in their SS23 show, and remember that meme? Basically, what I’m saying is, wouldn't it be wild if people walked around carrying full-sized orbs under their arms to crack open like walnuts every time they wanted to grab a pack of gum or their keys? Until that glorious day, guess we can settle for Simone’s eggs.
Let me know if any of these probably doomed trend ideas pop up around you or influence your wardrobe!
All the very best to you.