In the rarified land of the fashion runway, the audience is on pins and needles looking for trends. What will catch fancies and open wallets next season? Could anyone possibly wear that flamboyant bit of whatsit? Is that thing even a look? Cast a critical eye on a few designer ideas that showed up during fashion weeks on runway after runway, like mushrooms after a rain.
A human foot and ankle has 26 bones and 33 ligaments. Every single one of them was cringing in horror at the pedestals - not platforms - strapped to the feet of Proenza Schouler, Erdem, Gareth Pugh, Guo Pei, and Salvatore Ferragamo runway models. The ones that lack "heels" are called "flatforms" and will boost you up to higher realms without the angled instep. You can't stride, saunter, run, or even walk in kicks that start about 4 to 6 inches above the ground. You can clomp, you can totter, you can break your neck - a broken ankle is a bonus. Wear foot-shaped pedestals if you are worried about the seas rising due to global warming, and you live in Miami Beach. But remember: Barefoot is a thing. Your grounded feet will thank you.
Plastic in Paris
New fashion label: "I was once a plastic bottle." Or a garbage bag. Designers in Paris and elsewhere found new uses for pesky, won't-break-down-in-a-landfill plastic to encase your ever-on-trend form. From Mugler, a window-clear raincoat over a maximum see-thru mini-skirt were layered over a barely-there white body suit. Yeezy debuted clear plastic waaay-over-the-knee high-heel boots in New York. You could pair them with a Narciso Rodriguez black-trash-bag leather or pleather rainy-day poncho jacket or a voluminous evening skirt or asymmetrical-hem midi for evening. How about a floor-length dry cleaning bag formal from Moschino's Milan show for your prom? If that seems a bit too steamy, just wear garbage. A luxe made-from-landfill blouson over a bunched black-trash-bag-wannabe cocktail skirt, topped off by a salvaged-tissue-box fascinator, is pure recycled chic. Quelles ordures!
Le Ruching Gets Les Raspberries
You know that fancy sewing technique when you flute, ruffle and loop tiny gathers in fabric in a repeat pattern? Ruching. You get lots of decorative pleats and tucks that add detail and volume to your look. On second thought, if your look isn't perennially undernourished, why would you want to add volume - and then draw even more attention to your ruched waistline or derriere with detail? But there it was - Versace in shiny sapphire for drama queens, MSGM with glammed-up athleisure, Marni with a little day dress in sea foam - each garment a sort of clothing-shaped textile work of art. So hang it on a wall where you can admire it safely because, yes, it does make your butt look big.
The Knee-Length Sleeve
Casual and relaxed only take you so far. But men's fashion designers are going to extremes with sleeve lengths only Godzilla could love. J.W. Anderson sent a chill to the hearts of glove manufacturers everywhere with his oversize sleeves on sweaters, coats, and jackets. Ryohei Kawanishi's Landlord 2017 fall collection will keep you warm way past your fingertips with a tan trench or a fluffy pink giant bunny slipper of an overcoat sporting lots of extra yardage in the sleeves. Try to imagine finessing a basket of Buffalo wings with push-waaay-up-fall-right-back-down-sleeves. Not happening. Stick to knuckle-duster sleeves and treat yourself to a pair of mittens.
Sun's Out, Buns Out
That's a runway fashion tagline - and so are your glutes if you pick up this trend. Extreme short-shorts have been trying to bust out for a couple of seasons, and they just don't go away. This is fine if you are Gigi Hadid's long-lost identical twin, a dedicated jock, a spin-cycling teen, or a 20-something with a major jones for all-the-time toning. First, you need the genes for a great butt then you need the discipline to sculpt it. Only then do you dare to wear the "cheeky" no-inseam excuse for a bottom covering that fails to veil. Men and women get equal-opportunity under-butt reveals from Acne Studios, Christopher Shannon, and Tommy Hilfiger. Hey, Lady Gaga rocked under-butt and under-boobs at the Grammies. But it's trendy, darling, so revisit your plaid Bermudas or just grab a caftan and hide your hip flexors if your back flaps don't measure up.
Are we really going there again? Defensive-tackle deltoids advertise your personal power. Get them from Ferragamo, Jil Sander and DSquared2 with super-padded shoulders, statement or balloon sleeves or waaay off-the-shoulder sleeves with cuffs that dangle past your quads. Or wimp out. Massive shoulder pads and leg-o-mutton sleeves seriously interfere with your cross-body chain or shoulder bag. Not to mention the tricky contortions of getting in and out of your coat. Stand up straight, stick your chest out, maybe pump a little iron, and show a little toned upper arm instead.
Granny Made Me Do It
You are the most fashion-forward dude in the 'hood. And, Sweetums, that shade of pink in your outerwear chiffon flowered robe is so flattering next to your skin. But the knit pink pussy hat? Gotta go. Balmain, Topman Design, Gucci, J.W. Anderson - okay, you could call some of the loose lab-coat-like layers "dusters" or le smoking but let's face it, a lot of them look like bathrobes. Your vintage granny's bathrobe. Show your solidarity with the women who love you by borrowing their eyeliner, not their lounge wear. Your well-cut dress, your snappy skirt with that jacket and tie - very sharp. But a flowered duster? As daywear? Street style? Hmmmm. Your granny is a wise and formidable woman. She is not your fashion guru. In this one thing you have to man-up, risk the inheritance and say: Sorry, granny. And may I have another slice of your to-die-for apple pie?
No one will want to run their hands through your hair when it's tricked out with product like the aftermath of a finger in an electric socket. Sometimes what happens on the runway stays on the runway, y'know? Laurent Philippon is the go-to guy for wild and wacky Fashion Week coiffures, but let his art be inspirational, not aspirational for you. A Statue of Liberty tiara of spikes, pink braids that wrap around your jaw like a pre-WWII remedy for toothache, an eruption of hair like a Yellowstone geyser, an impenetrable nest atop your noggin - possibly a habitat for Bald Eagle eggs, wind-whipped strands of stiffly gelled locks in suspension, improbable colors painted on oiled squiggles of the glorious pelt plastered to your scalp - these are breathtaking excursions into fantasy that will not fit under a hat or, occasionally, not through a door. Rock trendy tresses if you are a rockstar. Get a good, serviceable haircut if you are not.
It's Your Thing
Resistance T-shirts, ripped jeans, thigh-slit floor-length evening skirts made entirely from the wings of the mythical Ītzpāpālōtl butterfly, anything can catch fire and burst into the trend du jour. Keep an eye on the runway to stay on the cutting edge. And if you discover that neon-pink or fungi-green ultra shaggy fun fur coat makes you look like a par-boiled yeti, step right out of that cab, chin up, eyes forward, and work it for the crowd, baby. It's your runway and you set your own trends. Do what you wanna do.