Trends — they're everywhere, aren't they? Social media trends, food trends, technology trends and of course, fashion trends. There's millions of them — spring/summer fashion trends, fall/winter fashion trends, fashion trends we love, fashion trends we want to die, fashion trends that are dead already. There's even companies that'll predict fashion trends for you. Nowadays, the world spins so fast that it feels like there's a new fad born every minute (Highsnobiety's newest favorite is #officecore).
Here, we're going to look into our crystal ball and see what will be the year's biggest fashion trends. 2017 is only just kicking off of course, and some fads are so huge that they'll be familiar to hardcore Highsnob readers, but there's still a few vibes that are on the verge of breaking out this year.
Here's what's defining the fashion conversation right now — the fashion trends we predict for big things in 2017.
Fashion trends come and go, but the one defining, overarching theme that dominates the conversation right now is street luxe, aka the collision of streetwear and high fashion. Every fashion week, every runway, every city street is awash with sneakers, hoodies and caps, and designers at every price point are producing their own interpretations of streetwear. What was once a niche culture on the fringe of the system is now the de facto aesthetic for labels all over the globe — whether it's DIY projects run out of kids' bedrooms or million-dollar luxury houses.
Of course, some labels have more authenticity than others — when it comes to streetwear, the underdog will always win — but it's impossible to deny that streetwear has completely conquered the runways. Louis Vuitton's FW17 collaboration with Supreme completely obliterated the last remaining barrier keeping the two worlds apart. The biggest luxury house in the world — which previously sued Supreme for appropriating its logo — officially linked with the biggest streetwear brand in the world. It was a gunshot symbol that the worlds of luxury fashion and streetwear are one and the same — the only difference now is the price point.
It seems stupid to even call it a trend at this point, but it's a state of affairs that doesn't look like it'll change anytime soon.
This one's just for the die-hard fashion crowd. Extra-long belts were everywhere at the SS17 menswear shows in New York, as the Big Apple's designers wrapped their models in chains, classic leather and brightly-colored nylon. Meanwhile, Vetements' SS17 multi-collab bonanza in Paris had XXXL-length belts flailing all over the runway. It might not be the most practical of trends — does your belt gets stuck in doors? — but it's a dope styling move regardless.
Fashion is a global language, and over the past few years we've seen flourishing streetwear scenes emerging all over the world. The most exciting fashion designers right now hail from the former Soviet Union, Korean brands are killing it, and every week we're spotlighting new talent from far and wide in our Under the Radar series.
21st-Century designers are harnessing the power of social media to take their visions to the global stage, and people from London to Lagos are able to communicate and consume street culture at the touch of a button. Labels like Gosha Rubchinskiy and Ader Error are so alluring to Western viewers because they translate familiar motifs in a way that's new and unfamiliar.
Let's hope that the pace of streetwear's globalization doesn't slow down; it's been an absolute joy to see the entire world getting involved in our beloved culture. In a world that's spiraling into tribalism and "us vs them" narratives, that spirit of global unity is more important than ever.
We first reported on streetwear's new-found taste for motorsports back in October, and while it's yet to hit the mainstream, we're predicting big things for this one. Supreme and Palace both toyed with racing pieces for SS17, but Berlin style mag 032c's recent drop of motorcross-style streetwear was the most convincing effort we've seen so far. This one's still pretty niche, but here's a selection of motorsports-inspired gear that's available now.
Unsightly, beastly sneakers that are gargantuan in proportion, clunky in silhouette, and garish in color-combo are one of the biggest fashion trends on the street style circuit right now. In fact, the more offensive and visually assaulting your footwear, the better. Raf Simons has long loved the clunky, awkward sneaker and his ongoing collaboration with adidas Originals never disappoints.
Now, the trend is catching fire. Balenciaga dropped the ‘Triple S’ sneakers for FW17, and the luxury French house, helmed by Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia, characterizes the orthopedic kicks as “real, heavy-duty, high fashion-spec footwear.” That’s a bit of a mouthful for what is basically an eyesore.
Yeezy Season 5 also indulged in angular steez in a big way, and Kanye West unveiled a new YEEZY runner silhouette featuring retro-inspired tech details and a hefty shape. We might have already foretold the rise of trail sneakers, but this trend is still on track and a long way off the finish line.
Heritage workwear had a huge moment back in the #menswear era, but modern-day utility gear is generating a buzz with fashion-forward labels at the minute. DONDA and Been Trill affiliate Heron Preston's debut collection featured heavy-duty construction clips and hi-vis orange, and last year he resurrected some NY sanitation uniforms, too. Preston's former colleague Matthew Williams dropped some luxed-out Dickies workwear with Alyx Studio x fragment design, and Virgil Abloh hit a trending double-whammy with Off-White's extra-long industrial belts, too.
In the grand scheme of things, this currently isn't one of the biggest fashion trends. 2017 will see a lot more nu-workwear vibes, though, if our crystal ball is to be believed.
The Rave Wave
The swirling whirlpool of fashion trends that is the New York scene is currently dabbling with rave, gabber and techno-inspired looks — goggle shades, parachute pants, massive cybergoth boots, that kinda thing. The raver shades from Gosha Rubchinskiy's recent Retrosuperfuture collab have been a smash hit on the streets of NY, but like so many of the weirdo subcultures New York spits out — remember seapunk? — this one might not make it's way anywhere near the mainstream. That's kinda the point, though.
New York has an amazing ability to create weirdo aesthetics every minute, even if they're so niche that only a handful of people ever actually take part in them.
This is one of the more obscure fashion trends 2017 has birthed so far, but we're expecting to see a lot more from it this year.
Refusing to wear your jacket properly was one of the biggest fashion trends to hit the street style circuit last year, and the styling move has infected other wardrobe staples too – even the hoodie. Admittedly, wearing a jacket nonchalantly off the shoulders and exposing yourself to winter’s cruel elements is entirely non-practical, but the half-on, half-off look isn’t going anywhere.
It’s a ridiculously easy of accentuating whatever you’re wearing underneath your outerwear, while redrawing a new silhouette that a conventional way of dressing would never provide. While the disheveled vibe isn’t for everyone, it’s a fun and easy way to play with what you already have. What works best? A slouchy puffer jacket worn half-on over a statement hoodie is a killer street style fave.
Given the puffer jacket’s winter-beating, insulating benefits, it’s safely positioned on the practical end of the trend totem pole for those weary of the elements raging outside. We first touted this trend way back in 2015, and it's still far from waning. Though the puffer jacket has been repeatedly rehashed on the runways over the last two seasons, its proportions are getting bigger and bigger — largely thanks to Raf Simons' Twin Peaks inspired FW16 collection and Demna Gvasalia’s debut Balenciaga collection, which continued high fashion's embrace of the overblown puffer.
Aside from offering winter protection, the jacket’s cropped cut allows better mobility than a longer overcoat or parka, and its oversized shape will bulk up your frame – making it ideal for those with slimmer physiques. The puffer has gone from a staple among ‘90s hip-hop style aficionados and a must-have for Supreme’s youthful disciples (the brand has offered a regular rotation of puffers for years) to one of the most popular Fall/Winter fashion trends going.
We may be in the beginning of the Spring/Summer 2017 season, but the puffer jacket's recent reincarnation as a luxury fashion mainstay ensures this outerwear trend a long shelf life to come.
The orange lining of a MA-1 bomber jacket is arguably what makes the piece such an icon of menswear, and given its heavy rotation as of late, it’s no surprise that the color has encroached into trend territory too. Upstart label VLONE, comprised of A$AP Rocky, A$AP Bari and CLOT’s Edison Chen, has made orange their aesthetic stamp and the hue is writ large across the brand’s latest offerings. The color has also appeared in hyped releases from Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Vetements. Then, there’s the Supreme x The North Face’s FW16 collaboration, which was riddled with hi-vis orange.
Vibrant orange is surprisingly versatile, and though it’s a sucker punch of a color to co-opt into your everyday look, it’s a sure-fire way to guarantee statement style. Trend-setting industry insiders are still flexing the color all over the recent fashion weeks, so it's safe to say that hi-vis orange will continue to be a one of the the year's ongoing fashion trends. 2017 might be all about orange, but given that YEEZY Season 5 was teeming with burgundy, could it be the next shade to reach trending status?
The side-bag has come a long way from its relegated place on the front of middle-aged, bewildered Midwestern tourists to a classic emblem of the contemporary “roadman” uniform. This criminally underrated accessory can carry all those small, stray essentials without disturbing the clean lines of your silhouette like a bulky backpack would.
Predictably, high fashion labels have followed suit to offer luxe and obscenely expensive takes on the humble waist bag. SS16 saw the likes of Valentino, Lemaire, and Carven all rework the once reviled accessory, and Louis Vuitton’s endlessly hyped collaboration with Supreme featured a sumptuous leather bag stamped with Supreme’s iconic box logo.
The side bag is especially useful during the hotter months, when you don't have jacket pockets to stash your gear, so we're predicting the humble accessory will be one of the bigger Spring/Summer fashion trends when the next round of shows rolls around in June.
Pretty much every major label has tried digesting a gamut of fashion trends born on the internet — normcore, health goth and every other Tumblr-born strain in between have enjoyed rotation on the runways at some point. Now, as sportswear and streetwear reach saturation point, it’s no surprise that some parts of the industry are returning of traditional tailoring and business casual clothing. We’ve unpacked the trend in detail, and christened it #officecore. It’s hard to imagine the street style set ditching sportswear silhouettes for the fruity garb of a Pitti Peacock anytime soon. However, the off-kilter, boxy formal steez pioneered by the likes of Balenciaga, Hood By Air and Gosha Rubchinskiy has set the agenda for dressed-down tailoring. Gosha Rubchinskiy's FW17 show opened with a loose-sleeved button-down shirt worn with a square-knit tie and skinny-belted trousers, and it was the designer’s most polished moment to date. We have no trouble imagining the streetwear cognoscenti embracing #officecore with some contemporary utility. Whether it’s pairing wide-leg trousers and an XXL hoodie with killer kicks, or a drab shirt with a velvet track ensemble, given the cross-pollination of luxury fashion and streetwear in recent times, it’s fair to say this is one of the fashion trends 2017 will pick up on in a big way.
Oversized Fits 2.0
It doesn’t look like the fad for oversized everything is going anywhere. Given that super-sized hoodies with dramatic sleeves were huge in 2016, it's hardly surprising that the trend has maintained cult status for 2017 as well. However, slouchy steez is no longer the reserve of hoodies, and everything from outerwear to shirting to trousers is enjoying the XXL treatment these days.
Given that Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia set the agenda for elongated sleeves and billowing proportions, it’s no surprise that he has applied a similar methodology at Balenciaga too (the designer has served as the Parisian house’s Creative Director since 2016).
For Balenciaga’s SS17 menswear collection, Gvasalia redrew the tailored silhouette with some ‘80s inspired vigor. Suiting, traditional outerwear and denim jackets were expanded to gargantuan, David Byrne’s Talking Heads proportions.
For his FW17 menswear show, Thom Browne took rigid suiting to its comical extreme with blown-out shapes. At the womenswear shows, the likes of Maison Margiela, Jil Sander and Margarett Howell all embraced hulking shapes and sharp shoulders, too. The strict, boxy look might not have the same slumpy-comfy appeal as a drowning hoodie, but it's a welcome dose of dialed-up drama and there’s no doubt the street style set will embrace the oversized trend 2.0 with open (and purposefully gangly) arms.
Just In: Vibes From 'The Matrix'
This one was bound to happen at some point. The Matrix is one of the best action thrillers of all time, and given that it's nearing its 20th birthday, its hardly surprising that designers have started taking cues from the Wachowski Brothers' masterpiece. Neo, Morpheus and Trinity's uniform of leather trench coats, hard-as-nails combat boots and futuristic sunglasses have been popping up all over the runways of late, and Demna Gvasalia's riff on those tiny black shades look set to become a must-have in seasons to come.
Elsewhere, Kanye West's YEEZY collections have winked at Neo's moth-chewed sweaters, and the burgeoning #officecore wave looks like the sort of thing Agent Smith would dabble in, were he an actual person and not a mega-evil line of computer code.
Make sure you read our in-depth report on The Matrix's inimitable wardrobe style.