On Tuesday night, Raf Simons presented his Fall/Winter 2018 show for Calvin Klein. While the designer kept a few of the Americana references from his Spring/Summer 2018 show, one of the things that really caught our eye was a set of workwear-inspired looks.
The legendary Belgian designer sent orange jumpsuits and neon yellow coats down the runway, complete with reflective 3M detailing, that wouldn't have looked out of place on a building site.
Simons' pieces are the latest example of fashion's long obsession with workwear. The trend was one of 2017's biggest, and takes inspiration from actual working outfits — everything from the full high-vis gear favored by builders and sanitation workers to sturdy overalls and work pants worn by laborers across the world.
In the late ’00s, workwear was all the rage, but the main “it” pieces from the trend — chore coats, lumberjack shirts, raw denim, and Red Wing boots (think Justin Timberlake’s Man of The Woods aesthetic) — are starting to be replaced by high-vis clothes.
Kanye West got roasted by Twitter when he wore a worker's jacket on a 2016 trip to Iceland, while Heron Preston helped bring high-vis to the forefront later that year when he collaborated on a collection with the New York sanitation department (aka the DSNY). Then, both U.P.W.W. and Landlord released neon-heavy collections for SS17 with looks that fit somewhere between the streets and a building site.
However, designers on the women's circuit tackled construction neon years before streetwear. Moschino presented a tailored take on the high-vis for its SS16 collection while Ashish put a bedazzled vest down the runway for its FW13 show.
We’ve already predicted that the neon-esque "Frozen Yellow" shade is about to pop off. However, a hi-vis vest still doesn’t seem feasible for most and maybe even Raf Simons and Calvin Klein can't convince them. But could Tyler, The Creator?
At his show in Atlanta over the weekend, the rapper wore a neon yellow vest-and-shorts combo that made the difficult 'fit look extremely wearable.
It's hard to deny Tyler's influence on fashion. Though Supreme has been around since '94, the rapper's Supreme shout outs helped a younger generation fall in love with the brand, and when he made the move from Vans to Converse, a lot of his fans did too. As he said himself in his song “What the Fuck Right Now:” "Oh you wearin’ Vans and Supreme this season? / Stop lyin’ to yourself, n***a, me the reason." If anyone can finally make neon workgear part of people's every day rota, we'd place our bets on Tyler.
In other fashion news, here are the New York designers that North America’s best stores are buying.