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Streetwear is in: traditional luxury houses embrace urban chic for Spring/Summer 2019

Streetwear is in. Hip, younger designers are injecting a bit of cool-cred into fashion's stalwarts.

Double-breasted jackets

  • Dries Van Noten double breasted jacket

    Dries Van Noten

The double-breasted (DB) jacket is a smart classic, but today its popularity is far surpassed by that of its single-breasted sibling – which is more versatile, literally cooler (just one layer of fabric in the front, instead of two) and more straightforward to wear. That might yet change. For Spring/Summer 2019, we are seeing multiple versions of the DB, and they are characterised by an ease and breeziness seldom associated with this tailored style.

The concept of a jacket that occupies a space between the two aforementioned styles isn’t new – Brunello Cucinelli, for one, has long described his eponymous brand’s take as “one-and-a-half breasted”. With these in-betweeners, you get the admirable fit of a DB when the jacket is closed, without the former’s tendency to flap at your sides when it’s left open. At Dior, former Louis Vuitton creative head Kim Jones pays homage to Dior’s heritage with a soft, easy take on the DB: Inspired by the house’s mid-century asymmetric couture dresses, the “Tailleur Oblique” jacket is designed to wrap the body diagonally. Paul Smith’s new kind-of DBs have a similar lightness, with a minimum of buttons, sleek cuts and a summery palette. Uncomplicated, yet “un-boring”. Single- breasted jackets, be very afraid.

Neon is in

  • MCM Neon

    MCM

The colour of safety vests and traffic cones everywhere, neon hues are designed to stand out and be seen. Makes sense, then, that several fashion houses lit up their Spring runways with a plethora of glow-in-the-dark hues. For his first, highly anticipated collection for Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh – artistic director for the brand, as well as the founder of hip fashion label Off-White – juxtaposes traditional luxury with elements of streetwear in fluorescent shades of orange, yellow and green. Think neon utility vests worn with relaxed tailoring, and bright plastic chains mixed with monogram carryalls.

The limited doses of neon at Louis Vuitton are an easy way to adopt this trend, even if you’re not the most “Look at me!” type of individual. And if you are? Congrats, there are even more options: Brands such as Hermes and Kenzo suggest athleisure-inflected jackets and coats, while Versace – that purveyor of “notice me” style – proposes ensembles in full-on shocking pink or yellow.

(RELATED: How to introduce neon into your daily look)

Medium wash denim

  • Louis Vuitton denim

    Louis Vuitton

Now that many offices have become more amenable to dress code-bending, denim has become an essential part of many professional wardrobes. Whether it’s for a workday or the weekend, many favour denim in darker washes – after all, jeans in dark blue, grey or black tend to look less casual than lighter-coloured ones, while their slimming silhouettes are a bonus. But thanks to the rise of “dad” style as well as all things 90s, light-to medium-wash denim is making a major comeback, paired with signifiers of the two aforementioned trends.

(RELATED: Could you wear blue denim to work? New designs say yes)

Inspired by the casual uniform of the stereotypical unfashionable father, designers are channelling dad style by pairing mid-wash jeans with chunky sneakers (another huge ongoing trend). Brands such as MSGM and Valentino, on the other hand, are evoking ’90s street vibes by pairing light denim with logo sweatshirts or bucket hats. While we think basic white shirts – untucked, we hope it goes without saying – go best with the new crop of denim, we’re not stopping fashion risk-takers from going the whole hog with a double-denim look, with a light chambray or denim shirt.

Tie-dye life

  • Christian Dada tiedye

    Christian Dada

Maybe it’s because our uncertain age calls for plenty of peace and love, or perhaps it’s the rise of alternative wellness treatments. Either way, the latest designer collections are awash in tie-dye – the hippie-dippie motif of the 70s – and other similar swirls of colour that resemble the results of this dyeing technique. Again setting the trend agenda, Louis Vuitton’s Abloh has turned the dirty-hippie stereotype on its head by applying tie-dye to items ranging from casual trousers to luxurious knit sweaters, and even a sheepskin baseball cap.

For those still haunted by memories of wearing actual tie-dye a few decades ago, may we suggest picking from the many painterly Paddle Pop prints available instead? There are impressive examples of such colourful finishes on leather goods, such as the subtle multi-toned patination on Berluti’s backpacks, and the hand-applied, nature-inspired finish on Hermes’ calfskin bags.

Chunky sneakers


  • Valentino

There’s no way anyone could sneak around in the latest sneakers, which are defined by their unmissable chunkiness. Kicked off a few seasons ago by Balenciaga’s Triple S triple layer-soled heavyweights, this footwear trend is dominated by sneakers that resemble running shoes on steroids. Just about every brand now has its own take on the style, with Valentino even adding (removable, thank god) feathers to the back of its sneakers to stand out from the pack.

(RELATED: High fashion houses making 2kg shoes: Is this a good idea?)

Taking things a step further, Ermenegildo Zegna has launched “My Cesare”, customisable sneakers that come with an array of customisable options including laces, and different parts of the upper and sole. Such is the power of the oversized sole that recently minted Berluti creative director Kris Van Assche did not simply introduce a new chunky sneaker into the brand’s footwear catalogue – he also thickened the soles of Berluti classics such as the Alessandro oxford.

(RELATED: A guide to denim jeans, and why they’ve gone from streetwear to luxe)