Predicting fashion trends is more art than science. A look worn by a #influencer will presage mainstream trends six months out. A controversial outfit from a rapper in 2017 will be a normal sight in the suburbs a year later. An outfit that would've been novel a year ago is now passe. But if you pay attention to the past and have an acute eye for detail, you can see where things are heading.
And we're heading to 1998.
I think that the culture as a whole is headed toward an embrace of the "Just Don't Give a F***" ethos of the late '90s. This will manifest itself in a handful of intersecting aesthetics. Keep an eye out for these looks in the coming months, and invest in your Tripp pants now!
The New Nu
The Soundcloud rap movement of 2017 heralded a new wave of primal aggression in pop music that we haven't seen since the glory days of Korn and Slipknot. This is the year that multicolored dreadlocks and everything Gucci (well, that was last year, but it isn't slowing down yet) will explode into the mainstream with a slurred cry of "Let's get it!"
Expect the late emo rapper Lil Peep's aesthetic of black streetwear offset with brightly colored accents (pink is going to be big) to be a driving force of this look, with more advanced practitioners sporting facial piercings and tattoos, outlandish hair, really big pants and as much designer clothing as their credit allows.
Though it blew up onto the scene in 2014 with profiles from The Fader and the New York Times, the health goth movement was superseded by a more general aesthetic. But I think the look will be back this year in a new form that embraces outdoor wear, hiking boots and tactical garments in a manner that's both more explicitly functional and, in these uncertain times, somewhat militaristic.
The North Face and Columbia—by way of the Portland brand's collaboration with influential NYC boutique Opening Ceremony—have already had an enormous fall and winter season, and I expect both brands to continue to thrive through the year. Expect the excellent new collection from Adidas' Y-3 collaboration with Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto to be popular in spring and summer. Nylon, synthetic fabrics, big accessories and edgy silhouettes will be everywhere come summer, and the burned forests of the Columbia Gorge will serve as the background for many lookbooks.
Carhartt and Dickies both had a big 2017 with their fashion-forward imprints Work in Progress and Construct. These will likely continue prominence this year coupled with denim, beanies, waffle knit, vintage and plenty of highly functional overlap with Hike Goth (The convergence of these looks is called Blade Runner-Core.). Particularly, keep a lookout for cargo pants and cargo shorts making a big comeback for both men and women. You may even see a vest or two.
Some brands have recently tried to bring the stoner earth tones from the heyday of the '70s back into the mainstream. These attempts have rightly failed because they were ugly. But I think we're going to see a lot more "fun" in 2018, with women's fashion in particular embracing kush in a manner more explicit than the crystal Wicca aesthetic.
I'm looking forward to a Spice Girls/stoner mashup with lots of silver and gold, bright colors, weed graphic prints and, again, outlandish hair, likely with some flowy, hippie overlap. You want to know how to Spice Up Your Life? Some loud ass weed.