Across the spectrum of Designers Who Matter, there is a genus of designer not at all concerned with changing the shape of the narrative but rather with how their details will be sprinkled through it. If Phoebe Philo and Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs give us new clothes, the other designers who matter give us new concepts. They impact the cultural landscape, not necessarily attempting to reinvent the wheel but rather to prove that, as I’ve said before, theirs are just the shiniest.
Nicolas Ghesquière, who is having The Best Week Ever on Man Repeller (cue: resort, cue: flip flops), is a prime example of this kind of designer. Through his work across the houses of Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton, he has chiseled into stone some of the most viral fashion trends of our time. I’m thinking specifically of the gladiator sandals he showed for Spring 2008 at the former house. The Star Wars-inspired collection he built soon before his exit. The boisterous 70s revival he single-handedly marked during his first season at Louis Vuitton and then finally, last February in Paris, the tasteful tackiness he put on display.
There, viewers growing comfortable in their supple suede and understated blouses were met with brighter-than-light embellishments and thick, structured shoulders; shiny pointed shoes, sateen suits and chain belts.
Chain belts! A practical spokesperson for the death of understated fashion and simultaneous champion for the bemused spectacle of it. That same week, Alessandra Rich showed a series of her own, too, and that settled it: if the Man Repeller crystal ball can only forecast one trend this year, let it be that tasteful tackiness is a “thing,” that chain belts are dancing back in like Studio 54 never closed and that we, the people, are ready. Proof? This look.
And there is great news: because it’s still early, you are likely to find a generous slew of these on eBay. Because Krista taught us all how to shop on eBay yesterday, you will actually find them. And if that doesn’t sound compelling, might I recommend clipping three necklaces together and tying them around your waist.
I think we’re on to something.