How I sometimes long for the simple days of fashion.
Don’t wear white in winter. Blue and green should never be seen. And tracksuits are for the house – and the occasional trip to the video store.
My my, fashion, look how you have changed!
Ksenija Lukich does her best impression of a wattle tree at Fashion Week Australia. Photo: Christian Vierig
The video store is dead and the tracksuit is now as much the domain of fashion week as it is the fast-food aisle at the local supermarket.
As for those other rules, they have been broken, too. And we have one man to thank for it all: Demna Gvasalia.
In case you have been living in an IKEA-bag-shaped bubble, Gvasalia is the Georgian wunderkind at the creative helm of French fashion houses Balenciaga and Vetements.
Since his first collection for Vetements in 2014, Gvasalia has been elevating the humble hoodie to high fashion. Basically, if “athleisure” were a village, Gvasalia would be the town crier, mayor and resident rabble-rouser, all rolled into one.
Hoodie hero … Demna Gvasalia. Photo: Taylor Hill
Add the celebrity factor – the Hadid sisters, the Kardashians and any combination of Bieber/Gomez/Baldwin – and it’s no wonder people now regard paying $500-plus for a sweatshirt normal behaviour.
If Australia has a queen of the hoodie, it is undoubtedly Pip Edwards, who through her P.E. Nation label has catapulted the humble windcheater from post-gym staple to bona fide fashion piece.
Edwards, whose label was one of nine antipodean brands to show at the prestigious Pitti Uomo in Florence last month, is the best billboard for her primary-coloured brand. At Fashion Week Australia, Edwards teamed her own sweatshirt design with an emerald green pleated skirt by Australian label Acler that wouldn’t be out of place at a wedding or cocktail function, proving the hoodie is haute.
At Sydney’s annual industry love-in, the hoodie was also the garment of choice for fashion blogger Jasmin Howell and E! News host Ksenija Lukich, who made a statement in a yellow hoodie from 1990s throwback Champion.
Labels such as Champion, which collaborated with Vetements to create a $650 pair of tracksuit pants among other garments, Reebok and Stussy are cashing in on the ’90s renaissance by rebooting their most popular hoodies in a new palette, including Champion’s latest run of dusty pinks and nudes.
And then there are the newer kids on the block, such as Ami Paris, which locally has been picked up by Melbourne menswear emporium Masons (the hoodies are equally loved by women, so I am told), and Marques Almeida.
OMG they killed Kenny … oh wait, it’s Gigi Hadid. Photo: Raymond Hall
If you’re planning to invest in a three-digit hoodie, the question on everyone’s (read: my) mind is this: how do you wear it so it a) looks like you dropped at least an avocado; and b) passes for suitable office attire?
Stylerunner’s Julie Stevanja has these tips. “For work, try teaming your hoodie with a pencil skirt or cropped trousers and heels. The more formal the skirt or pant the better: think jacquard, tweed, metallics, and pleats. It’s all about the juxtaposition.
“For street-style, try a hoodie with a mini-skirt and puffer jacket tied around your waist.”
Kendall Jenner bought her XXXL coat just to fit over her hoodie. Photo: Robert Kamau
Alternatively, play with full skirts or stirrup pants to create a look that is more runway than Sunday morning milk run. Avoid denim unless you can find a way to add some style points by cinching in the waist with a designer belt or a killer pair of heels and some statement earrings. It’s all about balance.
Six of the best
Ami Paris at Stylebop.com, $196 (approx).
Balenciaga at Parlour X, $735.
Marques Almeida at Stylebop.com, $POA.
Fenty Puma by Rihanna at Stylebop.com, $271 (approx).
Cotton On, $35.