The East Coast caught an early blast of fall chill this year, giving budding streetwear stars the opportunity to dip their statement shoes in new seasonal styles. Cool weather ended mid-September at the same time as New York Fashion Week and started up again towards the end of September, just in time for Paris Fashion Week. While chilly weather is yet to grace Atlanta, the Wheel has brought some of this year’s best fashion tips from the runway to Dickey Drive so students can get a head start on their fall flair.
Ugly shoes left mainstream fashion during the mid-2010s when Uggs became associated with Lululemon leggings and pumpkin spice lattes, but the powerful resurgence of Birkenstocks indicates a newfound appreciation for form-and-function footwear. Scottish designer Christopher Kane blew some members of the fashion community minds’ at London Fashion Week in September 2016, when he sent models down the runway in pastel-marbled Crocs adorned with precious gems. This year saw Balenciaga spin a new take on the haute Croc as models swayed atop neon platforms. This came just a month after the debut of Balenciaga’s Triple S sneaker, a shoe with three soles so clunky it was revolutionary. Comfy can be cool, too. The beauty in the resurgence of ugly shoes lies in the same underlying philosophy which defines jaded college everyday-wear. Think about that next time you’re five minutes late to your 8:30 a.m., and you’re wondering frantically if you have the time to lace those velvet gladiator sandals up your legs. Stop and ask yourself, what would Christopher Kane do?
To some, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s early-2000s reign of frivolity and excess remains a distant memory enshrined in extra small Juicy Couture tracksuits and Regina George-esque microscopic handbags decorated with brand logos. While donning a splattering of brand logos to dinner at the DUC-ling might seem excessive to some, it would certainly be a breath of fresh air to see something other than the same old Vineyard Vines logos that seem to be everywhere. Start small to ease into this trend. Accessories are a great way for beginners to experiment with this style. Just a few weeks back in Paris, Miu Miu’s Spring 2018 models tamed their hair with thick sporty headbands emblazoned with the fashion house’s name. Fashion has decreed: Branding is back and bigger than ever. Maybe that old Emory sweatshirt you bought during orientation week isn’t so bad, after all.
Coziness comes to mind when thinking of fall, and for the more bougie students out there, that usually means fur: rabbit fur, mink fur and chinchilla fur. But maybe it’s time to consider faux fur. Recent calls to reconsider civil and animal rights have permeated the mainstream conscience, making faux fur a statement in itself. Even Gucci recently unveiled plans to renounce fur usage in its designs, and CEO Marco Bizzarri’s announcement puts the fashion house alongside other icons such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein in the aptly named Fur Free Alliance. The shift towards faux fur tells us that frugal fashion can be trendy, too, and no doubt comes as a saving grace for the fashionable college student’s budget. Being ethical is trendy, and now trendy is cheaper than ever. It’s time to start watching our consumption of furrier styles. We don’t have to be cruel to be cool.
High fashion is starting dialogues on ugliness and ethics, and this fall, students have the chance to give new meanings to campus coolness. Stay trendy, Emory, and stay in school.