BY FAR, MY MOST FLASHY FIT – QUITE LITERALLY!
From trying utility accessories and clothing, to athletic/ sportswear inspired looks – I have been carefully moving away from my comfort zone which used to be the basic tee & jeans (which was also known as my capsule wardrobe) to trying new styles.
Thus, I have been greedily eyeing the high-vis / reflective trend that had lured even the most luxurious brands like Burberry and Calvin Klein. I mean, who wouldn’t ! There is a sense of effortless cool when the traffic police men/women wear reflective-taped uniforms or runners, as their toned legs are even more defined with robot-like glowing lines. I looked forward to creating my own reflective/high-vis look because I felt like it brought me a little closer to living my Tron fantasies!
There is a debate on why high-vis workwear is considered fashion and if it will catch on as a wearable clothing/accessories choice.
The progression from utility inspired designs to high-vis runway looks comes as no shock. According to Damian Paul, head of menswear for matches.com, “It feels like a natural progression from the trend for technical outerwear which is a perfect hybrid of performance wear and streetwear. Plusit ‘pops’ in photographs, for the Instagram generation.”
And ‘pops’ is an understatement! I wore a reflective jacket, paired with cargo pants lined with reflective tape – and I was lit like a bulb! At the shoot, my photographer and the rest of the crew were amazed by the way the jacket shone through when light hit from different angles. My look was also compared to the uniforms that the garbage collectors and traffic police wore…naturally.
Reflective tape and high-vis is associated with jobs that require the safety of their workers. And when fashion decides to make it …well, fashion, then it becomes ‘peacocking’. But is fashion only about showing off frivolous trends? We tend to forget that fashion is also a form of artistic expression. The creators of designer collections are motivated by a deeper and sometimes grim inspiration. As fashion director of Esquire Catherine Hayward put it, “fashion often references the mundane to confer meaning that runs beyond the frivolity of trends”. And when Calvin Klein sent down a look that had a grey suiting with high-vis decorated quilted Giles, the subtext was clear, “we’re all under attack from the political establishment and must protect ourselves”.
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