by Steff Yotka– Vogue
Though we do have a clever astrologist on staff, we can’t claim to know the future. But, of course, here at Vogue Runway we’ve been keeping our eyes on the people, trends, and products on the rise this year. After months of charting Meghan Markle’s influence, watching larger-than-life ruffles emerge as a major trend on the red carpet, and witnessing the return of the orthopedic sandal on the runways, we’re here to declare these things and a few more the must-watch fashion stories of 2019.
Read on for nine trends that are sure to catch on in a big way next year. When everyone starts carrying garment bags to the club, you can say we told you so.
“Markle Sparkle” Is the New Rihanna Effect
No one could ever replace our queen, Rihanna, but a literal duchess comes close. Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry, where she wore an elegant Givenchy dress designed by Clare Waight Keller, turned the American actress into instant fashion royalty. What she wears has the potential to sell out instantly, turn a niche brand into a major one, and influence shoppers across the world. She’s one of fashion’s most impactful international figures—and one of its most-Googled, too. The Duchess uses her powers wisely, supporting sustainable companies like Everlane and Stella McCartney, as well as small companies like Rothy’s and Scanlan Theodore. Expect the Markle Mania to continue with full fervor in 2019 when the Duchess welcomes her first child with the Prince.
Philo’s Friends Are the New Philo—Maybe
It won’t be easy to fill the Phoebe Philo–shaped hole in our heart, but plenty will try. Following the designer’s departure from Celine, many alums of her atelier have scattered across the industry, building small communities in the spirit of #oldceline along the way. Her onetime designer director, Daniel Lee, landed at Bottega Veneta, where he brought an eye for material and minimalism to his debut Pre-Fall collection that will be recognizable to any Philophile. At Maison Kitsuné, Philo alum Yuni Ahn will bring her own take on Philophilia, launching at men’s fashion week in Paris on January 18.
Red Carpet Ruffles Are the New Social Media Sequins
Just when you thought nothing could kill the trend toward revealing, body-conscious clothing, along comes a Marc Jacobs collection (for Spring 2019) of gigantic sorbet-color ruffles. It seemed improbable that A-listers would trade their slinky little things for the likes of a lemon jumpsuit with a ruffle the size of Canada across the chest, but then out came Laura Harrier at Art Basel in that very look. She was followed by Tessa Thompson is a similar yellow frock, Vanessa Hudgens in coral, and Ariana Grande in lilac. These fabulous frocks are the new statement-making solution for women who want to make an entrance without showing too much skin.
Ugly Sandals Are the New Ugly Sneakers
We may never be fully free of chunky dad shoes, at least if Demna Gvasalia has his way. But a slew of European designers are evolving the ugly sneaker trend into something even stranger: ugly sandals. At Jil Sander, Luke and Lucie Meier sent their models out in platform flip-flops at least six inches high; Julien Dossena’s sandals at Paco Rabanne were a mere two to four inches by comparison. At Marine Serre, rubber babouches complemented couture-shaped gowns, while Versace had an elegant, in a way, take on both trends: an ugly sneaker-sandal hybrid combo with a white platform sole. Birkenstocks, your move.
New York Is the New Destination for a Destination Show
Nothing is cooler than an over-the-top destination show for the Resort or Pre-Fall season. Now the New Yorkers among us will get to see them sans jet lag. This May, both Prada and Louis Vuitton will present their Resort 2020 shows in the Big Apple, following Chanel and Versace’s Pre-Fall presentations this December.
Camp Is the New Religion . . . Well, at the Met at Least
For those who worship at the altar of John Waters, good news: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is taking on camp this May. In an exhibit spanning collections from Moschino to Anna Sui, curator Andrew Bolton will explore the ideas of glamour, comedy, and outsider art that inform camp in the 21st century. The gala will be chaired by no less than Harry Styles and Lady Gaga, with Gucci as an official sponsor—expect fabulousness.
Unisex Is the New Sexy
What role do sexiness and gender play in the era of #MeToo? For brands like Erdem, Maison Margiela, and Louis Vuitton, sexiness—and clothing—is not defined by gender. At Erdem and Margiela, men walked the runway in jacquard frocks and tightly laced corsets, while at Nicolas Ghesquière’s Vuitton, butch-ish women in boxy suits were mixed in with floral dresses and space-age coats. Even Hedi Slimane’s hotly debated Celine debut included unisex suiting, worn by male models in the show and Natalie Portman on the red carpet. The message is: Clothing has to be innovative and cool, no matter who’s wearing it.
Garment Bags Are the New Fanny Packs
Fanny packs made up 25 percent of the accessories market in 2018, meaning that bum bags may be here to stay. If Gucci and Alexander Wang have anything to say about it, however, we’ll be supplementing our cross-body packs with full-size garments bags. At Alessandro Michele’s Fall 2018 show for Gucci models wore sheer garment bags over dresses like full body bibs, while Alexander Wang sent models out for his Fall 2019 show toting garment bags in calf hair and leather. Keep an eye on the party circuit to see if this trend catches on.
Hedi Slimane Is the New, Well, Hedi Slimane
Hedi Slimane’s debut at Celine was the most buzzed about fashion event of the year—did you expect anything less? Over his decade spanning career, each one of Slimane’s debuts has been met with off-the-chart amounts of speculation and controversy. At Dior Homme he first scandalized and then invigorated menswear with his super-skinny silhouette; at Saint Laurent he dropped the Yves and turned an eye to Cali cool kids, which didn’t thrill the French faithful, at least to begin with. Now, at Celine his visions of clubwear and ’80s shapes have galvanized the industry, both for and against. If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that no one can get fashion talking like Hedi.