Rain Gear, Sex Shop Couture or High Fashion?

Fashion month's love affair with vinyl

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Image courtesy of Wikicommons

2017. A year in which everything is possible. Balenciaga over-the-knee neon boots, Y/Project detachable jeans and now, the Vinyl Trend. This isn’t the first season for the high-shine material to appear on the streets but this autumn is definitely ‘the’ season for it. It’s no longer just the black leather pants or a glam rain coat — it is latex all over the place. The fashion week street-style crowd have spoken – this season is to be lacquered. No matter if it’s a dress, skirt, shoes or even socks – people are wearing it.

While most vinyl occurrences were mainly black, this season’s pieces draw from the whole palette starting with powder pink and baby blue, through camel and bottle green, culminating in deep, sensual red. Celebrities, fashion bloggers, models – they’re all wearing it, and we’re following hot on their heels. With the fast-fashion retailers providing us with a plethora of vinyl treats (hello Mango’s red vinyl raincoat) it’s not only readily available, but affordable. But is it actually worth buying?

Image courtesy of Wikicommons

Hailey Baldwin in a red latex bodycon dress is enough to convince us that vinyl is a winner, but when it comes to certain trends it’s QUALITY that matters. Pretty Little Thing sells a similar dress but once ordered and tested, it’s more of a ‘nay’ than a ‘yay’. Sure, you can buy a relatively cheap high-shine coat or ankle boots, but these are the only garments that will look good without an investment. Models, celebs and fashion bloggers rock the look because the clothes that they’re wearing are made of a premium material. Their skirts, dresses and trousers are not only shiny, but also fit well and do not make that annoying squeaky sound while walking.

Another dark cloud over the vinyl trend is the constant voice in the back of our heads: “Isn’t this a bit too much?”. In times when street wear brands are considered high fashion (e.g. Off-White, Vetements) and high fashion brands shift towards street wear (e.g. LV x Supreme or LV Stranger Things T-shirt) there isn’t much that’s too much. Vinyl became a trend because, let’s be honest, it looks amazing. It does have a bit of a sex shop vibe and promiscuity to it, but that’s a good thing. Wearing just one vinyl piece in your outfit, the whole ensemble becomes intriguing and an out of the ordinary. Too much? Definitely not. More is more in fashion nowadays.

And at the very least, choosing vinyl may save you a few quid on dry-cleaning bills.