THE JOKE’S ON YOU
KEBAB BOXES, polystyrene cups, laundry bags: the detritus of a typically unmodish student house or the most in-demand accessories you can own right now? Both, sort of. Fashion is in the throes of a high-low love affair in which banal ephemera is given a haute rethink (and a price tag to match).
Vetements and Balenciaga’s agendas-etter extraordinaire Demna Gvasalia is the patron saint of the punchline purchase; this season he gives us a £3,780 ‘Bible’ clutch ( bottom right), following in the footsteps of those DHL T-shirts and that £2,000 ‘Ikea’ bag the internet went nuts over. Now the trend for luxe-ing up the low-end has gained momentum across the board. Irony abounds – from Tiffany & Co’s bone china ‘disposable’ coffee cups (£90 for a set of two, top right) and Belgian heritage brand Delvaux’s bag resembling a carton of frites – fork included (a snip at £700, far left), to Comme des Garçon’s ‘paper bag’ tote. Last week’s CFDA/VOGUE Fashion Fund winner, Telfar Clemens, even designed the new unisex uniforms for US fast-food chain White Castle (which, yes, you could buy if they hadn’t already sold out).
And the trend isn’t going away. Pieces for your S/S ’18 wish list: Anya Hindmarch’s kebab-box clutch bags, Moschino’s bath plug earrings, Maison Margiela’s luggage security tags (affixed to grown-up handbags in the show) and Christopher Kane’s mop-head earrings. Ordinary never looked so extraordinary. These pieces are fun, that’s obvious, but are we the punchline? Detractors argue this is capitalism gone mad; supporters say these designs signal a subversive, self-aware dig at rampant consumerism. It’s certainly confusing, even provocative, but we’ll take that over boring any day.