You sit down on the F train, listening to some jams and playing Sudoku. Everything is right in the world.
That is, until some fool wearing his giant, purple, Raf puffer plops down right next to you. You immediately become engulfed in the pillow-like folds, desperately trying to claw your way out from your goose-down bondage. Your oversized neighbor doesn’t hear your muffled screams as the doors open, then close at Delancey St. You, my friend, have just fallen victim to fashionspreading.
The trend of oversized clothing has been seen on runways and on the street for the past few seasons. And is a recurring theme in the world of fashion. Whether it be relaxed tailoring, a hallmark of Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto; or baggy, moth-eaten sweatshirts seen in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season line.
Big and baggy is the name of the game.
Some critics of fashionspreading are harsh, saying that the oversized looks are shapeless, ugly and nonfunctional. It might be true that it provides very little functionality other then scaring off wild animals, but let’s be realistic here; no one is walking down the runway in a pair of JNCOs.
When it comes to perpetrators of fashion spreading, Vetements is known for some out-of-this-world silhouettes.
Super long sleeves, ginormous shoulder-pads, and boots that could double as a pair of pants are being produced, and bought, by the masses.
Those familiar with archival fashion, know that modern designers producing oversized silhouettes (i.e. Denma, Kanye, Virgil) are using Martin Margiela as a benchmark to measure their success and as a well for inspiration.
The Belgian designer has been creating some of the most sought after pieces since 1989.
In a recent interview with GQ, Raf Simons spoke highly of his countryman. Citing him as a well for personal inspiration.
The legendary status achieved by Margiela comes from season upon season of designs that were consistently unique and earth-shatteringly successful.
Archival Margiela fetches exorbitant prices on the secondhand market. Specialty vendors, like Arbitrage NYC, have affronted themselves as connoisseurs of archival Margiela, Helmut Lang, and others alike.
Recently, I’ve been trying to add some more relaxed tailoring to my wardrobe. Wide, cropped trousers have been my go-to pair of pants as of late. A pair in black or dark navy, paired with some chunky sneakers and a big sweater is not only extremely cozy, but gives off a laid-back, effortless look that many strive for but few have achieved.
A long, unstructured wool coat is a perfect piece to keep you warm for the remainder of the winter. If it’s on the chillier side, wear that same outfit I mentioned before with a big coat and you’re guaranteed to beat the cold and look great doing it. In the transitional months, forego the sweater and chuck on your favorite tee shirt for a clean and casual fit.
Comme des Garçons, Rick Owens, Lemaire, and (my personal favorite) Yohji Yamamoto are designers that produce some oversized designs that cater to a variety of tastes. Or if you're on a budget: head to your local thrift store to try on some beautifully aged pants or other garments. Even if the fit is just a tad too baggy for your liking, bring it to a tailor. Or, better yet, try your hand at making some minor alterations on your own. I'm sure grandma would be happy to give you a hand with her old Singer.
The goal, really, is to have fun. Play with different fabrics and unconventional fit, broaden your horizons and don't feel constrained (literally) by what you wear.