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As the world faces growing uncertainty, designers came out in force for Spring 2019 with a confident showing of playful trends.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing,” so goes iconoclastic writer George Bernard Shaw’s oft-quoted adage. He didn’t mean this in only a metaphorical way – play has a wide range of psychological benefits, from fine-tuning motor skills and cognitive abilities such as spatial reasoning and problem-solving, to managing our stress by lowering the associated hormones. Throughout the Year of Play Vogue Hong Kong and LANDMARK will play it forward with latest trends or insights.
Play is becoming ever more important in today’s world, given the widespread economic inequality, massive environmental shifts and political strife that dominates the news headlines. Fashion, which frequently mirrors the current zeitgeist, picked up on this mood and rebuked with uncharacteristically optimistic fervour this Spring season to combat the dreary forecast. To this end, designers turned to neon colours, tie-dye and escapist influences – vibrant and effervescent trends that serve as the perfect salve for the plethora of societal pressures we face on a daily basis. Cue beach ball handbags from Chanel, and highly customisable totes from Anya Hindmarch that all but demand a childlike approach to fashion.
Meanwhile, Virgil Abloh’s first menswear campaign as the creative director of Louis Vuitton riffed on the theme of play prominently, harking back to the halcyon days of teenagehood with a Julian Klincewicz-directed short film that saw teenage boys frolicking around Los Angeles in grainy, lo-fi footage.
On the runways, bright, bold and whimsical designs dominated the trends, with designers more unafraid than ever in toying with the status quo. A profusion of feathers and fringe livened up partywear at Gucci and Loewe; floral prints bloomed in quantity at Balenciaga; tutti frutti suiting came into full swing at Moschino; and drastically oversized bows tied everything together at Valentino. Safe to say, it’s hard not to feel uplifted at the sight of so many fanciful designs populating shop windows, proving once again the power of fashion to bring out the inner child in us all.
To quote the perennial maxim, when we work hard, we must also play as hard, which provides those of us looking to reinvent our wardrobes this season with the perfect excuse to go all out in colour, pattern and playfulness. Go ahead and play.
Desiree Au, Publisher, Vogue Hong Kong