AROUND 2014, A NEW FASHION TREND emerged: Athleisure, the notion of buying athletic apparel (sweat-wicking, stretchy, comfortable clothing made for workouts and other athletic activities) without necessarily the intent use to them for working out. What began with a rather unfashionable surge of Millennials running around in yoga pants and windbreakers at grocery stores would eventually evolve into attempts at fashioning these pieces (see below) — running pants with chunky knits and kitten heels; full-on sweats with plaid trench coats and strappy heels. Nevertheless, by the second quarter of 2017, Business Insider heralded the end of athleisure, stating that Millennials had officially fallen out of love with yoga pants.
And just when we thought the Athleisure trend was over (along with Norm Core, for that matter), a new fashion trend (that seems to be an offshoot of the first, or both): the Ugly Trainer (or Sneaker) has quickly and quietly appeared everywhere. On the feet of street style influencers and fashionistas alike, monstrous trainers with thick soles and too many seams, some a riot of colours, while others a little more understated in white, have been de rigueur on the streets of Fashion Weeks, whether in New York, Paris, London or Milan. Some blame the trend on an inability to leave the Nineties behind, while others blame Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga and head designer of Vetements — after all, it was he who created the beastly Triple S. We’re still undecided on pairing “Dad Shoes” with our chicest outfits — white pantsuits and pink satin skirts — but do love the idea of being comfortable as we rush around on a busy work week, moving easily about without the pinched toes and tired legs after a long day in impossibly high heels, as lovely as they look. And that, perhaps, in this time of movements and #metoo, might just be point.