It’s natural for the human mind to look for connections between disparate events. It’s even more natural for fashion week attendees to try to identify emerging themes across the dozens of shows they see. I went to six shows at New York Fashion Week and I definitely couldn’t stop seeing the same recurring feature.
It followed us uptown, downtown, to the meatpacking district, and the docks. We couldn’t be rid of it. Like a nightmare from proms past, lurex officially re-emerged.
Dion Lee, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Zimmermann, Herve Leger, and Karen Walker all featured it, and I’m quite sure I saw a hint of it at Anna Sui (although I acknowledge that you see a hint of just about every different kind of textile at Anna Sui). I left each show raving to Zanita:
“Did you see it!? It was there again! I’m telling you, dude – lurex!”
Returning home at the end of a long day, I contemplated how to use my discovery for good rather than evil. But is there anything good about lurex? It’s scratchy on your skin, too sheer to wear a comfy bra under, sweaty and synthetic for 10 months of the year (12 if you’re from Australia), and there’s a fine line to tread between “sexy” and “1960’s Catwoman”. (Disclaimer: I think Julie Newmar is incredibly sexy too.)
Lurex is risky. But then again, we’re talking about fashion here, and risky can be exciting. Karen Walker herself took her bow in a double-turtleneck-lurex top, so there’s proof it can be done.
Most of the shows used lurex pieces as basics and built controlled outfits over the top of them. Skivvys, leggings, and turtlenecks poked out from underneath statement pieces and outerwear. There’s a potential lesson here: less (lurex) is more. If you want to avoid looking like a costume rental, avoid the overdone pieces. Calm down – it’s already sparkly.
Treat the fabric as an excursion into texture, rather than an opportunity to human disco ball.
Another option is to offset accessories. At BCBG the glimmer of an exposed lurex neck drew the eye to the décolletage and chest the same way a necklace might. Long-sleeved lurex appeared at the wrist from underneath Karen Walker’s long-sleeved dresses and basically replaced a bracelet.
Digression: You could even get married in Lurex and Maticevski has you covered.
Most importantly (and we learn this lesson from Missoni) wear it with confidence. Lurex is a wild beast that you can tame. Don’t let it wear you. And as always, if in doubt, defer to Karen Walker.
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Image Source Credits – Fredericks