Textile trend alert: Neoprene now

From the ocean to the runway


By Wei Yeen Loh

Textile trend alert: Neoprene now

If your favourite material of this season feels a lot like your diving wetsuit and laptop sleeve, chances are it’s neoprene that you’re digging. Making waves on the runway since fall 2014, neoprene is a soft and flexible material that was actually developed during the 1930s. It wasn’t until 2011 that we saw it integrated on the runways—Gareth Pugh’s ultra futuristic mini dress at AW ’11, and who can forget Nicolas Ghesquière’s edgy neoprene “sweaters” for Balenciaga AW ’12 that set the bar high for the athleisure trend? But our favourite still has got to be Alber Elbaz’s brilliantly bold-hued neoprene dresses that flattered sensually during Lanvin AW 2012.

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Fast forward to 2015, and neoprene is still having a scene—it is now Carolina Herrera’s favourite fabric along with techno mesh, spotted in her very pink Spring/Summer ’16 collection; and Christopher Kane’s men’s runners and slides shown during London Fashion Week are made of neoprene, featuring the brand’s signature buckle. It’s easy to love this surf-inspired material because of its flattering look, but if you can’t brave the heat in it, stick to neoprene accessories that will float your boat.

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