Would you wear plastic?

During the course of fashion month I could not help but notice, from New York to Paris, there was a recurring theme of wearable plastics. My initial intrigue started during NYFW at Sally LaPointe’s SS16 runway show, which featured flowing trench coats and leather vests over transparent vinyl tank tops. 

The look definitely made me do a double take, followed by an inner commentary: “Would I wear transparent plastic?” I contemplated. The idea and look seemed compelling. It was the experience of seeing skin tone and the shape of the body with sheen that captured my attention. Generally I am a fan of anything that subtly surprises and requires thought in fashion. The real question becomes: Is wearable plastic primarily designed for runways, editorial and daring fashion week street style? or can it translate to everyday life? 

Then on to London where I attended the MM6 show and witnessed more plastic-like fabrics. This time it was baby blue light weigh plastic transformed into detachable sleeves, and a skirt, mimicking the appearance of a plastic bag. Followed by a lightweight plastic rain cape.

The transparent (laser cut) tank top continued to gain steam in Milan during Masha Ma’s runway presentation.  

Two of the most compelling uses of plastic naturally came from the runways of Paris. First, from Loewe’s creative director, Jonathan Anderson, as he sent down the runway two variations of transparent plastic pants, a jacket and a corset. 

This raises the discussion and recently reveled theme of next years Met Exhibit/Gala of how fashion will transform in the age of technology. Hand-made vs. machine made. Laser cut techniques, 3D printing, and futuristic fabrics and materials. On the forefront of this growing sector of fashion we have former intern at Alexander McQueen, Iris van Herpen, a 31-year old Dutch designer whose SS16 Paris Fashion Week runway show was centered around all of these inventive concepts of fashion and technology, one of my favorite looks being the transparent laser cut lace dress and pants. Also, during the show a model wore a 3d printed dress that was live printed onto her body.

In the end it was Iris van Herpen that finally convinced me that wearing plastic is a brilliant idea. What she did with plastic was creative, innovative and flattering to the female form.

Yet I wonder how technology will not only change the appearance but also the comfort and practicality of fashion. Steve Jobs once said that the computer is like the bicycle of the mind, meant to be an extension of us and allow humankind to be capable of much more. Then how will technology in relation to clothing and fashion optimize our capabilities? This is a topic I’ve spent over eight years thinking about. 

Advances in technology should enable new materials and blended fabrics to be designed that are not only fashionable but much more practical than cotton, wool and polyester. Fabrics that can sense changes in temperature and transform its properties accordingly for sustained comfort, which leads to maximum human efficiency. If you are freezing cold or in sweltering heat it makes it much harder to think and perform to your greatest potential. I imagine heating and cooling systems built into fabrics and shoes, possibly even solar powered. Once this technology is main stream it will be controlled by an app in your smartphone to achieve optimal comfort, depending on the individual and environmental conditions. These advances should take off after the wide spread use of wireless electricity.


Are you convinced? Would you give plastic a chance? Tweet us @YahooStyleUK