To Corduroy or Not to Corduroy?

Corduroy is certainly one of the most understated and poorly judged fabrics in the common mentality. And yet, after decades after its apparent disappearance, it now seems to be one of the hottest trends of the upcoming cold season.  It’s always hard to decide when an ugly trend emerges from the catwalks, so what will it be? Is it a yay or a nay?

 

It might not be a Shakespearian dilemma, but it’s a question that has certainly risen among many of us since this ugly trend started making a comeback in the past few months.

 

Those who grew up in the 60s or 70s will have many vivid memories of the ridged fabric and its velvety feel, while younger generations will probably just recall it in the background of their primary school experiences or in their parents’ wardrobes. It could be argued that each one of us has encountered corduroy at some point in their life. Whether this had been a pleasurable rendezvous or not, it’s a whole other matter. However, it has been quite some time now that such fabric appeared anywhere but in vintage shops and grandparents’ attics, so why is it suddenly crowding the catwalks? And are we actually ready to welcome it back into our wardrobes?

 

The craze for retro-looking garments and the nostalgic mood of the last few seasons reintroduced many ugly trends that were considered mere fashion mistakes from the past, but, to many, corduroy remained (at least until now) top of the faux pas list. Moreover, it appears quite a paradox that a material emblematic of the working class and labour is now sold for hundreds (at times, thousands) of pounds by luxury brands. However, as much as this might be shocking for the majority of consumers, it’s certainly not such an uncommon practice within the controversial facets of the fashion industry.

 

It is hard to argue that Annie Hall (played by Diane Keaton) didn’t look exquisitely fashionable in her oversized corduroy jacket or that Jane Birkin lost her appeal in those matching cords, but, when translated to everyday outfits, the aesthetic result didn’t often match the expectations.

 

Nevertheless, the recent ready-to-wear shows seem to be changing (or attempting to) the past notions and perceptions we had about corduroy and its bearings. As a matter of fact, just by glancing at some of the AW17 catwalks from prominent brands like Prada or Marc Jacobs, it appears that we have all underestimated corduroy’s versatility, wearability, and maybe even its elegance.

 

One of the reasons why these designers were bold enough to produce such garments is certainly the ongoing rise of genderless fashion and unisex designs. With a durable solid appearance yet a soft touch on the skin, corduroy is certainly one of the most interchangeable fabrics among gendered clothes. Moreover, as for the majority of recycled past trends, designers issued renovated versions of the iconic staples, automatically beautifying the overall guise and conferring the modern touch that our dad’s blazer would so desperately need.

 

All things considered, despite individual opinions and taste-based verdicts, this ugly fabric has undeniably made a comeback and its appeal has probably never been this trendy in the high-fashion spheres as it currently is. So, while you decide whether to embrace the renovated fashionable look or not, just keep in mind the current biggest trend of all: forget the rules. If you like it, wear it.

 

Words: Vivee Barengo

 

Hashtags: #corduroy #uglytrends #AW17

 

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