Spring brings not only crisp air and sunny days, but also pastel clothing and floral print handbags. Department stores like Macy’s and T.J. Maxx have racks stocked with cotton candy-colored blouses, flowy sundresses and handbags as bright as the sun.
But this classic feminine style of pastel designs and garments has been replaced this season with edgy metallic tones and embellishments. From metallic nails, lips and footwear, clothing store racks are shining with silver, gold and bronze.
American Apparel employee Lewis Rawlinson has seen more shimmery pieces entering the store, and sales, for those pieces are doing well.
“More shoppers are buying shiny tops, hair accessories and jewelry like ear cuffs this spring season,” he said. “I think it’s a fun way to add some pop to a basic outfit.”
The futuristic trend sweeping clothing stores and make-up boutiques this season may be influenced by the looks seen at New York Fashion Week and the Met Gala.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute spring 2016 exhibition, presented in the museum’s Robert Lehman Wing, explores how fashion designers are balancing the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of “haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear,” according to the Met Museum site. This year’s Gala theme was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.”
“Manus x Machina” featured more than 170 examples of “haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear,” going back from the early 1900s to the present. The exhibition addresses the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the beginning of industrialization and mass production.
Supermodel Gigi Hadid and “Vogue” editor-in-chief Anna Wintour participated in the futuristic atmosphere with their metallic-accented ensembles, igniting positive responses on social media.
The glamorous gowns and sparkly make-up looks worn at such events prove that metallic fashion pieces are once again a closet staple.
So think twice before ditching the shimmery eye shadow or parting ways with that silver bomber jacket.
Business management major Allie Barke is one of many who are following the metallic trend.
“I love metallic as long as the look isn’t overdone,” Barke said. “I’m all about balance so I think if you’re wearing a full-length gold gown, the silhouette should be classic and accessories should be simple.”
Metallic can be worn year round but has its challenges, according to Barke.
“They’re sort of like neutrals, but wearing them during the day is definitely trickier. Try a metallic bag or dressing down a shimmery top with boyfriend jeans and sneakers,” she said.
Public relations and advertising student Angelina Korniyenko said that metallic shimmer is very eye catching and stylish year round, making “one’s look even more interesting and unique.”
“As much as those accessories and clothes will make you stand out from the crowd, they also are very hard to work with,” Korniyenko said. “If you choose the wrong clothes, or combine pieces incorrectly, your outfit will automatically look cheap and funny.”
With the popularity of sparkle eyeliner and Kylie Jenner’s metallic lip kit, students like Barke and Martinez have alternative ways to incorporate a shimmery look into their style.
“I like metallic make-up, especially when I’m going out on the weekend or having a night out with my friends,” Martinez said.
“I think gold or bronze make-up can be really pretty, but silver is much harder to wear. I like gold eye shadow in the summer for a sun-kissed, glowy look,” Barke said.
As attractive as it is to have a “sun-kissed” glow and to paint one’s nails silver, it’s possible to go overboard.
“Makeup is also one of those things you have to be careful about,” Korniyenko said.
“What’s popular today is naturalness in the day time with the ability to experiment and add some sparkle in the evening,” she said.
Tote bags, over-sized sunglasses, and even metallic tattoos are some ways to carry the metallic trend into summer.
“Metallic tattoos are just so eye-catchy and give off the feeling of summer,” Korniyenko said.
With metallic-accented sandals and bikinis emerging for the summer, the metallic trend only seems to be getting more popular each season.
“Silver bomber jackets and bangle bracelets have a summer festival feel, so I think the trend will continue on,” Rawlinson said.
“I’m sure it won’t even stop in the warmer months, since winter is also a popular season to wear shimmery sweaters and scarves,” he said.