The humble hoodie goes haute couture
No longer just the uniform for the IT crowd and skater boys, the hoodie has been transformed from dress-down drab to casual chic - but staying on-trend will cost you, writes our Fashion Editor
Published 25/08/2016 | 02:30
Sold out! The sign over four figure - yes, you read that right, four-figure hoodies - has disappointed style fiends chasing down this season's most sought after posh 'athleisure' look in the fashion capital of Paris.
The humble hoodie has been re-imagined by all the top designer brands and has discovered high-end cachet - elevated from comfortable sportswear to couture at eye-watering prices.
The hoodie used to be more perp walk than catwalk staple, but all that has changed thanks to style influencers like Kanye West and Rihanna, who wore oversized hoodies from French label Vetements at Paris Fashion Week last year.
This week, we saw the trickle down effect in Dublin, and throughout the day yesterday, there were curious gaggles of shoppers spotted in the Brown Thomas designer rooms on Grafton Street, fingering a black hoodie with big slogans which boasted a price tag of €1,350. So why all the fuss?
The reversible black hoodie, which can be flipped and worn with its wine lining on the outside, is a key piece from the Vetements AW16 collection. The Parisian brand has been credited with doing so much of the running on re-imagining this basic piece of sports clothing, which first arrived on the fashion scene in the 1930s. Over the last 12 months, it has been elevated to trophy status and a mainstay in both women's and men's wardrobes.
Key to its elevation has been Demna Gvasalia, the Georgian-born designer who splits his week working for Balenciaga and Vetements, who is very earnest about the style value of the hoodie, which he describes as a "very complex garment".
There's no doubt that Demna's oversized hoodies have captured the Zeitgeist. Kim Kardashian wears her Haider Ackermann one with jeans and heels, and Justin Bieber wore his on the red carpet.
This season, the oversized hoodie is worn wide-shouldered with big slogans. They offer an exaggerated silhouette and girls are wearing them with big skirts and ballgowns, adding an individual dose of attitude.
And the high street too are getting in on the look big time, with lots of affordable offerings stretching from Penneys to Topshop. Ireland's Queen of Cashmere, Lucy Nagle, offers a tactile version which is not too much oversized as big in luxury quotient.
Yes, it's all come a long way from the Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley uniform. Irish parents are used to queuing to buy Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister hoodies, but the landscape has totally changed. Only one rule though, they have not be worn with the hood up.