Fashion Friday – Ugly is the New Black

There seems to be a wave of ‘Ugly’ sweeping across the fashion world right now. From super clunky, out there sneakers with an outrageous amount of unnecessary soles to bright pink men’s shirts paired with a purple blazer and massive flower emblem. High fashion has always been a place for designers to express their wildest and most creative ideas, and this concept has continued to snowball so that now the designs are being featured in commercial collections instead of solely on the runway.


The idea of fashion has evolved so much over the years. This means that for a designer to really grab the attention and admiration of industry experts and consumers, they need to think so far outside the box that their designs are taking unusual and breathtaking shapes. The saying ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ is certainly true, meaning the word ‘ugly’ is also open to interpretation. This year things have stepped up a notch, we have seen brands like Gucci reinterpreting the infamous Croc sandals, Balenciaga taking a skate shoe and adding a ‘triple sole’ as well as the trend of people wearing the most brightly coloured football tops they can get their hands on.

Who Started it?

Well, this is actually a really tough one to call. Because if we are thinking catwalk shows, the trend for really outlandish garments can probably be traced back to when the whole thing started. Catwalks are a way for a designer to really tell their story and drive their narrative through expressive designs and standout pieces of clothing. Designers will often challenge current affairs, controversial political and social topics or represent a certain community through clothing and the only way to do this is by exaggerated and super creative garment designs. It is through these shows that a designer can use the narrative to represent their commercial collections, and much of the reason why they can justify why you should by their plain white oxford shirt over someone else’s (along with the fabrics, manufacturing process and details).

What about the Sunglasses?

Well this trend has certainly carried over in to the sunglasses world too. Rather than ‘Ugly’, we’d rather call them statement pieces. You will always find a statement piece in a designers collection, something that particularly stands out and normally is the bridge between their catwalk collections and their commercial offerings. They give the customer an opportunity to buy into their spectacular runway shows and really stand out when wearing the particular product. Brands like Saint Laurent have this year given us the Lou Lou and the Lolita, both representative of the Parisian fashion houses’ love themed collection. Gucci went down a much more floral, 70’s route with their latest runway collections, and you can really see this in some of their latest sunglasses .