Four years ago, Isabel Marant designed a one-time collection of men’s clothing for H&M, and then swore that she would never do menswear again. Never say never, I suppose, because menswear was a feature on her Spring/Summer 2018 runway. After noticing that men were interested in Marant’s particular brand of youthful Parisian cool, the designer decided to officially branch into a line. Track suits and nubby sweaters made up the bulk of the menswear offerings, but the influence of masculine dressing infected the womenswear looks as well.
While the collection started off in a romantic, summery mood, centered on ruffled lace tops, crocheted swimwear, and eyelet minis, it soon picked up traces of sportswear. 1980s color-blocked track suits made a big comeback on the Marant runway, as did a variety of glossy lamé prints and fabrics from the same era. These were transformed into super high-waisted baggy pants with fake-out sweatshirt sleeves knotted at the waist, or single-shoulder crop tops.
It’s always a good sign when an independent designer branches out – growth is good and so is Marant’s idea of what the cool kids will want to wear next season.
A variety of jumpsuits in bulky parachute material were a little top-heavy because of ballooning sleeves, but with the right person wearing them, they could very well look street and cool, see: Kaia Gerber. At the close, Gigi Hadid also made the case for sack-waisted, harem joggers, which seem like an outre idea for Marant, but those grommets really sold it. Here is a case where 1980s streetwear, menswear, and Parisian cool combined for a collection with high commercial potential. It’s always a good sign when an independent designer branches out – growth is good and so is Marant’s idea of what the cool kids will want to wear next season.