You’re So Transparent!

Chanel Spring 2018 Ready-To-Wear. You don’t have to spend a fortune to add a little plastic to your life
All photos – click for full size images

“Plastics!” In the 1967 movie, “The Graduate”, a family friend of the Braddock’s, pulled young graduate Benjamin Braddock, aside and conspiratorially whispered that now famous word in his ear. Needless to say, his usage was not fashion related. But given all the sheer, see through, transparent items on recent runways (some of which are made of plastic), I can easily make that connection. For this “Cheap Thrills” column, I wanted to focus on well-priced plastic items.

Assuredly, there’s nothing new about the use of synthetic or semi-synthetic polymerization materials in fashion: see through plastic coats have become somewhat of a running theme throughout Miuccia Prada’s collections and many other designers are finding new ways to re-invent it.

For Raf Simons’ inaugural outing for Calvin Klein Collection (Fall 2017 Ready-To-Wear), clear plastic overlays appeared on a number of short feathered dresses and they were used as removable covers for a group of handsome coats (one in yellow fur and several in wool plaid). This not only makes them practical and waterproof, but gives you two for the price of one.
More info/purchase

For Chanel Spring 2018, Karl Lagerfeld wanted to emphasize the healing powers of water. His dramatic waterfall was a fitting backdrop for a collection filled with  nubby tweeds that were light as air, fringed, frayed, and accessorized with clear plastic raincoats, capes, boots, fingerless gloves, hats, and bags (see opening shot).

Here is a rundown of some inexpensive clear plastic items in the market (in a few cases I showed you the more expensive version alongside its far less costly equivalent). They are all waterproof, easy to clean, and all but indestructible. Nothing is better than a see through umbrella because even on the dreariest of days, it allows some light to come in. In terms of bags, the good news is that you can see at a glance what is inside. Of course, the bad news is, so can everyone else. This means you have to be neat, organized, and make sure you are only showing the world what you are comfortable with them seeing.

Left: Prada grosgrain trimmed PVC trench, $2055; More info/purchase . Right: Clear plastic raincoat with belt, $17.29; More info/purchase

Left: Chanel see through plastic cap toe boot, Spring 2018 Ready-To-Wear: More info Right: Walmart block heel clear plastic boots. Right: Walmart see through plastic boots $28.99;  More info/purchase .

Clear cross-body messenger shoulder bag with adjustable strap, $14.59; More info/purchase .

Lam Gallery see-through plastic satchel, $35.99; More info/purchase .

Zara clear vinyl checked tote bag (you actually get two bags for the price of one), $59.90; More info/purchase .

Diana Broussard clear plastic raincoat piped in black and printed with “Broussard” in script,  $120. Available at Diana Broussard, 22 Christopher Street. For more information call 646 336 6365.

Lavievert plastic bubble umbrella with black trim, $14.99; More info/purchase .

Zicac clear see through hooded raincoat $17.69: More info/purchase .

It is ‘clear’ that plastic is having its moment in the sun.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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