Welcome to Now You Know, Eric Wilson’s column that will help you become a fashion know-it-all in one quick read. Each week, he’ll take a look at an endearing fashion influence and why it’s relevant right now. Enjoy!
Out of the water, people.
In honor of tonight’s return of the terrifyingly nonsensical specter of tornado-fueled flying sharks with the premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One, on Syfy, let us take note that couch potatoes and social media addicts are not the only ones who enjoy a good great white fiesta. Fashion designers, too, really love sharks.
No, this is not just a bald ploy for this post to go viral. Sharks have had a toothsome run in contemporary fashion as a motif on designer sweatshirts, swimsuits and even outerwear, especially in men’s wear, likely intended as a symbol of aggression. Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci-designed shark-print cotton sweatshirts, introduced a few years ago during his pre-Bambi phase, were more or less to blame for the broader trend of vicious-looking tooth jewelry and fin-printed everything. Perhaps the most covetable recent example comes from the collaboration Raf Simons introduced with the artist Sterling Ruby in his fall collection (pictured below), due in stores just about any day now, including a sweatshirt and a coat with gaping shark jaw prints.
Women are just as liable to fall victim to the shark attacks – don’t miss Sarah Jessica Parker in her cute shark-drawing T-shirt from last week (pictured, below). And among its shark-themed offerings and popular pendants, Givenchy also features a shark-tooth turn-lock closure on its signature chain bag and boots, which, by the way, are made of leather, not actual shark.
As a side note, unlike their fishy friends stingray and eel, sharks themselves rarely make an appearance in fashion, probably because the naturally rough texture of their skin is more suitable as sandpaper. Unless you count sharkskin, but that is something else entirely, a term used for those shiny, sleek suit fabrics popularized in the 1950s that are actually made of acetate or rayon and were often associated with gangsters, greasers and otherwise generally tacky people. The obvious exception being Duran Duran.
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