May 18th, 2018 / posted by paularath

Ken Downing presents 2018 Runway Trends before an enthusiastic audience.

Neiman Marcus Ala Moana is celebrating its 20th year in Honolulu, and the first celebratory event featured none other than Ken Downing, the company’s Dallas-based Fashion Director.

Downing put together a polished fashion show that literally popped with color, shiny sequins, layers of silk organza, animal prints, cowgirl boots and piles of turquoise jewelry.

Short shorts were de rigeur for men, whether worn with blazers r bomber jackets.

Downing introduced the show with the observation that current trends are all about “The ’80s – all day and all night.” That said, here are some of the key trends he identified for spring 2018:

  • Biker jackets
  • Hot pink (for men and women)
  • Power pantsuits
  • Athleticism in all types of attire
  • Evening shoes for day
  • Animal prints of all sorts
  • Animal prints worn from head to toe
  • Polo shirts for men and women
  • Caftans
  • Cowboy boots with a feminine edge
  • Track suits as “the new leisure suit”
  • Logo mania

Downing donned casual denim for his runway rundown.

Downing espouses sequins for day, whether heading for Starbucks or the supermarket. Bored with “evening wraps,” he encourages women to wear a blazer or bomber jacket over their evening attire.

In order to make black work in Downing’s universe, it should be worn in layers, preferably in a mix of fabrics of varying weights. Italy’s Brunello Cucinelli is doing this in a magical way.

A layered cream confection from Brunello Cucinelli

This being a return to the ’80s, there must of course be shoulder pads. But these are not the shoulder pads we wore in the ’80s – they are a little sharper and, thank goodness, far less bulky.

Downing said he has been seeing aloha prints in every major fashion city, including London, NYC, Paris and Milan. He showed them layered with a range of jackets over them.

A trend I will always love: turquoise, and lots of it. Layered extravagantly, Downing showed chunky turquoise jewelry with caftans, jeans, bomber jackets and frilly frocks.

The show was flamboyant and fabulously fun, a treat for the senses.

  • Paula Rath




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