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Designers Revisit Childhood Fashion for Fall ’19

Millennials’ resistance to adopt traditional adulthood norms, like leaving the nest, getting married or buying a home of their own, is a signature trait of the generation nicknamed “the unemployables” and “the lost generation.”

And now the line between childhood and adulthood fashion is blurring, too. The Fall ’19 runway was full of head-to-toe looks and accessories for men and women that tap into the comfort zone they call childhood.

Chinese designer Xander Zhou captured both the wearable and fantastical side of the trend in his tailored sci-fi collection. In London, the designer presented a men’s range that spanned workwear jackets and pants with color blocked panels of primary shades, to green space suits and yeti costumes with yeti babies attached.

Aliens intrigued Liam Hodges, who presented graphic T-shirts with the statement, “The martians are coming to save the Earth.” Models walked the runway with three additional sets of eyes adhered to their face and high-shine track suits. Lazoschmidl designers Josef Lazo and Andreas Schmidl also featured planetary-themes in their collection of shrunk Lurex knits—some with subversive prints.

Mickey Mouse added a nostalgic vibe to Iceberg’s range of men’s après-ski for fall. For knits, the Italian label spliced images of Mickey with deconstructed versions of its logo and pops of primary colors.

Bobby Abley also made a case for licensed apparel by bringing ’90s phenomenon Pokémon to the runway. Prints of Pokémon characters Squirtle, Charmander, Pikachu and more, decorated denim jackets, sweat suits, track sets, pajamas, poncho and bags. The novelty pieces were paired with soccer-inspired separates and flame-printed outerwear.

Similarly, jackets featuring prints from the Japanese soccer cartoon “Holly & Benji” added a graphic element to MSGM’s collection. The same collection boasted Trucker jackets and jeans with fiery flame prints and tops with MSGM-themed soccer club badges.

Overall, the childish fashion trend skewed more mature for women.

Sunnei designers Lors Messina and Simone Rizzo brought a sense of child-like joy to their collection with women’s jumpsuits and oversized sweaters with photo-real images of yellow tulips, green fields and cloud-filled skies.

In his patriotic-themed collection, women’s designer Zang Toi channeled classic Americana styling, complete with girlish denim overall tunics worn over a turtleneck top and matching jean shorts. Meanwhile, Paul & Joe kept is light and playful with chunky sweaters adorned with 3-D monsters.