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Runway Alert: Acid Wash

Love it or hate it—acid wash is back. Denim with high-contrast acid effects are among the fashion relics from the ’80s that are trending once again.

For Spring ’19, designers known for having a pulse on what’s next played with the retro denim wash on a large scale.

Proenza Schouler used the fabric in untraditional ways like drop-waist frocks and kerchiefs. Acid wash denim added a punkish edge to Miu Miu’s voluminous jean jacket and smock dresses trimmed with playful plumes of feathers. Balmain played with acid wash Bermuda shorts and distressed acid wash jean jackets.

Meanwhile, quintessential cool girl brand Isabel Marant mixed acid wash in a spring collection that is basically an ’80s fashion starter kit. Acid wash was threaded across her line of quilted padded jackets, high-waisted cuff shorts and motorbike jackets.

Google’s 2018 Year in Search report revealed that “1980s fashion” was the most popular fashion search this year, indicating that consumers are on the digital hunt for old-school bombers, suiting with expressive shoulders and, you guessed it, acid wash denim.

And the wash is already picking up steam as celebrities like Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid and Justin Bieber help normalize it in the public eye.

Expect to see the denim wash hit its peak during festival season, when Gen Z finally gets a chance to show off the skin-baring acid wash pieces from the 2018 Moschino x H&M collaboration.