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Runway Alert: Half and Half Fashion

Despite appearances, there’s no division here—designers are on the same page about half and half fashion.

The first Spring ’19 men’s wear shows presented an array of fashion split right down the center. The trend takes a simple and commercial concept like color blocking a step further by mixing bold prints, solids with logos and even genres of fashion.

Designer Martine Rose broke up her dense denim line for spring with athletic zip-up tops that split generic logos down the center. London-based What We Wear played with contrasting shirting materials. The tops were paired with color blocked trousers. Alex Mullins added elaborate prints to just one side of his power suits.

Meanwhile, A-Cold-Wall contrasted seasons with one-sleeve jacket and vest combinations.

Half and half fashion is an easy look for denim brands to achieve. Brands like Vetements and Re/Done have essentially built their brands on the idea of “Frankenstein” denim. For Spring ’19, contrasting washes and coatings lend itself well to the trend, as seen in designer Maureen Kelly-Pain’s boxy jean jacket.

What’s driving this trend for Spring ’19? Perhaps designers are absorbing the divisive feelings in politics and spitting it out as contrasting striped shirts. Or, despite increased connectivity, they feel torn between physical and digital worlds, resulting in high-low silhouettes. It could also be another nostalgic relic from ’80s garage bands or ’90s rave culture.

This run of hybrid fashion may even be the latest designer riff on upcycling. Marni designer Francesco Risso converted a reversible sleeping bag into a brown and psychedelic flower puffer coat in his ode to the non-athletic athletes. Risso carried the quirky, upcycled look throughout the line with two-tone baseball jerseys, contrasting plaid pop-over tops and long shorts with dueling ’60s flower prints.