Fashion, Style

Fall’s Disco Fashion Trend Is a Response to Our Times

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Sonny Vandevelde

Michael Kors skipped his senior prom for a much more pressing engagement: a night out at the legendary Studio 54. The club’s chic denizens “had no idea we were high school students from Long Island,” the designer recalls. “The minute I walked in, I knew it was the place to be—that the mix of style, energy, and sexy glamour was truly special. It felt like the scene in The Wizard of Oz when they finally reach Oz.”

This season, Kors took us all to his own personal Oz when he channeled late-’70s glam for his fall show. He had a little help from two of the era’s biggest icons: Patti Hansen, who made a heralded return to the runway, and Barry Manilow, who performed “Copacabana” (with Bella Hadid grooving alongside him). Though the designer confesses to missing the days when people got decked out and partied sans cell phones and social media, the collection was less a nostalgia trip and more a panacea for what ails us. “I think when times are tough—and let’s be honest, the world is a little crazy right now—romance and fashion are the ultimate tonic,” he says. Kors’s recipe? A moodboard featuring revelers like Diana Ross and John Travolta, and a collaboration with Studio 54. He splashed the club’s iconic logo on everything from floor-sweeping puffers and leather weekenders to scarf-neck blouses and sequined minidresses. “They were so excited when we reached out,” says Kors of the MGM Grand Hotel, LLC, which currently owns the rights to the name. But the ’70s inspiration extended beyond the logos: “I wanted to re-create the vibe of Studio 54,” he says. “It had a very late-night/early-morning mood, and we all used to leave with a little glitter in our hair.”

Kors wasn’t the only designer to look back to disco’s glory days this season, and the revival couldn’t be more timely. Nearly 50 years ago, the struggle for equal rights, the energy crisis, and the Watergate scandal dominated the news cycle. (Sound familiar?) The disco craze, and the louche fashion associated with it, was a way of letting loose from social constraints and escaping political and environmental doom and gloom. It’s hard to believe that, decades later, we’re still fighting many of the same battles. But given the state of things, it should come as less of a surprise that designers are resorting to a time-tested antidote. “Glamour is all about adding that extra something that makes you feel special, confident, and ready to take on any situation,” Kors says. A little lamé could be just what the designer ordered.

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Tommy Hilfiger

Disco icon Grace Jones shone at Tommy Hilfiger in a gold bodysuit and striped lamé blazer, part of the designer’s ’70s-inflected collaboration with vintage-loving Zendaya.



At Staud, models in slinky jersey dresses and rib-knits discoed their way down the runway.


Paco Rabanne

Paco Rabanne designer Julien Dossena referenced the brand’s iconic chain mail to create liquid-silver evening dresses destined for the dance floor.


Saint Laurent

Anthony Vaccarello’s version of rose-tinted lenses at Saint Laurent? A black light that kicked oversize furs and the teeniest of minidresses up a neon notch.

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