Get Out Your Sunglasses. Neon Just Returned From the 1980s.
Bella Hadid was photographed in New York City this week in a neon green vest. Insanely bright bicycle shorts are proliferating on Instagram. Somehow, neon has taken over fashion.
Bella Hadid went pants-less in New York City this week, but the gall it took for the model to bare her legs in 30-degree weather was surprisingly not the most audacious part of her ensemble.
More daring than Hadid’s refusal to wear black tights like the rest of us do when it's cold was the neon green vest the model threw over her shirt.
Comparisons to construction workers were inevitable, especially since paparazzi photos of Hadid were artfully taken in front of a traffic cone and rental truck.
The slime green hue was more Nickelodeon and less gilets jaunes, though that did not stop the the Daily Mail from theorizing that the model, who made $8.5 million last year, could be standing in solidarity with the populist French protests.
More realistically, Hadid was probably just showing her support for another movement: the neon renaissance.
Neon falls under the umbrella of other ‘80s trends that have resurfaced of late, such as big Tess McGill shoulders and tiny sunglasses. The arresting shades are hard to miss, especially since they're certifiably everywhere.
You see neon on the red carpet: Jennifer Lopez wore a triumphantly huge tulle Giambattista Valli gown to the premier of Second Act. More eye-catching than its mammoth train, however, was the all-over flamingo pink color scheme.
Fashion week runways, too, have no shortage of splash. Heavy-hitters such as Versace, Gucci, and Dior championed fluorescents in their spring 2019 collections, as did Rihanna’s Fenty, swimwear line Chromat, and Prabal Gurung.
You’ve seen neon on the Kardashians, even if you didn’t want to, such as the Barbie pink Yeezy dress Kim wore to her sister Kylie's birthday last August. Kendall Jenner also took the time to let us know that she is “really into green these days.”
You’ve likely seen the trend hit closer to home, too. A few months after infiltrating runways, the palette has trickled down to fast fashion chains. As Gucci goes, so goes Zara, H&M, Forever21, and FashionNova selling lemon-yellow bicycle shorts.
In fact, Google reports that searches for neon spandex are rising, especially in states like New York, Georgia, California, and Texas. Bright bicycle shorts have gained traction on Instagram, and if you follow enough fashion accounts, it's damn near impossible to not see at least one 'fitfluencer' wearing the look a day.
However, millennials of a certain vintage might recall the godmother of tangerine spandex: Princess Diana, who was often seen leaving her London gym in a pair.
It's not just clothing that's so bright you have to wear shades: a representative for Pinterest told The Daily Beast that the site has seen a 281 percent increase in searches for neon lights, especially when the bulbs spell out “personal messages.” At PB Teen, Gen Z’ers looking to de-stress can ask their parents for a $219 LED sign that screams, “RELAX.”
So, go out there in neon. Get loud. But we also won't blame you if you retreat afterwards to the comforting familiars of a neutral peacoat and basic black beanie.