One in a series on the clothes that got some buzz at Paris Fashion Week:


A model presents a creation by Stella McCartney during the women’s 2018 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection fashion show in Paris (Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS — There were some good-looking clothes on the runway at Stella McCartney’s spring 2018 collection. She cut some fun, billowy dresses using waxed cotton with a customized African print. They came in cheerful fuchsia and a happy shade of green. And nobody does faux leather like McCartney, whose company’s ethos is focused on sustainability and environmentally sound production practices.


Stella McCartney Spring Summer 2018 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

But it is hard to recall these moments. Because there was something on the runway that was so jarring, so unnerving and, for those members of Generation X, so terribly haunting: acid-washed denim. For the love of God, Stella McCartney, what have you done?


Stella McCartney Spring Summer 2018 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Stella McCartney Spring Summer 2018 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Stella McCartney Spring Summer 2018 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo For The Washington Post)

Now, technically, McCartney’s denim was “overdyed, washed denim.” But the effect was the same. It had that familiar speckled faded look of the 1980s. It was oversized and unwieldy and exuded all of the awkwardness of junior high.

Fashion often tries to reclaim ideas that history has declared impractical, outdated or just plain “ugh.” Sometimes it works. Ideas like the maxi-skirt and grunge have been reborn and celebrated. It took our eyes a little time to adjust to bubble skirts, but they finally did. Designers stubbornly insisted that drop-crotch trousers were a good idea and after some tweaking and a lot of patience, they beat consumers into submission. Now they are part of our classic, Western vernacular.

But these faded, boxy denim jackets and vests, onesies and jeans? No sir. No ma’am.


Stella McCartney Spring Summer 2018 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

No doubt you will see this denim on some celebrity who will look cool because she has styled it juuust right. How’d she do it? With a village of assistants helping her out. Most people don’t have a squadron of professional fashion whisperers. You don’t.

Avoid ’80s denim, people. Be strong. Don’t do it.

Also at Paris Fashion Week

Chanel is uninspired this season. Chanel groupies will buy it anyway.

Valentino is making incredibly glamorous anoraks, of all things. Anoraks!

Crocs on the runway, and other strange signs of the time in fashion

Junya Watanabe envisions a world of happy punks in big, pretty dresses

It’s like Gumby joined a utopian cult — and created the season’s most magical fashion

Chloé’s new designer came up with a fresh idea for pants, and it actually works

Lush, timeless beauty from fashion’s normal guy

Clothes that could make air travel glamorous again. Well, almost.

Sexy and sophisticated, the Saint Laurent show was just plain glorious

Dior slaps a slogan on a T-shirt and tries to pass it off as feminism

There is just no excuse for this ugly, boring fashion

Fashion wants to put on a spectacle. Can we keep sight of the clothes?