There was a curious influx of graphic tights on the AW18 catwalks. Area paired short hemlines and chunky sandals with classic fishnets that had an embellished twist. Irish designer Richard Quinn's recognisable, bright prints were given floral feature legs, while at Anna Sui, navy tights with speckled pink polka dots sat fittingly beneath cosy faux fur and calf-length leather boots.
Like socks and belts and other seemingly banal accessories, tights could be considered a sartorial after-thought. But it's time to think of them as outfit companions; make-up for your legs. Tights offer warmth and infinite outfit combinations in one neat swoop.
Left-right: Area AW18, Richard Quinn AW18, Anna Sui AW18 (Jason Lloyd Evans).
The question of when to wear tights is obvious. The question of how, however, is more interesting. This season, let glittery, standout stars assist short hemlines and exaggerated shoulders (think 90s YSL). A pair of allover Gucci print tights, below, makes for an appealing entrance with cosy cashmere, and classic knitted wool tights by Prada, also below, deserve to be worn with an exaggerated silhouette and pointed footwear.
Fashion forerunners will identify tights as a clever, unsuspecting way to go high-low; combining high-brow with low cost for indulgent, party-season appeal. For the more considered dresser, tights offer a stylish contrast and juxtaposing textures, adding a bit more oomph to an otherwise ordinary ensemble.
I remember when I first fell in love with graphic tights. It was April 2017 and I had fallen hard for New York-based designer Lirika Matoshi's pieces of wearable leg art. Matoshi creates the most beautifully delicate and intricately embellished bespoke fishnet tights, for those of you brave enough to wear them. Whether you're looking for tights festooned with flowers and springtime bees, celestial stars, or a more-simplified motif, Matoshi is the woman for the job.
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Go ahead and marvel at the curated selection of graphic tights, hand(leg)-picked just for you.
Intarsia tights by Gucci, €190 at net-a-porter.com
Bevan tights warp rainbow, €88.49 at mollygoddard.com
House of Holland sparkly blue star tight, €20.70 at prettypolly.co.uk
Graphic full hub tights, €24.95 at oroblu.com
Kathrin tights, €225 at wolford.com
Criss-cross tights, €21 at emiliocavallini.com
Robin tights, €25 at happysocks.com
Animal print jacquard tights, €9.95 at zara.com
Animal-print tights by Claire Barrow, €50 at matchesfashion.com
Blushing tights, €394 lirikamatoshi.com
Printed knitted wool tights by Prada, €204 at mytheresa.com