When I was little, I had one VHS tape that had 10 of my favorite Disney movies recorded on it. My mom didn't believe in babysitters, so during the summers, she would take me to work with her and I'd sit in the break room and watch my VHS compilation and wondered what kids in summer camp were up to while I stayed indoors. My favorite movie on that tape was The Little Mermaid. I was obviously enchanted with the idea of living underwater, but it was the animated feature's color palette that kept me spellbound. I loved the shimmering jellyfish from the title card sequence, the way the light danced around Ariel's grotto, and the twinkling slip gown she wore when she emerged from the sea as a permanent human. Before I knew the word iridescence, I categorized the shifting hues as mermaid colors, and there was nothing anyone could say to me that would convince me that they weren't the most beautiful shades on Earth.
I have no idea where that VHS tape is now, but I still have a deep fondness for all things iridescent, and lucky for me, the color is on the rise. The trend was prominent across NYFW, where designers like Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Sies Marjan took the lead with shiny, space-age fits. Iridescent pieces are moving away from the raver aesthetic cross-body halter tops and barely-there shorts and into more elegant frontiers — Sandy Liang's asymmetrical dress, pictured above, is refreshingly tactile with its holographic sequin orbs, while Mark Fast's show-stopping gown made from glittering scales, feathers, and netting feels like it could be worn by some mythological, ocean-dwelling hybrid creature.
There's an artificiality to iridescence that's always captivated me. It's often bound to the man-made, like sudsy shampoo bubbles in the shower or oil slicks left on the road after a big storm. But regardless of whether its a byproduct or an outfit, iridescent things shine brightest when they catch the light, and that feels like a lesson from which we can all benefit.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Sies Marjan's Instagram.