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At the beginning of 2019, everything indicated neon colors — think Barbiecore hot pink, neon green, and bright orange — were serious contenders to headline fashion’s newest color trend. If the myriad of brands — Balenciaga, Jacquemus, Off White, and more — introducing dopamine palettes on their catwalks was not enough of an indicator, stars including Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, and Billie Eillish were surely making a case for it. The trend might have not blown up back then, but in the seasons to follow, designers continued to send neon garments down the runway. The persistence paid off. Hot pink, has risen as the hottest color of 2022 and by the looks of it, neon green will follow suit.
Highlighter green, lime, Prada’s “fern green,” chartreuse green, or yellow-green; call it as you wish, but it is undeniable that neon green is the new color in town. From the runways around the world to our favorite stars, everybody is adhering to the latest “it” color.
This sudden popularity surprises no one. In between the retro mania and Y2K revival, fluoro green has steadily gained traction. For example, brands such as Christian Siriano and Versace presented neon green suits, dresses, and matching sets in their 2022 fashion shows. Simultaneously, the likes of Prada and Dior embraced the color in more subtle ways, introducing details and accessories like handbags and shoes.
Couture and menswear have not fallen behind. In addition to hot pink, Pierpaolo Piccioli — who is also partly responsible for the Barbiecore craze — incorporated highlighter green in both of Valentino’s 2022 couture presentations. Meanwhile, during the Spring/Summer 2022 menswear season, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and MSGM injected a dose of dopamine with total neon looks and accessories such as bags, sunglasses, hats, and sneakers.
The major fashion capitals are not the only ones falling for neon green. Elsewhere, designers also set out to explore brightly colored fashion. For instance, in Mexico, fashion designer Iván Avalos has been hinting at the neon trend since his ANNA Spring/Summer 2019 collection, which he recently reprised for a retrospective show at Intermoda. “Green is connected with nature. For us, neon green is life and diversity,” the designer tells Teen Vogue. Adhering to the trend, Avalos has also opted to include chartreuse makeup highlights in his latest lookbook.
During Copenhagen Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022, Stine Goya and Saks Potts opened their shows with lime green outfits. The first was a faux-fur coat, styled with black combat boots; the second, a chartreuse green plunge-neck halter and blue pants that felt like an homage to the early aughts. Similarly, at the Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, Bondi Born presented the aptly titled “Phosphor” Summer and Resort 2023 collection, where the neon mania even reached the jelly shoes courtesy of CHARLES & KEITH.
Of course, the entertainment world has quickly caught up with the eye-catching color too. Following Beyoncé’s performance at the 2022 Oscars — where she wore a “verdant” David Koma dress — celebrities have made several appearances clad in neon hues. From Dua Lipa’s Balenciaga concert fit to Keke Palmer’s layered look, bright green outfits are making their way into every A-lister’s wardrobe.
That also includes K-pop stars. The members of NCT, in particular, have proven that neon green is not just a good pun for their group’s name (Neo Culture Technology) and official color (neo pearl champagne). In the music video for “Glitch Mode,” NCT’s subunit NCT DREAM embraced neon-core, dressed in several green items, including a Stüssy jacket, a MSGM faux-fur coat, a pair of Louis Vuitton’s Ollie Richelieu sneakers, and layer after layer of bright accessories. Another ‘neo’ — as the members of NCT are called — championing the trend is Prada’s ambassador, Jaehyun. Heading to Milan to attend the brand’s Spring/Summer 2023 menswear show, the singer and actor showed up at the airport with a fern green tote bag that perfectly contrasted with an otherwise all-black look.
Neon green might be posing serious competition to Barbie pink, but the neon aesthetic is still a divisive one. So, how do we incorporate the bright hue into our closets? For the most confident and risk-taking, recreating the full-green looks we’ve seen on the runways might be the first option. If you’re in for an out-of-the-box take on power suits, take cues from Versace, Alexander McQueen, and Christian Siriano. If you’re looking to jump into the Y2K resurgence, hone in on this trend through pieces such as crop tops and miniskirts — you can look at the MSGM and Coperni shows for inspiration. Want to glam it up? Follow Gigi Hadid’s lesson on how to sport metallic neon green.
If you’re not ready to commit entirely to the mood-enhancing color, highlight your outfits with accent pieces like sunglasses, mini bags, hair accessories, and shoes. Not feeling any of the options above? An easy way to lean into the trend is to add a neon touch to your beauty routine. For a beauty statement, follow tips from Quannah Chasinghorse’s street style during New York Fashion Week. You can also rock the color on your nails like HYBE’s newest girl group NewJeans in the music video for “Hype Boy.”
Whether you’re willing to dive deep into neon-colored clothing or merely wish to add a pop of color to your wardrobe, don’t miss out on the chance to experiment with this rising color trend. Judging by the number of fashion brands that have turned highlighter green into a mainstay on the catwalk, it is safe to assume that the future is — neon — bright.