Suddenly, Digital Lavender is the Color You Need to Know

Photo by Mario Sorrenti, styled by Camilla Nickerson.

In & Out is W's weekly newsletter rundown of what's necessary to know in fashion and culture, and what you can just let pass you on by. To get it in your inbox every Thursday morning, subscribe here (be sure to check the "In & Out Weekly" box when signing up). This week, we, of course, absolutely have to take a second to digest Gucci’s take on Balenciaga, then we briefly consider the emergence of “digital lavender.” Then, of course, we come to discover that The Crown’s Josh O’Connor is, quite suddenly, your hot new Romeo and that we have to prepare for not one, but two different “gay Superbowls” this weekend.

In: Gucci + Balenciaga Break the Rules

Out: Originality for Originality’s Sake

It was the fashion moment we’ll surely be talking about for years: creative director Alessandro Michele celebrated Gucci’s 100th anniversary, but for at least part of his inspiration, he looked to the recent works of Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia. What came down the runway were remixes of some of Gvasalia's biggest hits—the spacey-tunics, the highly proportioned coats and blazers, the “shoes that look like socks”—with Michele’s own Gucci-esque twist. Quite notably, Michele took Balenciaga’s popular hourglass handbag and covered it in Gucci’s iconic monogram print, while Gucci’s own iconic Jackie satchel was redone with Balenciaga branding. Michele, however, also looked into Gucci’s own history by revisiting some of Tom Ford’s memorable designs for the house (though, interestingly, he did seem to shy away from some of the most memorable, i.e. his sexiest).

Collaborations seem to be all the buzz in fashion lately, and it was actually Gvasalia's work at his former label Vetements that is widely credited with kicking the trend into overdrive (there he collaborated with everyone from Juicy Couture to Manolo Blahnik). Luxury houses in the same category usually stop short of directly collaborating with each other (although, technically, Gucci says this is not to be considered a “collaboration”). It seems to us that the entire endeavor was something of a subtweet of Diet Prada’s founding notion that any two designs that somehow look alike are inherently cause for controversy. Fashion designers are creatives, but, you know, there are only so many ways to make a pair of pants. Of course, they not only routinely look back to past labels but also to the outside world (including their competitors) for ideas and inspiration. Why pretend it’s anything else? It’s not like someone is going to invent an entirely new category of clothing anytime soon.

In: Digital Purple

Out: Chartreuse ...Soon

Image via Apple

You think you know all the colors, and yet, it's still surprising and mystifying when a new hue emerges as the buzziest one of the moment. One minute, it’s hardly a shade you ever think about, and, then, suddenly, it seems to be everywhere. We all remember “Millennial pink,” which eventually gave way to “Gen-Z yellow.” At the moment, chartreuse seems to be at the height of its power, though a new color is bound to come along and knock it off its perch (chartreuse seems to have already completed the cycle of celebrity-style favorite, from the Bottega runways to the accessories department of your local Target). Indeed, trend forecasting agency WGSN and color authority Coloro just announced this week that they think they know what color will be hot in 2023. They’re calling it “digital lavender.” It “signifies that stability, serenity, and digital escapism that so many of us have built into our recuperative rituals to both protect and improve our mental health in challenging times,” said Coloro’s head of content, Joanne Thomas. Oddly, we can see that. But the timing may be off. It might not be until 2023 until the color takes over. Just days after they made their announcement, Apple introduced the latest color to its iPhone lineup. Tim Cook just calls it “purple,” but it’s definitely a shade within the jurisdictions of “digital lavender.” Though, we do think the trend cycle is a bit jammed up at the moment. How many of us have even had a chance to wear any of these trends somewhere special in the past year? Get your use out of chartreuse now, but keep an eye on lavender for the future.

In: The Crown’s Josh O’Connor as a Lusty Romeo

Out: Lonely Elephants

You hated Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles onThe Crown, but are you prepared to lust over him as Romeo? On PBS this Friday, he’s winning rave reviews for his performance in an untraditional take on Shakespeare’s classic Romeo & Juliet. London’s Royal National Theatre was prepared last year to stage a modern-day retelling of the play, but then lockdown hit. So, they just filmed it instead. The result is an interesting hybrid: it was definitely performed on the stage, but still shot like a movie. Think Dogvilleor Derek Jarman's Wittgenstein. As Vultureputs it, the production is also, well, rather “horny.”

As nine-year-olds in the ‘90s used to scream at the top of their lungs, “MORTAL KOMBAT!!!!” That’s Warner Bros.’ big blockbuster theatrical (but also on HBO Max) play this weekend. Continuing the trend from Warner Bros.’ Godzilla vs. Kong from last month, reviews aren’t great, but actually about as good as you’d expect from something like this. If you want a completely different (and perhaps more universal) type of childhood nostalgia, on VoD you can find Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, a definitive and well-reviewed documentary about Big Bird and co. Meanwhile, on Paramount+, Cher saves an elephant, literally, in the documentary Cher & The Loneliest Elephant (watch the trailer here).

Television this week is pretty packed. Already on Freeform is the Jessica Biel-produced Cruel Summer. The well-reviewed thriller collects various promising young talents (Olivia Holt, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith) and placed them in early ‘90s Texas, where a kidnapping has shaken a small town. “Addictive and fresh,” says Entertainment Weekly. Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur returns this time to Peacock, with the new sitcom Rutherford Falls. Starring Ed Helms, the show also boasts what may be television’s biggest concentration of Native American talent both in front of and behind the camera.

Finally, this weekend brings not one but two events that are known in certain circles as the “Gay Super Bowl.” Friday, there’s the RuPaul’s Drag Race Finale on VH1 (obviously we're rooting for either Symone or Gottmik). Then Sunday, ABC has the Oscars. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for live coverage of the latter.