It’s hard to believe with royal wedding and baby fever already reaching epidemic levels, but there are other things to look forward to next year – and we’re not talking about the trend for berets. (Really, it’s a trend, and really, we’re not talking about it.) Below are 24 cross-cultural highlights of 2018 to pre-record in your diary, from fashion to film via football and furniture. And please also note that this author fully intended to include Pacific Rim: Uprising but was overruled by his editor. Clearly, there’s no accounting for taste.
As fashion trends go, dressing in a single colour – or if you don’t want to look too one-note, several tones thereof – is refreshingly straightforward: a palette cleanser, if you will. Whether that’s millennial pink (also on trend for SS18) or ultra violet (Pantone’s colour of the year) is up to hue.
Stampd For Ikea
Thought Balenciaga’s blue bag homage was as fashionable as flatpack furniture could get? Minimalist streetwear brand Stampd is collaborating on a collection designed to showcase your wardrobe and accessories. Oh, and Ikea’s collab with Virgil Abloh’s Off White is dropping in 2019.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The first Red Dead was more than the already-compelling sell of “Grand Theft Auto in the Wild West”: it was a transcendent entertainment experience, as anyone who crossed the Mexican border as the sun set and Jose Gonzales kicked in will testify. Expectations for the second are higher than noon.
The World Cup
For one month from June 14, (hopefully) forget about the beautiful game’s ugly side – hooliganism, racism, “inquiries” into the bidding process that saw Russia win the right to host the tournament in the first place – and concentrate on watching football. Ideally with a cold beer in a warm pub garden.
You don’t need to have reproduced in order to enthusiastically welcome the newfound fashionability of roomy jeans, sweaters and blazers. Certainly, they’re a mite more practical than jumpsuits. Us actual dads might not buy ours from Balenciaga though – baby sick does tend to get everywhere.
The Winds Of Winter
The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones isn’t coming until 2019, but glacially slow creator George RR Martin’s sixth novel – or the first tome in Targaryen history Fire and Blood – might. “I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018,” he wrote on his blog. Back to work, George.
Boardin House Reach By Jack White
The anaemic axeman has described his next album as “practically done” and “bizarre”. “It’s good gardening music or roofing music or, you know, back-alley stabbing music,” he told Gary Oldman for Interview magazine. “I’m trying to think of some good activities that people haven’t written songs for yet.”
AW17 saw the return of the black suit, but another tailoring trend that caught our eye was a willingness to experiment with colour.
Forest greens and burgundies stood out from the usual darkness while hashtag menswear types like Mark Ronson and Harry Styles went further with primary reds and pastel blues. Don’t expect the colour to fade come spring.
Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther and Ant-Man and the Wasp will be reliably great, but this vast assembly of superheroes and -stars marks the culmination of a decade of cinematic universe-building. Gape in slack-jawed awe as Marvel tells DC to hold its beer before showing how an ensemble comic-book movie is really done.
Veep Season Seven
American politics is safely beyond parody, but expect the final season of the whip-smart satire to have a damn good crack, with the use of some unspeakably offensive and creative insults. Emmy-winning first lady Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been attending script reads while battling breast cancer.
Understanding All Languages
Well, sort of. These game- and potentially world-changing earbuds, developed by Waverly Labs, give you real-time translation in up to 15 languages. One earpiece listens to what’s being said, the other feeds back in your language. Alexa, catch the hell up.
Boarding A Plane To Chile
Celebrating 200 years of independence in 2018, this sliver of South America has been named Lonely Planet’s number one country to visit for 2018.
Want to escape, well, everything? This otherwordly landscape, which combines deserts in the north and the mountains and plains of Patagonia in the south, is boxed in beside the Pacific by the Andes. Or for a more civilised place to see out the end of days, you can always hunker down in the vibrant capital of Santiago.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season Two
The TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel set in a dystopian America that strips the last few fertile women of their rights and forces them to reproduce was almost too on the nose to watch. Thankfully, one of the most important shows of recent years was also one of the best, and exquisitely shot. Expect season two to be every bit as unflinching.
Mitsubishi Macchiato By Vampire Weekend
Inspired by the experience of writing for Kanye West, frontman Ezra Koenig wanted to get “200 people” to work on the band’s new album. Whatever the final tally, it will include multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij: although he left the group last year to focus on solo projects, a couple of the tracks will bear his mark.
Harrison Ford is a carbonite-hard act for Alden Ehrenreich to follow, and reports that Ron Howard reshot nearly all of the Star Wars spin-off after the original directors departed don’t inspire confidence. But with Donald Glover – our best-dressed man of 2017 – as Lando Calrissian, we won’t be alone in the ticket queue.
This long-gestating trend is still yet to really take off, even with all that extra material to catch the wind, but designers remain intent on broadening the legwear horizons of the narrow-minded masses. They’re more exciting and comfortable than high-waisted trousers, at any rate – not to mention the trend for tucking your shirt into them.
Untitled James Bond Book
Pay attention, real 007 fans – by which we mean the readers of Ian Fleming’s definitive books, not the licence-taking films: a new James Bond novel, written by Anthony Horowitz, will be published in spring 2018. And like his first entry into the canon, Trigger Mortis, it’ll be inspired by original Fleming material.
Untitled Arctic Monkeys Album
It’s been a three-year freeze on new music from the northern quartet. But rumour is that a single could drop in January, while bassist Nick O’Malley has confirmed that the album (perhaps produced by Josh Homme) should come out next year. “Anticipation has a habit to set you up / For disappointment…”
Far Cry 5
The gleeful first-person shooter relocates to the woods of fictional Hope County in Montana, where you lead the resistance against a heavily armed doomsday cult by blowing up everything in the vicinity. At the current rate of societal collapse in the US, it probably won’t be a far cry from real life.
JW Anderson Returning To Uniqlo
Our favourite high-street collaboration of the year is returning for a spring/summer encore in 2018. Jonathan Anderson’s British heritage-infused AW17 collection with Uniqlo was the perfect example of a capsule that stitched directional touches into something everyday-wearable and extremely desirable.
The new collection will follow its predecessor’s lead: with a focus on layering, everything is designed to go with everything else. Ergo, we’ll take the lot.
Jennifer Lawrence Going Rogue
Oh sure, Alicia Vikander will appear as Lara Croft in 2018’s reboot of Tomb Raider, but this is the action heroine we’re most looking forward to seeing. Lawrence stars as a ballerina recruited to the Russian secret service and trained to use her body as a weapon.
Rami Malek’s Take On Freddie Mercury
We don’t know much about Bohemian Rhapsody, the much-anticipated biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. We do know that it charts the years in the build-up to the 1985 Live Aid concert. We also know that Mr Robot’s Rami Malek looks very much the part. And despite director Bryan Singer being fired recently we’re still hopeful of a kind of magic.
The Noughties Revival
Fashion’s 20-year rule dictates when new life is breathed into dead trends. So with the nineties already resurrected, it was only a matter of time – specifically, two decades – before the noughties were defibrillated. Exciting if only for the nostalgia value and the chance to feel like a teenager again.
Westworld Season Two
Produced by Jonathan Nolan and JJ Abrams, the first season – set in a futuristic cowboy-theme park with haywire robot hosts – was densely plotted, philosophically ambitious and shockingly violent. The second promises more head-scratching and scalping, plus other parks and samurai. “Eastworld?”