It’s all about pushing the envelope and packing a punch. Fashion today isn’t for the faint of heart — even Team Minimalist is going for bold.
Designers are revisiting one of fashion’s most beloved eras — yet again. The sightings of disco-party glamour began as early as New York Fashion Week and on the runways of both Michael Kors Collection and Naeem Khan. The latter ex-Halston designer even called in the Halstonettes (the 1970s muses of designer great, Roy Halston) Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn, and Karen Bjornson to close his glitzy show.
Elsewhere, a bourgeois Seventies vibe was fondly felt at Céline, as the respectable Hedi Slimane borrowed archival references and served sensible skirt suit ensembles with a Frenchy and boyish twist — think handsomely-tailored shirts and blazers topped with dressy and flowy foulards. Mary Tyler Moore would have approved.
From Gucci to Givenchy, Balenciaga, Balmain and more, the season’s emphasis on a strong shoulder line saw the runways awash in oversized, mannish coats and suits aplenty.
At times, the illusion of these power shoulders came in the form of decorated/embellished sleeves, such as the rosette confections at both Miu Miu and Alexander McQueen, as well as the dramatic and flouncy collars (packed with touches of Sci-Fi — no less!) from Louis Vuttion, too.
The rose has come up tops as winter’s flower du jour. At Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli continued his collaboration — from the menswear collection — with Undercover’s Jun Takahashi, this time featuring a brand new punk-romantic print of neoclassical sculptures combined with colourful roses.
Miuccia Prada, too, took the delicate flower but rendered it with her own subversive twists of wallpaper prints one moment and then sculptural 3D embellishments the next. There were even a couple of looks that boasted a brave combination of the two! And then, there were the safe pickings from Dries Van Noten and Erdem, both of whom offered winter florals that further feminised soft-flowing dresses, blouses and coats alike.
The Grey Suit
Androgyny will always have its place in fashion because after all, a woman in a suit not only commands a sense of respect but also conveys sentiments of sex appeal, too.
The sombre shade of grey stood out this season on many runways: Pinstripes at Ferragamo, floral brocade at Alberta Ferretti, Prince of Wales checks at Proenza Schouler… There were also designers whom added their brand of masculine appeal by way of grey skirt suits. The names that stood out include Gucci, Marni and Tibi.
Winter is coming… And nothing keeps you more prepared than a good ole coat. But the days of investing in just that one classical, everyday piece are gone — designers are urging women now to brave the cold with equally brave and uber-chic options, which they can switch from day-to-day to complement their varied and daily ensembles.
Starting with calf-to ankle-length coats — literally the next big thing on the coat trend list this season and seen in checker-print permutations of houndstooth at Chanel and window pane at Off-White. This popular maxi hemline was also used to dramatise capes at Miu Miu, Balmain and Dolce & Gabbana. Talk about heroine dressing with a touch of swank.
There’s something about a big dress that always blows the mind — think the black number worn last season by model Kristen McMenamy at Valentino. Indeed, some of us Valentino-philes are still gushing and haven’t had enough of its billowy drama. Perhaps, designers too are still lapping up its fairytale-esque impression, considering the countless giant-frock offerings from Marc Jacobs to Alexander McQueen and breakout star-designer (discovered by stylist Katie Grand via designer Giles Deacon’s Instagram) Tomo Koizumi.
Other contenders that served up a worthy line-up of voluminous beauties was London-based Serbian designer, Roksanda, whose signature style normally includes poufy panels and larger-than-life flouncy trims, as well as Rochas and Comme des Garçons.
Never mind its risk of shedding, women love feathers and this season, designers are dressed to quill! Pierpaolo Piccioli showed ostrich feathers as lavish trims on sleeves and dress panels, while Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta offered their rendition of a no-holds barred, red carpet-worthy confection: Head-to-toe plume coverage, no less.
At Burberry, Riccardo Tisci festooned feathers on a delicate mesh dress, while Mary Katrantzou interspersed them with ruffles and fur panels. One word: Fly.
Blame it on the Seventies but fashion magpies will agree that glitter is life. At Chanel, the late Karl Lagerfeld sent out a monochromatic evening ensemble of a snug long-sleeved top and palazzo trousers that — believe it! — could double for a bold, day look, while Hedi Slimane for Céline, juxtaposed a near matronly get-up with a snazzy gold sequinned cardigan that instantly took years off the proper blouse-and-skirt ensemble.
Women with a penchant for minimalist styles can look to Dries Van Noten’s take on sparkle — the talented Belgian designer constructed a sculptural T-shirt top covered in multicoloured sequins, which complemented the plainest of grey cropped trousers for one look and then with another, he paired a gold sequined knee-length pencil skirt with a loose but belted boyfriend-style sweater. There was even a peculiar offering of a Noughties-style slip dress with sequined shoulder pads stitched onto its skinny straps — fantastic!
Images courtesy of respective brands, artwork by Curatedition.