In the space of a season fashion has skipped a decade, sharpened its colouring pencils and redefined glamour. The nipped-in waists and defined derrieres of past seasons’ ode to Mad Men reign no more. As the sun takes battle with the abounding grey, hemlines have fallen, beehives have been abandoned and camel has been knocked from poll position in the colour charts. With victory sure to follow, this is the time to celebrate summer.
This season drew heavily on the decade that first laid the way for fashion to appropriate the past: the seventies were evoked with references to Yves Saint Laurent, Studio 54 and glam disco. Spectators appreciated anew the beauty of Veruschka as she walked for Giles. With lurex jersey falling in effortless fluid lines, Marc Jacobs delved deeper into the decade. His models, styled with big hair and dark eyes and lips, were reminiscent of those of Guy Bourdin. Louis Vuitton, Paul & Joe and Gucci, made like YSL in the seventies and looked East with Oriental details, orchid prints and obi belts. Elsewhere, sleek sportswear paid tribute to the dominant athletic figure of the era. Light, layers and snug, suede sports jackets were seen at Richard Nicoll and 3.1 Philip Lim respectively.
This season’s serving of print and pattern offer you: blossoming tropical flowers and citrus fruit flowing down your frame; a stylized, seventies interior constructed upon your form; bands of colour wrapping around your body. These are the specials, courtesy of Stella McCartney, Prada, Mary Katrantzou and Jonathan Saunders. Burberry Prorsum and Dolce & Gabbana are also dishing up designs driven by nature, with a nod to last season’s trend for leopard print.
Birds of paradise took flight on the catwalks of Diane Von Furstenberg, Versus and Jil Sander; a fashion tongue twister of clashing, contemporary and complementary colours. Monochrome looks also struck a chord. Cut in fluid shapes or carved into structured forms, orange was a favourite with many designers, notably Damir Doma who sent sharp shots of tangerine strutting down the catwalk. In contrast, electric blue was also popular with lightweight crepe de chine trousers at Celine and Art Deco cityscapes adorning Holly Fulton‘s pieces. Highlighter hues were painted at Miu Miu, Lanvin and Proenza Schouler, however, Christopher Kane went furthest to indulge his love of neon; perforated leather twin sets took inspiration from Camden-based Cyberdog and the thought of Princess Margaret on acid. Worshipping the more neutral shades, Hannah MacGibbon weaved her magic and went from camel coats to beige ballet wear at Chloé.
Romance took hold of Autumn/Winter’s longer lengths and added a little more love with chiffon whispers at Alberta Ferretti, bouquets of florals at D&G and big pink gestures at Giles (printed with bows, of course). Dolce and Gabbana set their Italian sexiness loose on an imagined bridal trousseau, a strong declaration of this season’s love affair with white. Yet it was Erdem’s love that sung the loudest; stirred by the recent Diaghilev exhibition, he created beautiful lace dresses (with fitted bodices and flared skirts) and printed gowns. The show closed with an extravagant embrace – a floor-length floral dress, slit to the thigh with a flowing train.
Masculine touches, edgy leather and wide-leg trousers provide an alternative to the prevailing femininity of the season. Paul Smith took an androgynous approach to spring florals, partnering buttoned-up silk shirts with trompe l’oeil dogtooth tailoring. Teddy-boy quiffs and brogues added an extra pinch of cool to this juxtaposition of masculine and feminine. This attitude was also witnessed at Isabel Marant and Marios Schwab. At the former a brown men’s leather belt was added to a pale pink pair of wide-leg trousers, whilst the latter offset slip dresses with Joan Jett mullet wigs worn by every model. Meanwhile, Christopher Bailey coupled silver leather leggings with studded biker jackets (belted with patent brights) – a modern take on founder Thomas Burberry’s archived designs.
With a fashion pick and mix of the most delicious kind, selecting your new season’s wardrobe will be as enjoyable as indulging your sweet tooth. Choose from printed or plain, bright or neutral, romantic or tough and devour with waist-cinching belts, modern pleats and bright fuchsia lips. A fashionable feast fit for a new decade.
Words by Julia O’Doherty
Tags3.1 Philip Lim, Alberta Ferretti, Burberry Prorsum, Celine, Chloe, Christopher Kane, Damir Doma, Diane Von Furstenberg, Dolce & Gabbana, erdem, Giles, gucci, Guy Bourdin, Holly Fulton, Isabel Marant, jil sander, jonathan saunders, Lanvin, louis vuitton, marc jacobs, marios schwab, Mary Katrantzou, Miu Miu, paul smith, Prada, Proenza Schouler, Richard Nicoll, stella mccartney, Versus, Yves Saint Laurent,