The spring/summer 2017 shows back in September took place in the midst of change. On one hand designers were coming to terms with Brexit, while anticipating the impending US election and Europe’s turn to the far-right. Then there was fashion’s existential crisis, some brands having turned to the see-now buy-now approach, and showing on-season collections in the midst of 30-degree heat. The result? Uneven hemlines and deconstruction in London; pops of fuchsia with 80s influences in Paris; and pure spectacle in Milan. Each to their own.
Nº1. Schiaparelli PINK
Monochrome has no place in a world of change. Instead, punchy pink comes out to play. It popped up at Bottega Veneta as a pink leather mac, appeared in Balenciaga as a thigh-slit dress paired with purple spandex, and resurfaced at Hermés as a belted leather corseted dress. Honorable mention goes to Pierpaolo Piccoli’s debut at Valentino, where pink came in the form of diaphanous embroidered gowns in tulle and chiffon
Nº2. Deconstructed SHIRTING
When the world is in turmoil, one turns to classic pieces and deconstructs them. Or reconstructs them. This season’s victim was the classic blue shirt. Victoria Beckham’s were sleek and one-shouldered, Jacquemus showed them as shirt-dresses with volume, and they were striped and pyjama-like at Marques’ Almeida. The best part if you’re hesitating? You can buy a standard shirt in XL size, and give it your own twist by opening a few extra buttons or letting it slide down your shoulder.
Fashion’s fixation with this dramatic decade doesn’t seem to be dying down. In fact, the love affair is as strong as ever. Take a cue from Grace Jones and embrace the square-shouldered tailoring. There were hulking power shoulders in a crayola orange jacket at Belanciaga, a borrowed from the boys oversized crisp white number over at Céline, and subtle 80s elements at Isabel Marant, who borrowed puff sleeves and Siouxsie Sioux belts. A surprisingly fresh take on the overused decade.
Femininity needn’t scream too loud, since it can spring up in the subtlest of ways, and the softest of fabrics. The go-to fabrics for ballerinas will be everywhere this spring. At Dior there were branded gowns with a tulle bodice and semi-transparent skirt, Molly Goddard has made a career out of powerfully reinvented feminine tulle in pastel hues, while Dries Van Noten’s girls wore it darker, overlaid onto long silk dresses.
Flounce and movement will give a spring to your step this season, slimming the leg while adding a playful volume. Gutsy girls will love the leather skirts embroidered with floral motif at Alexander McQueen, while Preen’s were haphazard and sequined, Erdem sent girls down the runway in frayed linen.
Nº6. Step DOWN
If the athleisure movement brought about the return of the sneaker, then the SS17 season signals the reappearance of the kitten heel, left behind somewhere in the 60s. The most desirable? Black and white branded heels at Dior, now worn by everyone at the autumn/winter catwalks. At Chanel there were modern suede open booties; Loewe showed a funky side; Prada’s bordered on the ugly.
Nº7. Written Out LOUD
This spring, take a step back and let your t-shirt speak for you. Whether your message is a political one, with slogan tees reading “We should all be feminists” over at Dior, and “Thanks girls” written all over Stella McCartney’s pieces, or a sexual one, as seen at Hood by Air, you’re guaranteed a voice. And a loud one at that.