The clash of the bold with the subdued has always been captivating in fashion. This year’s no-fail looks include dainty lace with leather moto jackets, bright patterns with classic denim, and metallics with neutrals.
This week, I want to elaborate on the latter, and it’s a trend that’s sure to make you stand out on those sunshine-filled days: high shine, bold metallic garments mixed with neutral, understated ones. This was plastered all over the S/S 2012 runway, and has reinvented the way we work metallic into our attire. Not too long ago, wearing metallic was primarily a way to stand out, and your look would easily fall into the category of “glam”, “disco queen” or- on occasion- “cheap”; Needless to say, metallic got a bad rap for not being wearable in everyday looks. This season, though, it’s as though designers united worldwide to give metallic a second chance and a major facelift. Now, you can style it casually and elegantly with everything from classic trench coats to airy, bohemian tops.
With our current fascination with all things spaceage and otherworldly in the fashion world (galaxy prints, geometric jewelry that seems made by aliens, etc.), this future-classic style fits right in; And it has turned out to be most elegant of the bunch, which is light years from the “trashy” branding metallic fabric used to get so easily.
To get a look with metallic that’s both chic and of-the-moment, let’s take some cues from some of fashion’s finest who each had a penchant for all things shiny this season:
- Acne had knee-length pencil skirts and oversized jackets in shimmery fabrics worthy of 50’s car-glitter status.
- Giles worked with bright silver, combining the blinding fabric with everything from graphic prints to neutral pieces to fringe.
- Herve Leger by Max Azria was all about the curve-hugging, sci-fi worthy metallic dresses in all shades of neutral.
- Ralph Lauren worked metallic more subtly into his eclectic, preppy-boho looks by throwing in gently-reflective pieces here and there.
- Felder Felder went full-on girly with their metallic numbers with pleated mini skirts and skater dresses.
- Cynthia Rowley had some classically-tailored coin-hued shiny shorts mixed with knit sweaters.
- Sportmax delivered some serious metallic style by mixing it subtly with neutral classic garments like trench coats and blazers.
When styling my own looks from thrifted pieces, I was most inspired by Sportmax and Cynthia Rowley’s ability to make high-shine fabrics blend seamlessly into casual, chic looks that any woman could pull off. My first look incorporates a shine-to-the-max batwing jacket from the 1980’s with a low-v bodysuit, khaki shorts and nude heels. My second look has a more laid-back, beachy feel with glittery metallic light-gold harem pants and a mermaid hem embroidered top (with metallic thread accents). The silver dress in the third look is gorgeous on its own, with its shimmery knit, bold shoulder pads and boxy silhouette, but when combined with a classic khaki trench coat, it turns into a day-look effortlessly. And with any of these looks, I went without any jewelry because the metallic pieces shine enough on their own that jewelry isn’t all that necessary. Keep it minimal and you’ll be golden.
By Whitney S. Williams