This season, a flurry of gray-scale campaigns mirror the black and white of the catwalk, where simple basics and relaxed styles rule.
THE BASICS: Trends that were woven in completely different ways throughout all the major shows
SUIT UP → With Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking returning via Slimane’s skinny and Simons’ tuxedo take on the Dior bar jacket, most brands are offering up their version of today’s modern suit. The suit was done in a myriad of ways, but flesh usually filled out the v-neckline of the blazer. No shirts, no problem.
BOX TOPS → A micro trend that worked well paired against the fluidity of ruffles, boxy silhouettes for jackets and shirts was our favorite experiment in shape. Seen at Chloe, J.W. Anderson, and Balenciaga.
COME PAIR & CONTRAST → The strength of black and white popped up in Prada, Jil Sander, Haider Ackermann, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, and Alexander Wang. The stark color scheme is a staple, but this season was a recurring theme among all the shows, sometimes futuristic or with a ‘60s twist.
PRISON BREAK → Often, but not exclusively, tied to the black and white and ‘60s styles for Spring 2013 are stripes. This season’s favorite print boldly featured at Marc Jacobs, Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana. Don’t ask us who decided stripes were the new it-thing, but they are here with vengeance.
Often in fashion, Asian influence becomes a parody. The wannabe-geishas clumsily make their way down a catwalk, with much exuberance but little refinement. This season, that influence has moved away from the overt and into the realm of Rei. Comme des Garçons is no stranger to playing leader, this season it’s a strong trend.
At Jil Sander’s return, Comme-esque iridescent spots dotted her round-hipped dresses. The pure cleanliness of her collection showed off a maternal softness.
With young designers, the sense of rebellion and innovation that a brand like Comme des Garçons cultivates. Creatures of the Wind explored an awkwardness that feels fresh in fashion and Simone Rocha played with fabrics in daring cuts that expanded the body.
Looser shapes and lower waists propose a welcome proportion that don’t veer too obvious.
Prada gets the joke, and pushes it even further. With metallic socks (huh?) and patchwork Mary Quant flowers, Mrs. Prada took the elements of Japonism and distilled them into a Milanese dream. What’s more luxurious than the unrealistic? Fur for Spring, cut with Warhol daisies played on the rising importance of seasonless-fashion, extravagance now and wear later. That’s how Asia shops.
→ Daniel wears the trend with a ballooning silhouette red raincoat, for the cloudy days in Early Spring.
Last year was intense, and fashion wants to rest. Phoebe Philo is kicking off her block heels and throwing on a pair of fuzzy fur slippers at Céline. Silhouettes got looser, and the usual stiffened fabrics became washed with slouchiness.
Underdressing seems like the trend to watch for this year, the fall/winter menswear collections exemplified that nonchalance. After dealing with crowds of peacocks with bedazzled hats, a dressing robe in a sumptuous print seems like the best deal.
Dries Van Noten masters that luxe laziness with his ode to grunge with flowers, graphic checkerboards, and couture inspired shapes done in a completely relaxed way. It’s about mixing disparate elements in an intelligent way, like blousy plaids over embellished skirts and slouched trousers.
If anyone understands how to turn lush drapery into strict elegance, it’s Haider Ackermann. Stepping away from his sublime color sense, he emphasized sheerness with polka dots and a monochrome palette.
Narciso Rodriguez explored the bias, and the languidity of his slippery dresses exuded comfort. The show presented the perfect way to beat hot weather and look effortless at the same time.
Robe jackets and sheer dresses that fall over the body look like glamorous sleepwear for going out, instead of staying in. A seductive approach to eveningwear.
RUFFLES GO RIGID
Someone forward the memo to us that we have to wear ruffles this year, because we missed it. Almost every designer presented an iteration of the ruffle for Spring 2013, and throughout the fashion weeks, the message grew louder.
In London, J.W. Anderson further explored his spongey textured clothing in rigid ruffles that folded over bandeau tops and lined the bottom of skirts and dresses.
Gucci took the softer route with ruffles and emphasized drama, fluidity, and glamour with bold colors like violet, aqua, and cerise. Marni also went more minimal and put away prints for flounces.
In Paris, another Italian rode the wave. Riccardo Tisci took on the ruffle in ecclesiastical tunics of powder blue, black, and white at Givenchy. Additionally, Gareth Pugh rose to new heights with his spiritual approach to blood red ruffles.
At Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquiere’s last collection for the house exercised his extreme precision and restraint. These structured ruffles stomped out flimsiness and offered strength for Spring. Chloe experimented with that stiffness paired against transparency and loose silhouettes.
→ Iris wears the ruffle trend with a crisp white button, structured pleats lining the collar.
It’s easy to note Ghesquiere’s enduring influence on the industry, especially in the young New York designers. His penchant for patchwork-ing together fabrics into something technical and futuristic stood out as the message for Spring’s collage and craft emphasis.
Proenza Schouler luxed it up with leathers and collaged digital prints of random images. For Spring, leather jackets might be a stretch but the boxy silhouette which ignored the waist looked like an easy style to latch onto.
Rodarte, went the opposite direction, with corsets. The armor influence looked like a sci-fi video game character. This year’s pattern mixing melded with varied textiles to create a mash up of different styles.
Altuzarra did the same with traditionally masculine fabrics and bejeweled drapery. Fendi fixated on the shoe and presented blocks of materials and colors.