This is an article I wrote for The Irish Times; published online 15/9/16 and in print 17/9/16. You can read the original article here.
FROM ’80S SPARKLE TO THE HOODIE, HERE’S WHAT WE’LL BE WEARING NEXT SUMMER
New York Fashion Week, which ran from September 8th to 14th this year, kickstarted a month of fashion weeks across the globe, and is our first look at what we’ll be wearing next summer. The Irish Times was there to find out what’s in-store for the season ahead, taking cues from designers includingAlexander Wang, Victoria Beckham, Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu. From Snapchat filters influencing our accessory choices, to hoodies emerging as one of the season’s must-haves, here are 10 things we learned at NYFW SS17.
1. Inspired by ballet
Ballerinas were referenced as the influence behind a number of NYFW collections, with Jill Stuart sending models down the runway in lurex wrap cardigans, chiffon dresses layered over leggings and frame-skimming jersey character skirts. At Herve Leger, chief creative officer Lubov Azria used ballet dancer Sergei Polunin’s performance in Hozier’s music video Take Me to Church as the point of reference for the collection, which sees a marked shift away from the bandage dress once synonymous with the brand. In its place, Azria’s dresses demonstrated a softening of the body-con structure, with a new ease of movement in A-line skirt shapes, flyaway strips of satin and tulle embellishments. The colour palette at Herve Leger was echoed across much of the catwalks, with soft feminine shades of blush pink, off-white and baby blues emerging as some of the most popular colours, splashed across girlish summer dresses, silk pant suits and evening gowns at Erin Fetherston, Jenny Packham and Victoria Beckham.
2. Feminine gets a boyish update
Continuing with the theme of femininity; soft, free-flowing fabrics of silks and chiffons in loose shirts, below-knee skirts and full length maxi dresses were given a boyish fashion update when paired with leathers, suede and contrasting chunky accessories. At Nicholas K, these light and wispy gowns were juxtaposed with heavy power accessories, from a statement knuckle duster to an oversized leather “belt bag”, toughening the romantic silks with a New York air of biker cool. At Dion Lee, floor-sweeping skirts were layered under industrial-looking trench coats and rain anoraks in a monotone hue, transitioning the look from eveningwear to daytime casual. At Victoria Beckham, crushed velvet and satin dresses were paired with flat white boots throughout the collection.
3. The season’s standout staple: The hoodie
With a nod to Normcore, the anti-fashion trend characterised by unpretentious, normal-looking clothing, the hoodie emerged as one of NYFW’s strongest trends. Oozing with “effortlessly cool” styling, the hoodie is the most comfortable trend you could embrace next season. For an instant fashion update, layer your hoodie under one of the season’s statement outerwear pieces – like a trench coat as seen at Lacoste or a military-style coat at Tommy Hilfiger. Alternatively, the loungewear wardrobe staple can be worn as a sporty piece all on its own, as both Alexander Wang and Tommy Hilfiger demonstrated.
4. The ’70s are swinging
The late 1960s and ’70s have been staging a fashion comeback for the past few seasons, and for spring summer 2017 they are back with a bang, with crochet, patchwork denim and the micro mini all taking centre stage. At Nicole Miller, fringed denim jackets were layered over bold printed maxis and tassels accessorised almost every look, while at Desigual, we saw a collection Woodstock revellers would be proud of, featuring a mis-mash of embroidery, patchwork, denim-on-denim and crochet. Jenny Packham’s spring 2017 collection also featured ’70s floral embroidery but this time embellishing glamorous eveningwear.
5. Black is the new black
While our friends Stateside might insist on not wearing white after Labour Day, it seems for next season they have no problem in wearing head-to-toe black all summer long. While I pity those championing the trend in New York’s high summer temperatures, it’s undoubtedly good news to those this side of the Atlantic who dread trading their winter darks for summer brights on May 1st. The New York SS17 catwalks were awash with all-black looks across both day and eveningwear, from designers including Jason Wu,Marissa Webb and Self-Portrait.
6. Nightwear becomes eveningwear
The fashion world tends to cling on to any trend that combines comfort and style for as long as is fashionably possible and this appears to be the case with the pyjama trend. First introduced to us last season and championed by celebrities like Olivia Palermo and Rihanna, the silk pyjama shirt is currently one of autumn/winter’s signature separates.
For SS17, designers like Alexander Wang and Adam Selman showed this comfortable trend is sticking around for spring as they sent models down the runway in blue-and-white striped cottons while Victoria Beckham had models walk in luxury satin pyjama suits and emerged at the end of the show in a pair of her own. Designer Cynthia Rowley held her SS17 presentation-cum-slumber party in her West Village studio and had sleepwear-clad models throw feathers at each other while laughing, dancing and sipping cocktails behind a misty “dream screen”.
7. The ’80s are back … again
While many who lived through the maximalist dressing of the 1980s cringe at the decade’s style, it seems the fashion world can’t get enough of its signature statements – with glitter gowns, puffball skirts, exaggerated shoulders and sateen corsets all making an appearance on the catwalks. Designers clearly weren’t afraid of a summer sparkle, with full sequin gowns across metallic shades of gold, silver and rose seen at Jenny Packham, Erin Fetherston and Michael Costello.
Alexander McQueen’s spring 2017 presentation had a somewhat different take on the decade, using Lydia Lunch – the writer and performer who rose to fame during the 1980s No Wave scene in New York – as the collection’s inspiration. Think kilt trousers, black lace and studded punk platform sandals.
8. Stripes move in a horizontal direction
Horizontal stripes in bright shades of yellow, blue, pink and green were boldly marched down the runways at Opening Ceremony, Adam Selman and Desigual. This season it seems designers are going rebelliously horizontal, a style that fills many women with dread. The good news? This season’s style is made up of stripes of different dimensions, breaking up the pattern and offering a more flattering, wearable option.
9. ‘Twinning’ officially gets the fashion nod of approval
The term “twinning” refers to intentionally copycat dressing with your best friend. The former ultimate fashion faux-pas became the ultimate fashion street style trend thanks to the model Instagram pack led by Gigi Hadid andKendall Jenner (of the Kardashian-Jenner clan). While this craze has already been copied by Millennials the world over, it was until now a street-style trend. But at last week’s show, Tommy Hilfiger gave it the runway nod of approval in launching his latest collaboration, Tommy X Gigi, a collaboration with the aforementioned model Gigi Hadid. After showing his full fall 2016 TOMMYNOW collection, the designer walked the runway beside Gigi, followed by a finale walk of twosome “twinning” models dressed identically.
10. Snapchat filters influence the runway
If one needed any proof that social media is slowly taking over the world, Spanish brand Desigual’s use of Snapchat filters on its SS17 runway models did just that. The models’ looks were subtly accessorised with the photo-sharing app’s most popular filters; a yellow butterfly headpiece, a pastel flower crown, tiger stripes and even a dog nose. Even more telling was the fact these clever additions appeared to go over the head of most of the Millennials who filled the room’s front row, ironically Snapchatting the entire show.