I’m so excited to finally post this for all of you! It’s been in process since literally August. I plead lack of time and scope of post: this season’s “blast” is more like a ka-boom - fashion is going in so many directions right now! There are a multitude of subtexts underlying a few dominant themes.
The Themes: Dark Florals, Suiting, Denim-on-Denim
Fall and winter are in bloom this season! Florals are the strongest and most pervasive trend in fashion at the moment and they're not the bright, chipper pieces of the past. The florals of the moment are set on backdrops of black, gray, navy, burgundy - deep, moody tones that take florals from sweet and feminine to Gothically romantic, a somber, sophisticated exploration of their beauty. There are blouses, jackets, skirts. Some are printed, some embroidered, some created with gorgeous dimensional appliqué. It doesn't matter which you choose, but pick one, because this is the headline trend for the new season, and it’s extended into every corner of the fashion world: shoes,bags, bag charms (looking at you, Coach), jewelry. So, definitely consider adding some dark florals to your look, somewhere, some way, some how :).
Suiting is also making serious waves this fall! There’s a strong nod to the power suit, an unabashed 80’s reference which involves masculine-leaning tailoring (broad shoulders, double breasted styles, longer lengths), but – for a modern twist – tempered with something more feminine. Deconstructed suit options also showed up in the collections of many designers, with askew silhouettes like slicing and off-the-shoulder jacket styles mixing in with unusual fabric choices like velvet. Traditional checked fabric (including neutral glen plaids and houndstooth) is also seeing a major resurgence, with the bold 80’s-style window-pane pattern being a runway favorite, while a few designers (Gucci in particular) were also doing printed suits. Cropped blazers are making a return as well, in combination with high-waisted pants. Skirts and dresses in the classic pencil style, but again with very polished and edgy modern tailoring, were strongly in evidence on the runway.
Matching strides with classic suiting is the variously named Texas tuxedo or Canadian tuxedo: the denim suit. The theme also branches out to more unusual denim iterations, including overalls, embroidered pieces and trenches. On the traditional side of the repertoire is the over-sized denim jacket, in a trucker style with multiple functional pockets. There’s an Americana vibe to this look – it was generally shown paired with neutrals or red. High-low hemmed jeans, often with fraying, are the current of-the-moment style, along with high-waist styles, distressing, denim-on-denim patched and flared and boyfriend silhouettes.
The Decades: 70's & 80's
After several seasons with a variety of decade-references interspersed, this fall/winter has coalesced into two: the 70’s (yep, still!) and the 80’s. From the 70’s comes a combination of casual luxe, bohemian spirit and glamour, while the 80’s offers strong-shoulders, everything oversized, sharp tailoring and glitz to the max. The Blouse continues to be an important piece, done in floral prints, with ruffle embellishments and high Victorian collars. Long-sleeved dresses with an artisanal feel were sprinkled through many collections, as were bright plaids (in vibrant blue, bittersweet orange, and mustard yellow as opposed to duller, 90’s grunge hues) and various velvet pieces. Bell sleeves and other statement styles are continuing to be strong. The pleated skirt serves as a bridge between the glamour of the 70’s and the full-blown glitz of the 80’s. They graced the runway in floral and velvet versions, as well as lame and satin. The midi length is still king. While the 80’s relied almost solely on straight shoulder pads to accentuate the shoulders, today’s designers are using engineering-inspired curved styles or gathering at the top of the sleeves, reminiscent of women’s jackets at the run of the last century, as well. I’m a fan of this latter look but, like the power-shoulder trend in general, I lean toward embracing it in moderation; subtle variations of this concept will hold their currency much better than extreme iterations. Silver fabrics and other reflections of space-age vibes made for an important trend, along with a variety of embellishments –typical of the 80’s fun-loving excess- as well as hints of the punk references that coursed through the decade: grommets, studs, and hints of plastic and latex. Massive statement earrings are also maintaining their position as the key baubles to complete an outfit.
Embellishment is staying strong as well – forget minimalism! Pleats, ruffles, appliqué, embroidery, jacquard: you name it, we’ve seen it! Gemstones are back in the form of crystals on shoes, and equally important, pearls on jeans, sweaters, and denim jackets. In addition to being seen on clothing, jacquard and embroidery are also appearing in a surprising place this season: on ankle boots!
In keeping with the mood of vintage luxury and romance, velvet remains a key fabric, showing up in everything from blouses, dresses, pants and jackets to shoes. Satin remained in high rotation as well, with its sheen being a prime concept. These formal fabrics were paired with everything from super-casual denim to high-shine sequins, as well as with each other.
It’s time to get your red out! If there’s one color that dominated the runways this year, it is red, with a majority of designers calling attention to the color in their collections. The standout shade was an intense, fiery Chinese hue, but nearly every variant of the color was represented, from scarlet to crimson to burgundy and oxblood. A massive number of collections called out the hue, making it a critical element for F/W 2017-18 outfits. Blues were also a strong theme, with cobalt and navy making an impression. Vintage 80’s jewel tones like teal and forest green were in evidence, as well as 70’s highlights like rusty orange, sun-washed olive and eggplant. The galactal-punk 80’s vibes also lent weight to the combination of black and silver.
In addition to floral anything, a few other accessories trends : bright white boots, repeated via sunnies and bags, were a huge theme. Slouch boots made their return to fashion’s radar, while the ankle boot nudged to the footwear forefront. Many designers continued to showcase over-the-knee styles as well. Wide waist belts showed up on everything from dresses to long-length cardigans and especially atop the all-important duster/trench coat, a critical piece for this season. Long-line toppers were shown floating open, belted closed and draping off the shoulder throughout fashion month. There was a significant incorporation of the classic trench fabric, but also nylon, fur, velvet, knit and leather pieces. In addition to dark florals, I love that this is one of the season’s most wearable looks!
Phew…that’s a novel, right? With all these genres having a moment, it gives us plenty to pick and choose from in selecting looks that feel like home, which is definitely exciting! I think I’s going to be a fabulously fun fall, fellow fashion-lovers! :).
Welcome to the place where wrestling & fashion join hands. #BeInspired #LoveFashion May the Fierce be with you! ;) Peace & Glitter!
Brie: shoe-lover :) fashion-lover and generally glamorous semi-dork
Photos used for criticism and comment under US Copyright Act Section 107.