Let’s be honest here, Fall and Winter fashion doesn’t particularly appeal to us Caribbean fashion peeps. While we love to look at the sweater trends and creative layering, the diverse variety of stockings and the clever beenie embroidery, there’s not a lot of opportunity for us to exercise our own chilly weather style enthusiasm. Not that we’re complaining. Atlanta became a vehicular skating rink this winter and every New Yorker we know has pretty much threatened to pack their bags and move to Miami. Despite the styles from Fall/Winter 2014 Fashion Week being intended for those experiencing a polar vortex, we continue to share with you some of our favourite fashion week trends, because no matter what the weather, our love for fashion endures all seasons.
Let the Left Leg Shine- We can credit Angelina Jolie for her right leg exposure in that infamous black Versace gown at the 2012 Oscars (maybe designers felt the left needed its time to shine) as the influx of slits in dresses this season. While the trend is much more ancient then the actress’s exposed debut, the last few seasons we have seen more slits arrive on the runway, with the most recent “double slit” being last year’s trend. The left leg slits of this season are racy but also ultra feminine and mature. Mary Katratntzou used less of a slit and more of a gap with her left leg cutaway and the layering of fabrics over the right sheath. Burberry Prorsum used a similar layering technique with a printed scarf and khaki cape jacket over an ultra-high, left leg split. We particularly loved the deep velvety blue of the Cushnie Et Ochs and its draped slit and deep V neckline.
Statement Sweaters- Sweaters are a Winter staple of course and this season the sweaters were playful with embellishments, embroidery and nods to retro themes. We loved the Coogi inspired sweater from Rag & Bone as it reminded us of the early 90s heydays of hip-hop and dancerhall, while Mara Hoffman, who used a desert theme through out her collection, utilized embroidered camel silhouettes to tie the theme in to a sweater creation. Chanel, who focused more on modern day work wear in sneakers, pumped up the volume with a gem embossed sweater while Dolce & Gabbana went for a Baroque style with an embellished still life.
Bold Knits- Winter cannot be done with out a great knitted sweater and these bold versions were bright and reminiscent of a colourful Spring and Summer past. When the weather is looking so grey outside, why fade into the background? A bold sweater like the tie-dye look at Stella McCartney or the textured one at Alexander Wang are enough to keep your spirits high through the long, monotonous season of snow.
Slouchy Suits- Menswear and women have had an ongoing love affair since the 1960s when Yves Saint Laurent broke ground with the first lady’s tuxedo. Suits were making their presence known on the runway in a more relaxed slouchy form, evoking the over-sized versions of the eighties. Hermes had a magnificent creation in beige with a classic pleat down the leg and billowing thick lapel while Christian Dior made a sleeveless version and paired it with lady’s satin gloves.
Feathers Everywhere- Expect some molting in your household with these aviary looks as they are heavily embellished with feathers. The addition of the feathered texture added a voluminous effect to the clothing’s design. Marni utilized a variety of feathers to create a peacock-like version over a long skirt while Celine used it in a fuzzy coat fashion and Louis Vuitton mixed it with knit.
Leather Dresses- The leather dress is a staple this season. It was seen everywhere from Rag & Bone to Hermes to Balenciaga. We loved the variety of the styles as they came in forms of paneled A-line dresses with cheetah print accents and blue knitted creations over smooth green textures. The quilted version at Valentino was one part Renaissance princess and one part mod hipster. Hermes had an eighties induced black style with broad shoulders while Louis Vuitton’s rusty brown was interwoven with a spectacular tweed pattern.
Asymmetrical Hemlines- The asymmetrical design was fresh and modern this season, dipping from the left to right, or right to left. It was textured and whimsical at Nanette Lapore and more tailored and professional at Celine. Despite the version, the imbalanced tilt is a nice change from the low-high trend from front to back, convincing us that being a little off kilter may have us leaning in the right direction.
Mod Styles- The sixties are having a resurgence with the popularity of the bob, the A-line hem and the high neckline. There were lovely versions in electric pink with peek-a-boo panels over the chest at Valentino while Dolce and Gabbana kept it simple with a bell shaped arm and skirt. Nina Ricci and House of Holland went more for a modern interpretation with fringe and cinched waistlines in their turtleneck versions.
Splash of Polka-Dots- We think maybe every season polka-dots are considered a trend but this season’s polka-dots were less a focal point and more of an interwoven pattern to a complete look. They came in the form of tiny specks on under shirts, sparse dots on khaki pants and bold circles in sequins on a jacket, but it was Suno’s creation that was most striking as it combined a metallic polka-dot print with a piano-like block print and paired it over the reoccurring polka-dot print split skirt. A tongue twister for sure.
Space Pants- Maybe this is an extension to Spring 2014’s romance with metallics but what we coined as “space pants” were having their moment on the Fall/Winter runways. They varied in form, with House of Holland and Chanel’s versions emulating what we envision space pants to look like the most: loose, voluminous, shinny and smooth. Looks from Iris Van Herpen and Azede Jean Pierre were more streamlined and modern in shape with the same high-gloss effect of the aforementioned space pants.
Short Dresses Revisited- Midi dresses and skirts have been having a moment these last few seasons, and we love their sophistication and the sexy ways to pair them in matching two piece sets, but we are really excited for the revisited short hemline for the Fall season. There were plenty of short dress styles in leather, velvet, metallics and embellished lace and beading. The dip dyed velvet version at Elie Saab with a draping across the stomach and slight left leg slit was one of our favourites as well as the laser cut leather of the tasseled dress at Emilio Pucci. Coincidently, all the exemplified looks were worn with a romantic, loose middle part, allowing focus to remain on the legs and dress.
Zippers- The zipper was one of those inventions from the late 19th century that changed the way clothes were worn. An article of clothing could now be easily removed and put on, which is something of a phenomenon when suffering from nimble frozen fingers. Blasted buttons! The zippers on the runway this season were functional and decorative. They played with the utility of the mechanism while also making it a fashionable accessory.
Fall Florals- Ahh floral. Will it ever not be a trend? It seems as though floral has been hanging around for almost a decade now, after it’s resurgence from eighties trends and now nineties flirtations. The florals this season varied from geometrically cut and modern, like that of Emanuel Ungaro, to bold and romantic at Nina Ricci and Giambattista Valle. Some were cut with leather while others cropped at the waist. Mod forms with rounded shoulders and short hemlines popped up at Karen Walker while a diaphanous jumpsuit at Nina Ricci floated down the runway.
Eye-Catching Jackets- While jackets are not of much use to us down here, these are incredibly beautiful examples of what we would sport if we happened upon a cold snowy day. What a striking figure to catch a stylish woman bustling down the street in one of these colouful creations, like a tropical bird amongst the white monotony of the snowy environs.
Over-sized Accessories- Accessories were minimal on the runway with oversized styles taking the helm at Chanel and Balmain in the form of bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Balmain focused on a nineties throwback with the bamboo earring, an ode to his muse Rihanna, while Chanel took a punk rock approach with heavy chains and bolt locks. Vivienne Westwood was preoccupied with steampunk style in her top hats, which resembled the gargantuan sizes of of the Madhatter’s from Alice in Wonderland. Zippers at Givenchy were extra large and even Giambattista Valle’s accessories, which were modern in style, had a hugeness to them.