DUBAI: These are the fashion trends you will be seeing everywhere come spring time.
Time was, in the US at least, that you didn’t break the white out of the wardrobe until after Labor Day. Clearly, no one told the numerous designers who flooded the catwalk with all-white ensembles during fashion month. From Alexander McQueen’s show in London (pictured), which creative director Sarah Burton explained was inspired by the city’s “environment and the elements as we experience them each day,” to Fendi’s white dresses, Erdem’s white skirt-suit, the daring cutouts of Bevza and Proenza Schouler, and more, dazzling white outfits were the order of the day.
Even pre-pandemic, the industry had been forced to take a long, hard look at itself and start to address some of the ethical and environmental nightmares it had been responsible for creating. So it’s no surprise that a number of brands were keen to show off their socially responsible sides at fashion month. Forbes, for example, noted that many designers were using natural dyes “to help set forth guidelines to follow on the path to sustainability and a cleaner planet.” Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing marked a decade with the brand by promising that, in the next 10 years, he would “continue to push for more inclusion, more democracy, and more openness.” Meanwhile, Gabriela Hearst’s collab (pictured) with a Bolivian non-profit organization of mini-businesses resulted in a collection consisting of fabrics created by artisanal methods including crochet, knitting and macramé.
Styles from the turn of the millennium provided inspiration to plenty of big-name designers’ Spring/Summer collections. Both Erdem and Chanel (pictured) showed off sophisticated business-casual skirt suits, while the latter was one of many to include old-school swimwear in its collection. Micro-skirts also made a big comeback, along with other less-regionally appropriate stylings like bra-tops, visible thongs, and ultra low-rise waists.
Crochet and knitting have been hot for a while now, with arts and crafts having a revival throughout the industry, particularly during lockdowns. For Spring/Summer, the favored way of showing off your needlework is the miniature cardigan — a great option for the warm winters of the Gulf. Brandon Maxwell and Markarian, to name just two, embraced this style, while Prabal Gurung (pictured) combined two huge trends in its effort — the tiny cardigan and tie-dye. The latter proved popular with Loewe, Maisie Wilen, Alejandra Alonso Rojas, and Retrofête, among others.
BLOCK IT OUT
One of the easiest trends for anyone to get on board with from fashion month is color blocking. Versace and Tom Ford both showed off blocked fluorescent tones in their collections, while Dior (pictured) went for a more understated, but equally effective, look, utilizing primary colors in its Sixties-inspired collection which wowed the industry in Paris.
From Lanvin’s purple oversized coats, to Stella McCartney’s neon-green or metallic blue ensembles (in a collection apparently inspired by the idea that “mushrooms are the future of fashion”) and Chloé’s dazzling gold dress, the message from the fashion-week catwalks was clear — this is the time to get colorful, and don’t hold back. Pink — in particular — was a constant throughout the four cities, and as Forbes pointed out, it is “no longer a dainty feminine color” but a powerful, confident statement, as luxury New York-based label Duncan showed at its hometown show (pictured).
GIDDY FOR GINGHAM
Brands from Michael Kors and Carolina Herrera (pictured) to Prabal Gurung and Coach gave this timeless classic a modern twist in the Spring/Summer collections, taking the checks to a new level — moving away from typically feminine dresses and putting it on luxurious coats, baseball caps, and sportswear.
The latest fashion month might have marked the beginning of the backlash to the modest styles have dominated womenswear in recent years. Marie Claire’s fashion editor wrote that “I’m excited to see a return to more feminine silhouettes, body-conscious attire and shorter hems,” and cited Prada’s open-back dresses (pictured) as an example of “a beautiful combination of strictness with softness.” Figure-hugging styles were in evidence throughout fashion month, with Versace’s skintight latex dresses a highlight of its collection.
Whether vertical, horizontal, diagonal or some kind of hybrid, stripes were back with a vengeance in fashion month. Missoni, Marni, Balmain (pictured) and more all featured them heavily. Stripes are notoriously difficult to pull off, but when done right they can accentuate and complement anyone’s body. Brandon Maxwell, in particular, presented a particularly bold, eye-catching version in its Spring/Summer collection.