The SS 16 shows were rife with new and old trends.The seventies trend is here to stay, as evidenced by the heavy hitters YSL, Gucci, Derek Lam, and Prada. Derek Lam and Pucci both took a decidedly understated approach to the trend; low slung flared trousers and patchwork suede skirts galore. Similarly, a boho-hippie-goddess look was curated by Chloe, Valentino, Etro, and Dries van Noten. A select few designers chose to stray outside of the box and deliver some deliciously fresh points of view for SS 2016.
Proenza Schouler wowed audiences with their bold monochromatic collection. The long cotton jacquard waistcoats and exposed shoulder ruffled dresses conjured daydreams of the Spanish Riviera and English boarding school runaways. This collection toyed with asymmetry and proportion; details included extra long sleeve cuffs, oversized bows, cropped flared pants, and bright cutaways at the waist and shoulder. The visual suggestion of clothes “peeling away from the body — like a banana”, said Hernandez, was key. The new generation of glamour is distinctly undone, loosened, and a little ambivalent.
The pièce de résistance is a decadent mid length coat in intermingling patterns of white polka dotted black silk and inky black rosettes stamped on a bright red silk. A plunging neckline is framed by dramatic squared shoulders, and cascades down into folds that showcase the duality of fabrics. One can nearly imagine an yesteryear society gal wearing this with a straw brimmed hat and sipping a julep. Later in the runway show, we see the black, white, and red palette marred by a pop of turquoise, followed by several netted, sheer dresses. Fresh, breezy, and easy. The last pieces of the show continue to play with texture; showcasing dresses constructed of chain linked feathers and hip framing peplums. Our takeaway: keep an eye out for tasteful shoulder exposure, a ruffle or two, and crisp, cropped trousers.
The next show we will discuss is Thom Browne, because how can you not? The runway was a bare-bones schoolhouse. The models were ornery Alice in Wonderland villains masquerading as British school children. The collection hinged on a uniform of gray-neutral coats, mid length pleated skirts, and crisp button downs. Each look was rife with prints and layers. The dreamy array of prints drew from Japanese illustration, geometric patterns, and florals. A multitude of textures and fabrics blend seamlessly into the overall uniform.
The models sported vertically spiked pigtails and open straw boater hats pulled low over their eyes. The lace up oxford shoes added to the punk nuances, along with the swipe of black lipstick. Our takeaway: crisp and polished details, any and every texture and print within a singular color spectrum, and an insolent look when your teacher reprimands you for chewing gum in class. Overall, a visually stunning presentation. It is rare to be truly transported by a fashion show, but Thom Browne manages to create a twisted, high fashion fantasy world that we never want to leave.
Jason Wu’s show notes for this SS 2016 runway show simply read, “glamour.” That is the perfect embodiment of Mr. Wu, and also his latests runway show. Where his previous collections have waxed conservative, this collection is a little rough around the edges, like an upper east side princess that’s been backpacking through South America for a few months. The color palette is provocative in shades of turquoise, burnt sienna, black, and silvery gray.
As for details, the slew of ruffles manage to be effortless and subtle. Hemlines don’t venture shorter than mid calf (tasteful, ladies!), and the colors feel young and fresh. The designer has shirked patterns for the most part, choosing to focus on pops of texture and volume instead. The collection revisits many key pieces: a leather shift dress and pencil skirt, simple camisole dresses, and boxy crop tops. These pieces are decidedly casual, yet special. And isn’t that the very definition of true glamour?