Elizabethan Opulence Takes Over The Runways

Spotting these 16th-century trends on today's runways goes to show that fashion is in a constant state of reinvention and reimagination.
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We've seen the runway looks this 2019, and it's safe to say that the regal fashion style of Queen Elizabeth 1, in all her 16th-century glory, is back to make a fashion statement. Though designers and fashion houses may not have referenced the Elizabethan-era explicitly, they have been exploring fashion elements alluding to the 16th-century, such as ruffles, corsets, puff sleeves and flamboyantly starched collars.

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This Elizabethan inspired style concept is not an entirely new thought, with Alexander McQueen introducing ruffs and Tudor tailoring on the runway; highlighting his interpretation of the Elizabethan era in his Fall/Winter 2003 collection. Elizabethan aesthetics mingled with Rome-inspired elements in the form of multi-coloured layered ruffle dress and a similar style spotted in a lace day dress at Gucci Resort 2020. And of course, Giambattista Valli is synonymous with ruffles, with its elements being evident in every collection he puts out, including a tulle ruffled dress in neon pink worn by Kendall Jenner back in Cannes and an extravagant red piece in Paris for Spring 2019 Couture. 

When thinking of the Elizabethan era, one can't help but be reminded of the distinctive collar worn by upper-class women of the day. The ruff collars may be deemed ugly and passé in today's age, but fashion houses like Loewe and Kate Spade presented a more wearable version of the ruff collar on their runways. So whether you prefer Loewe's ruff collared top in sophisticated white. or Giambattista Valli's take on ruff collars in chiffon, this high-neck style is definitely here to stay. 

'Go big or go home', as we see labels taking a page from Queen Elizabeth 1's signature puffed sleeves. A runway collection that is a huge fan of this trend is Miu Miu, showcasing blouses and dresses sporting balloon sleeves throughout their Resort 2020 Collection. A more subtle option for the puffed sleeves is the Jacquemus buttoned-up dress in yellow from the Spring 2020 Collection, or if you'd like to make a bold statement, go for the Isabel Marant structured green top.

The women of the Elizabethan period were expected to wear corsets to bring attention to their small waists, but long gone are the days of the corset in today's age. Instead, try a waist belt for the same effect. Christian Dior featured their very own leather waist belt for Fall 2019 and it proved that we simply can't ignore the beauty of waist belts. Elie Saab opened their Fall/Winter Haute Couture 2019 collection with the vision of the waist bringing out the beauty of the pieces, and as such, gold metal plated waist belts were spotted in almost all the looks.


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