Tailoring has returned to the forefront of fashion, ending years of streetwear dominance. Strong shoulders and powerful lines are still a key part of the look, but this isn’t the classic cookie-cutter suiting of yesteryears. The suits came cinched and sculpted at Prada; blown-up at Gucci; spliced and hybridised at Margiela and McQueen, and deconstructed at Proenza Schouler.
The language of midcentury haute couture — grand sculptural volumes, intense colour — has also found its way back into modern fashion. Though not entirely surprising, it was delightful to see Maisons like Givenchy and Balenciaga update their founder’s heritage. What was more unexpected were young guns like Marine Serre, Y/Project and Christopher Kane revitalising the aesthetic.
Previously a visual marker of attitude-laden subcultures like punk, the chain has been adopted by high fashion this season to transmit a message of understatement and sophistication. Bold, oversized chains lend an edge to the polished daywear of Bottega Veneta, Christopher Kane and Alexander Mcqueen, while Tom Ford and Versace used it to underscore evening glitz.
Meanwhile, another group of designers seems to be saying that there is beauty to be found in the dark. Hence, a proliferation of blooms this season set against darkness or tinged with decay. Miuccia Prada juxtaposed her drooping petals with horror movie tropes and military gear; Sarah Burton took inspiration from the English roses that bloom in the brutal countryside while Dries Van Noten evoked the circle of life and death that occurs in his garden.
In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of power shoulders, statement sleeves and itty-bitty minis. Now, in line with the return of the classically ladylike look, fashion’s focus has shifted back to the waist — though not all of these are your typical waist-cinchers and belts. Jacquemus did an obi meets-fanny-pack hybrid; Dior did an obi-meets-Saddle-bag hybrid, while Stella McCartney presented a utility-cord-meets monster- tendril hybrid.