Spring's style parade - the trends to watch out for
It's all about the S's this season - show-off shoulders, sensual slip dresses, stripes, sporty vibes, and sultry ladylike romanticism, writes Bairbre Power, who spoke with Shelly Corkery from Brown Thomas about the key trends to watch out for
Spring summer 2016 is very urban, romantic and futuristic with a common theme of celebrating the confident, desirable independent woman.
"This season debuted a number of new themes, the most prominent of which is lingerie-inspired 'New Romanticism', a combination of simplicity, femininity and fragility with nostalgia," says Shelly Corkery, who is Fashion Director of Brown Thomas Group.
"Borrowed from the boudoir, this trend takes you from the bedroom to the street. It is this season's most sensual proposition with a bevy of languid styles, most notably luxurious slip dresses which we feel are very important - ladylike but with a very relaxed attitude depending on how you wear or style it," says Shelly, who rates Givenchy, Céline and Chloé at doing this trend best.
She acknowledges that "some people say the boudoir look is quite hard to wear with all those shoe string straps but actually, you can layer it with a cardigan and it is cool and edgy; you could work it up with stilettos or with biker boots and you can wear it with chiffon sleeves, long or short.
"Victorian inspiration continued this season and there's a focus on layering and the Victorian neckline and hemline as well as florals and monochromatics as well. There is a darker spin on the 'Victorian Heroine' theme too, and key pieces include bustiers, corsets and lace in all its forms, as trims or form-fitting dresses."
For a woman whose mantra has been 'less is more' for years, it comes as a little bit of surprise to hear Shelly utter the words 'more is more' and as she explains, this applies to this season's eye candy trend of 'Eccentric Maximalism' - a striking melange of textures, prints, colours and eras, from the 1920s through to the 1970s. Compelling in the hands of Dries Van Noten, you find embroidered pieces, sequinned embellishment, magnificently girly layered tulle and colour blends of sable, mustard, purple and red.
"This exuberance from designers will appeal to the peacocks amongst us," says Shelly, and it is hard not to be wooed by the textural landscape including pony, metallics, brocade, ostrich and cool wools and sequins.
There's a new word in our fashion lexicon this season and that's 'Simplexity'. It explores the contrast between simplicity and complexity with simply constructed, elongated, androgynous shapes with minamalist tailoring in nude and warm tones.
There's a clutch of new labels arriving into BTs including Balmain, Nina Ricci, See by Chloé, Marques' Alemida and Mugler. Shelly rates the French designer, Thierry Mugler, for his "great tailoring and splicing" and his standout slanting asymmetric lines on hemlines and necklines.
And speaking of necklines, the off-the-shoulder look is absolutely key this season and it delivers glamour with an overriding theme of femininity across many labels. Peter Pilotto, always a favourite with Irish customers, excels at the bare shoulder focus with very fitted, elegant dresses. Meanwhile, Erdem excels at embellished, floaty, romantic layers and these two labels arrive into the Cork BT store this season.
The fashion nod to the 1970s is more sporty this year, hence the trend Shelly calls the '1970s gym class.' It heralds the revival of the humble tracksuit and also the tennis dress which Victoria Beckham does well. Chloé's jogging pants with rainbow stripe gets that chic athleisure couture twist with a bohemian gypsy lace top (see next page).
Stripes have been remastered and they come in jumbo, thick and thin. Lengths are definitely longer, says Shelly, who points to the pleated skirt as being a "key purchase."
A global, nomadic vibe comes through in the 'Cultural Horizon' trend - from Japan comes the obi belt, from Peru and Africa there's tribal touches, and from Spain, lots of layered ruffles, especially impactful in the hands of Balmain.
"The season is one of profusion, contrasts and contradictions," says Shelly. "There's references to the past and promises to the future, night mingles with day, there's maximalism and minimalism - spring summer 2016 is full of interesting details and lots of unexpected delights."
The off-the-shoulder look is absolutely key this season, and delivers glamour
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