Roughly 15 years ago, Burberry faced a dilemma. Its trademark check was loved and worn like a uniform by the working classes, something ‘fashionistas’ looked down upon. The heritage brand thought its kudos was quickly diminishing; they believed the fashion world could not take a brand dressing the ‘masses’ seriously.
Burberry had to make a choice between turning its back to the people who proudly invested in the brand, or embrace them and be banished by the fashion powers that be. Guess what, the working classes were abandoned by the brand, and their loyalty branded shameful and cheapening.
Back then nothing good or creative could be associated with the ‘chav’, the ‘roadman’, the ‘gopnik’, the ‘eshay’, or whatever you want to call the poor working classes. Fashion back then was still considered ‘high-culture’, ‘wearable art’, and exclusive to the few. Yes, it was a snobbish approach, and alienating if not discriminatory, but it is important to state that this approach is now redundant.
Only recently the reference designer Gosha Rubchinskiy sent a model dressed head-to-toe in the Burberry check with the blessings of Christopher Bailey. How the wheel turns. What has changed that made the majority of young and influential designers unapologetically borrow from the working class aesthetic? How has the world, and consumption patterns changed, to allow current creatives to stop ignoring but actually ‘fetishise’ the working class?
My outfit edits have become a seasonal stable. And guess what, is that time of the year for yet another one; the first for the AW17 season! As an inspiration, I am using a term I have learned to dislike; ‘athleisure’, and I see how ‘athleisure’ will evolve in the upcoming seasons.
I am frequently asked “what is the future of ‘athleisure’”? Two things to keep in mind: styles with performance-inspired detailing are not going anywhere any time soon. ‘Sporty’ references will remain relevant and continue to inform the way we will dress for a few more seasons.
However, I believe that what we will be seeing more of, will be more playful combinations; sporty references unconventionally injected in our outfit choices. Forget the binary opposition between sporty and dressy; all will be mixed and creatively layered. Think high-shine silk skirts worn with hoodies, and sequinned tops with ‘pyjama’ trousers. Once again, we will express ourselves by ‘blending’ clothes that are not supposed to go together; merging day with night, and exercising with cocktail hour.
Be ahead of the curve and check below 6 ‘blending’ looks I have put together using what’s brand new in stores.
Clockwise: Natasha Zinko cropped cotton-blend sweatshirt with hood; MSGM wool-blend sweater (to be worn under sweatshirt); Chloé leather and suede backpack; Marco de Vincenzo plaited detail leather trainers; Public School silk pleated skirt; Aurelie Bidermann 18K gold & sapphire necklace
Inclusiveness is one of the biggest buzz words in fashion right now. It is ridiculous that in 2017 ‘inclusiveness’ is a notion we even have to bring up. Attitudes have changed but we are not there yet. Let’s be honest, accepting is one thing, including a completely different matter. Most of us accept that there are ‘different ways’ however, not many of us are willing to include them in our decision making.
When it comes to race, sexual and religious orientation, age, and embracing various body shapes, fashion industry has a lot of work to do, and a lot to answer for. Yes, many designers, brands and retails have started to consider it but I still get the feeling it is more of a ticking the box situation rather than an actual change of philosophy and strategy. For a big buzz word such as this, it is strange that such little progress has been made.
Did you have time to compile a list yet? Have you decided what you will invest in? You have just enough time to do your research and narrow it down to that really special AW17 piece.
According to analysts, one of the current biggest retail consumer tendencies is ‘research and then investment’; thoroughly looking through all options and spending a tiny bit more if it is justified. Throw-away fashion is polling worse and worse each year. Younger consumers especially, prefer making an informed choice; even when looking for a plain white t-shirt; the quality of cotton, its production processes, and its design detailing are factors as important to them as price.
So, to make your decision about what you will invest in for AW17 even more difficult, why don’t you check below my favourite AW17 knitwear, outerwear, trousers, shirts, tops and skirts?
With the plethora of amazing overcoats on offer, this is the best season for you to choose a statement coat – are Marco de Vincenzo’s and Katrantzou’s printed coats big enough of a statement for you?
Longer lengths continue to be relevant and leather is becoming a major material for the season (mental note coloured leather is resurfacing); check out those Matrix-like overcoats by Li and Theyskens. If leather is not for you, why don’t you go for checks; especially Prince of Wales checks?
Major trend alert: oversized pockets are everywhere this season!
Fun-factor: the Chewbacca jackets
My favourite look: cropped saturated-blue biker jackets; nailing two trends in one go.