AW17 product is being delivered to shops near you as we speak. It doesn’t matter if you are not ready, or that you are currently only interested in discounted SS17 clothes. This is how the industry works. To get you in the mood for the new season, I have gone through all AW17 catwalks and selected styles that look fresh, but also have some life in them. What do I mean by that? Simple; this is a list of directions that will be hot this winter and remain relevant for seasons to come.
In this first part of my AW17 must-haves report I include my favourite dresses, denim product, suits, prints and accessories. My methodology was simple; I went through 3K photos and looked for investment pieces with a point of difference, and of course pieces I liked. No one said this was a democratic process!
Day-to-night is no longer an incomprehensible concept. Designers nailed the perfect shape and fabrications that can take women from office to that hot, newly-opened restaurant. Buy one in checks, with long sleeves and in longer length. Extra brownie points if you go for mix-media fabrications, or invest in a dress in thicker ponte, backloop sweatshirt or bonded fabrications. Want more to excite you, oh, I got more: be daring and wear an all over sequinned midi. Sequins are not only for weddings. Dress them down with a denim jacket or a cropped biker and you are onto a winner.
Investment for the Future: Anything with vertical slashes and that 1940s shape championed by Bottega Veneta. We are only just beginning dipping our toe into the 40s pool…
My favourite look: Pay attention to those oversized pockets – and ask yourself who needs a handbag when you have these pockets?
We expect the fashion coming out of London to push boundaries, and it does. But interestingly enough, men’s shows this season while still challenging, felt incredibly wearable. They were more mature, more thought through, concentrating on how the clothes translate to the street without losing sight of the message. And God did AW17 shows have strong messages…
We had the norm gender-bending, gender-defying message, a stable for British brands, but this time it was less gimmicky. It felt less of a concept for the fashion crowd’s internal consumption, and more of a discussion on how modern men view their masculinity. For example, why is it ok to wear lycra trousers when doing sports and not when walking down the street? Why does playing with proportions, and distorting the balance of the body, is a womenswear only preoccupation? It was less of a drag show, and more of a sincere question on gender defining attributes.
But what raised a few eyebrows in the post-Brexit referendum era, were the political messages communicated by many designers. In a few shows the message was very subtle; with clothes that looked battle-ready, or with clothes that felt as if they have been bruised by a battle. However, Christopher Shannon, not shying away from a clearer stand on Brexit, sent models down the runway with melted flags obscuring their faces. And to make things even more straight-forward his play on Hugo Boss’s logo, spelling ‘Loss international’, summarised the feeling many young people have in the UK.
But to the point, there were a few distinctive trends emerging from the AW17 runways. Menswear brands overcame the division between performance-wear and daywear; the merging of the two was complete and did feel sincere; a fresh approach to “athleisure”. What also excited me was how ‘utility’ was brought to the next level; proving that juxtaposing utilitarian and a design-focused approach can be irrelevant. Designers showed us that a happy co-existence is possible. But there was a micro-trend, related to these utilitarian-performance-daywear hybrids, I cannot wrap my head around. What is it with all the ski-wear down-filled jackets, trousers, and separates? Even my ski-crazy friends will struggle to stand behind this…
I have had a great time, albeit a difficult one, putting together this two-part party season special. It is unbelievable how many options there are out there for the ‘festive’ season. But options do not necessarily mean one has a choice. Researching online for this Christmas special extended edit, I was surprised to see how the luxury and contemporary segments look so much stronger than the high-street.
It seems that all affordable brands were offering similar product but competing on pricing. No surprise there. But this lack of creativity, excitement, and freshness is worrying. Slavery to trends and an unnecessary involvement in the vicious circle of pricing wars is never good. I just cannot believe how many short velvet strappy dresses, and sequin shift dresses I had to go through. Unlike the more exclusive brands, high-street retailers are still targeting the same consumer, ignoring certain taste-levels and age groups.
But allow me to end in a positive note and congratulate &Other Stories for its amazing and provoking offer, and Ellery for its very special product. Happy holidays everyone and a let us all enjoy a better 2017! On with the outfits…
She is a hipster reloaded. Like Ellen Ripley in Aliens, she is readier, punchier, a hold-no-prisoners version. When the whole world has started copying her style and her life choices, she moves on. When everyone starts investing in the 90s, what she did last year, she moves on to the 80s.
From left to right (L-R): Acne Studios leather shearling overcoat; MSGM crepe shirt with ruffle details; Tabula Rasa hand macramé skirt with pompoms; Carven mini leather shoulder bag; Laurence Dacade platform boots.
Remember how last year I introduced you to 8 different types of women, and how they could potentially dress for the party season? Remember how I created these different archetypes of women, and tried to imagine a life for them, before trying to dress them? Well, this year, over the next two posts, I am revisiting these women and checking what they are up to.
As it is Christmas, I hope you will allow me this crude generalization, and accept, even for a moment, that women can be divided into different archetypes. I know that is wrong, and that women one day can wear a power suit and the next day a frilly pink dress. But believe it or not, big retailers divide their customers into archetypes and develop or buy collections based on the percentage of each archetype they want to cover. Maybe this can explain why a visit to the shops nowadays feels like Groundhog Day; Bill Murray I challenge you to take on the challenge that is retail in 2016…
But to the point, holiday season is upon us with its numerous parties and outfits. How does one navigate through the most challenging time of the year, putting fashion-fatigue aside, and adopt a cheerful, almost annoying happy demeanour? Fashion Anthropologist has you covered.
An eclectic approach
She is nerdy, kooky, and can show you how librarians do it better…Sometimes her outfits are so beautifully put together she puts Alessandro Michele to shame. She is a true collector of objects and garments. This is how we can summarize her style: a bit of her gran’s hand-downs and a bit from Net-A-Porter. She will wear a very intense lipstick but her efforts will end there. She hates how too much make-up dirties her glasses…
From left to the right (L-R): Tibi military double-breasted wool mix coat; Mary Katrantzou lace and tulle maxi dress with leather trims and appliques; Alexander McQueen leather and embellishment round bag; Brunello Cucinelli leather loafers.