Under normal circumstances, spring fashion usually has a hint of the delicate to it. Floral designs often emerge at this time of year, not to mention light fabrics and a more natural, loose-fitting aesthetic.
This spring, several designers have taken the reverse approach and are reinventing spring style. Here’s an overview.
Embracing gender-neutral design
Gender-neutral clothing is something that we’ve seen before, albeit under a different name. In the 80s, it was termed ‘power dressing’. Now, it’s about making a statement – a refusal to be labelled and a desire to wear something more functional and less floaty.
Tailored jackets, loose-fitting suit trousers and boxy silhouettes have been out in full force at recent fashion shows. The same applies for sharp, detail-free shirts, simple trainers and toned-down accessories. Think make-up free, not coated in cosmetics; or fragrances with a hint of feminine and masculine like Baccarat Rouge 540, not floral or fruity scents.
Designers have been referencing counter-culture movements for a while now, and grunge is still proving to be a big inspiration. Designers like Christian Dior, R13 and Prada are taking it in an unexpected direction, by throwing a hint of sun-kissed, Californian beach into the mix.
This looks embraces tie-dye to the max, in loud, lurid colours. Swimwear is also referenced, with baggy cardigans worn over the top, or loose maxi-skirts.
Beauty in beige
Some designers have been working with an unusual colour palette, centred around light browns and beiges. It’s a distinct contrast to the classic pastels, whites and bright bursts of colour that are often seen at this time of the year.
High-waisted beige trousers showcase the luxe appeal of beige, as do textural lightweight jackets and coats, like the classic camel or trench-coat. Head-to-toe beige makes a real statement, though other designers chose to blend block-beige with brighter colours and patterns. Max Mara’s nod to safari is a great place to start for design inspiration, or Tibi’s oversized suits.
A touch of darkness
Normally, blacks and charcoal greys are reserved for the winter season. However, on the 2019 catwalks, black lace and sultry grey leather were both used in several collections. Alexander Wang’s lace-panelled sportswear top is a great example of how this look can be exciting and forward-thinking, and Marco de Vincenzo’s ‘barely there’ lace dress ramps up the sex-appeal to the max.
Tartan remains big this spring. Clashing colour palettes hark back to Vivienne Westwood, with brash acid yellow, bold green and royal blue all being showcased. Traditional red tartan was also widely used in some of the fashion shows. Marta Jakubowski is a great example of a new designer taking tartan somewhere fresh and different.
Instead of delicate ruffles, the designers focused on bold textural finishes – vibrant feathers, metal fringing, tassels, crocheted edging and more. These finishes were used to make a statement, and were added to otherwise fairly simple garments. Valentino’s tassels on 70s-inspired dresses are a great example, as is Givenchy’s sleek chainmail look.