From leather to denim, from fur to sheer, womenswear fall/winter 2017 puts forward sartorial trends that reflect the current times
By: Dimitria Vitanova
Posted on: March 28, 2017
Fall/Winter 2017 bore importance in, at least, a couple of ways. Following last year’s temblors that rippled through the fashion world, this season served as an assessment of fledgling concepts. Some merged the presentations of their women and men collections, others rolled out an instant-purchase scheme. Yet others, shunned the catwalks of the New York, Milan, Paris and London to debut their designs in months that actually reflect their season.
Meanwhile, designers wielded their artistry to deliver interpretations – and responses – to the ferment that appears to take on the world. Subtle political messages spread from the runways, sounding out a confirmation of feminine strength and zeal. A commentary on the present, the next cold spell offers fine garments that, while retaining the biggest trends of last season, spell sartorial audacity that spills into a state of mind.
In a season that brought about long-considered changes, a scrum of designers chose to look into the future through metallic-coated lens. While the cold metallic sheen of fall/winter 2017 does carry a futuristic, cool vibe, it also picks sci-fi motifs in a rather nostalgic aesthetic. Think retro movies with silver folio-garbed extraterrestrial creatures. In a way, bridging the past with an imagined fashion world yet to dawn, metallic assembles twinkled in silver and gold at Chanel, Comme Des Garcons, Bottega Veneta and Wanda Nylon.
High fashion’s preoccupation with the vivacity and intricacy of folk wear does not seem to wane. For the next cold season, designers have picked inspiration from a variety of sources, creating bursting floral prints and dangling fringes. Stitching together contrasting fabrics and hues to make attires that are as conflicting as harmonious, brands such as Gucci, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Maison Margiela and Etro offer a blend of ethnic motifs and grunge cuts.
Denim on Denim
Having enjoyed a revival in the last several years, denim is doubling down in fall/winter 2017. Who deemed denim on denim too 1990s? On the runways this February and March, the trend offered another definition of high-fashion-meets-high-street. Dior, Stella McCartney and Calvin Klein tailored the everlasting fabric into head-to-toe ensembles of shades from sky blue to dark violet. Shunning the full-blown denim fervor, Sonia Rykiel opted for decorative jean patches.
In a season of liberal silhouettes and motley palettes, multi-colored fur reigned the catwalks. Rendered in bright, almost blinding neon shades, fur took the form of below-the-knee coats, boots and oversized hats. Prada, Fendi, Sonia Rykiel and Miu Miu are among the vanguards of the trend, splashing it with the top hues of the season – turquoise, red and orange. Meanwhile, Givenchy, Elie Saab and Louis Vuitton took a weary approach, wielding fur as an attention-piquing detail rather than an in-you-face garb.
Let us be honest – ethereal and feminine, sheer is a runway mainstay. As much as it bears, it hides. Perhaps, it is this interplay between the exposed and the covered that makes sheer a designers’ favorite. In fall/winter 2017, it features in sensual flowing gowns as well as chest-hugging tops. Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Elie Saab relied on the vaguely opaque fabric to lend their collections a dreamy feel.
In fall/winter 2017, business wear obtains asymmetrical, loose shapes. Replacing the strictness and conservatism of the office are oversized suits, flowing blouses and bright skirts. The designs of Fendi, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Celine hail a new generation of working women, more liberated and self-assured than ever. Perhaps, the only remnant of traditional professionalism is the somber checkered grey hue that still creeps into ensembles.
Black and sleek, leather ruled the runways this fashion season. Exuding feminine prowess and a notch of disdain for the ordinary, all-leather silhouettes – from dresses to suits – cling to the body in a manner that is both aggressive and ultra-sexy. While many used leather sparingly, Bottega Veneta, Proenza Schouler and Saint Laurent all succumbed to its dominance, letting out a Matrix-reminiscent excess.