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From Paris With Love

If you have been constantly searching for a silver breastplate croptop, look no further.  Balmain has your back.  Beautifully modeled by the returning Cara Delevingne, this look, with its colossal shoulder pads, and extremely long arms, could be the look you are going for.  If, on the other hand, you haven’t got an internal yearning for tin-plated fashion, you, like us, might be wondering what the purpose is of the dramatic, and often bizarre looks that are paraded down the catwalk in each fashion week.  With each designer producing garments that are more wacky than the last, is this really the epitome of fashion?

We have all watched the beautiful gamine models strutting down the catwalk, rarely smiling, and studiously looking like they are supremely uber bored.  Often with their hair in a futuristic style and streaks of colour masquerading as makeup, the looks are quite unique.  Since we all know that this isn’t really something we want to emulate, what is the purpose of fashion shows anyway?

In a nutshell, designers use fashion shows to create a statement about a certain look that they will then carry into their collections for the particular season.  Whilst not generally focused upon functionality, the runway looks will be an over-stated version of a theme that will be available for purchase.  Whilst the long arms, and weird pocketed trousers will not make it into any stores, the features might be incorporated into the rack items in the form of cargo pants, for example.

So, the fashion show is basically an event where the designer takes what they can do, and showcases it to an exaggerated level, thus demonstrating their talent in design.  The looks that are presented on the catwalk are generally all hand-made, and require significantly more time, and skill, to create, than the off-the-rack items that use them for inspiration.

The other major reason for the fashion show is clearly for marketing a brand.  It is no surprise that Balmain chose Cara Delevingne to open its show, given the guaranteed column inches, just because she was returning to modelling for the first time since 2015.  Similarly, Off-White chose not one, but two of the biggest names in fashion today; Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, and then paired them together for their opening.  Whilst it is unusual to have two models, especially models of this might, opening a show together, it created such a buzz for the Off-White show.  Mission accomplished.  Publicity inches gained.

So, with the fashion show relay of New York, London, Milan and Paris all wrapped up for another season, designers all across the lands will be getting their sketch pads out and drawing up a toned-down version of the demonstrated looks.  In my head I have this vision that all the designers get together in a secret coven space, deciding on the trends that will make it each season.  Or maybe to become a designer you have to possess a strange psychic ability to think the same thoughts.  From the couture down, there is a weird similarity across collections both in design and in materials used.  In my family we have the same thing at Christmas where, without talking to each other at all, often gifts comply along a theme.  The year where we all got slippers was a particular low-point.  But, I digress, so, looking at Paris for inspiration, what can we anticipate seeing in the stores for Spring/Summer 2019?

It seems the move to repeat the 1990s is continuing in Spring/Summer.  We are currently seeing this trend in the Northern Hemisphere Autumn/Winter 2018, and have it to look forward to Autumn/Winter 2019 in the Sourthern Hemisphere.  My best advice for Spring/Summer is think Clueless.  And I don’t mean the fashionistas.  Although, this Rick Owens creation could cause me to beg to differ.  No, Clueless the movie.  Channel your inner Cher Horowitz and read on.

  • Legs are going to be on show – I’ll need to get my pins in order. Skirts are going to be short.  Like thigh-high, seeing your underwear short.  If you want to avoid showing what you had for breakfast, the other option is thigh-high splits in an otherwise longer skirt.  Both were showcased on Off-White, Manish Arora and Rick Owens.
  • Animal prints are back again and I can’t quite believe it. Feathers and leopard were featured so many times that it’s a wonder that there are any birds left.  Even the most innocuous items such as cargo pants were blinged up with feathers at Dries Van Noten.  So, feather it up, or embraces your inner animal.
  • Talking about cargo pants, these are likely to be making a comeback too. Cargo pants are one of those funny clothing items for me.  In the 1990s I was pre-kids, and loved me a cargo pant.  The straight across the hips, low-slung nature worked well for me, with my lack of waist, creating the illusion of a bum.  Now, though, as a mum, I can imagine that I will find cargo pants have a different use.  The plethora of pockets will surely be filled with the millions of little ‘treasures’ that my small people collect daily.  No doubt at some point I will forget to check the pockets before washing, and will end up with all other clothes covered with a white tissue covering, and 2 spare stones stopping my washing machine from working.  So I am looking forward to that very much.

All in all, Spring/Summer 2019/2020 will be bright, laid-back, revealing, and a bit of feathered fun.  If you are imagining Mel C in any Spice Girls video, you are probably going to be on track.  Now that’s a scary thought…

Till next time,

Stop The Gape

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