Tuxedos, tube dresses, Nehru collars and even the prodigal Jil Sander are back this year, but with decidely modern, often radical twists. Herewith, Tiyana Grulovic and Amy Verner tick off the top 10 fashion trends to look for over the coming 12 months – expect some déjà vu
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BLACK AND WHITE ALL OVER: Get ready to go graphic. No matter which way it played out – harlequin diamonds (at Balmain), power flowers (at Prada and Viktor & Rolf), abstracted patterns (at Chloe and Marc Jacobs), checkerboards (at Louis Vuitton) or contoured shapes (at Elie Saab, Valentino and Calvin Klein) – the classic pairing ruled the runways. Why? Because designers clearly want to flush out last year’s explosion of eccentric prints. Even when black and white got a boost from added colour – see Mary Katrantzou, Roberto Cavalli, Roksanda Ilincic, Peter Pilotto and Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi – the impact was undeniable. Consider this fashion’s take on high definition. – A.V.
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TUBE DRESSES: As the yang to the yin of ruffles and diaphanous pyjama dressing, the lean tube dress heralds the solid and sculptural side of spring. As for length, just look to Chanel or Louis Vuitton, where both Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs showed long, short and super-short iterations (Jacobs took his cue from the artist Daniel Buren’s columnar installation in Paris’s Palais Royal). Yes, these dresses are best suited to ectomorphs, but zoom out and the takeaway message comes into focus. Such a simple shape demands impeccable tailoring. Above all, it’s a testament to design execution. – A.V.
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THE TUX DECONSTRUCTED: A timeless tuxedo just isn’t going to cut it this season. Alber Elbaz, Phoebe Philo and Stella McCartney are among the designers who took a stab at updating this evening-wear icon through all manner of manipulation: cropping, slashing, recombining and more. The results are angular and hypermasculine, but hang slim along the body. At Christian Dior, Raf Simons remained slightly more conservative, adding unexpected swing through vents and volume. His version was half Bar silhouette and half tux. It is, simply, class. – A.V.
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BLUSH HOUR: What happens when designers rethink pink, specifically that soft, saccharine tint that falls somewhere between blush and cotton candy? Raf Simons’s final collection for Jil Sander this past fall seems to have been the catalyst for a surge in pale pink’s popularity. It appeared on stiff fabrics at Marni and on fondant-like folds at Christopher Kane. Miuccia Prada, meanwhile, has applied it to fur coats and Japanese-style dresses, suggesting a woman who is equal parts precious and provocateur. – A.V.
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HOLOGRAPHIC CHIC: Metallic finishes that proved such a mainstay throughout the aughts have ceded the spotlight to holographic treatments resembling futuristic film wrap. Jonathan Saunders, for one, has riffed on the disco era with a sexy holographic-striping effect. At Dior, the organza overlays appeared electric, while Burberry’s colour-saturated trenches looked as if they were pre-slickened by a holographic shower. Look, too, for accessories with holographic touches (from Pierre Hardy and Proenza Schouler, among others) for a hit of shiny fun. – A.V
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OUT OF INDIA: Whether they were inspired by the subcontinent itself or are just catering to its booming economy, New York designers have tapped the riches of India in more ways than one this season. In particular, Marchesa appropriated the country’s traditional hand embroidery for a gilded collection worthy of a Bollywood red carpet, while Vera Wang used cypress green damask and blown-up paisley prints to adorn her fluid Nehru-collared pyjama suiting. Altuzarra, however, pulls off the look off most handsomely with a twist on saris that, like their trails of gold fringe, leaves a lasting impression.– T.G.
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DECOUPAGE: You don’t have to be as crafty as domestic doyenne Martha Stewart to appreciate this spring’s handmade-looking aesthetic. A masterful mishmash of swaths and stips of fabric – as varied as deconstructed photo prints, lace and snakeskin both real and faux – came together in eclectic mixes at Erdem, Fendi and Preen. Perhaps it was Proenza Schouler who did the DIY thing best, however, with patches and slashes of luxe lizard and snake. Think of it all as hodgepodge gone haute, cutting-edge in every way. – T.G.
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SUPER-STRIPES:Stripes, particularly come spring, are a sartorial given. But the classic patterning goes extreme this season as thicker, bolder strokes hit the scene courtesy of Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger and Acne. Their ultragraphic approach may straddle the line between nautical and prisoninspired, but, when worn head-to-toe, as in Jacobs’s groovy, Sixties-style suiting, it sure cuts a sharp silhouette. Way to raise the, ahem, bar. – T.G.
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RIGID RUFFLES: At Gucci and Givenchy, they framed the shoulders of clean, chromatic gowns, but it was Balenciaga’s versions – nods, in part, to founder Cristobal Balenciaga’s Spanish heritage and to a dress that creative director Nicolas Ghesquière hit upon in the house’s archives – that proved most potent. By pairing strong, stiff ruffles with flashes of bare skin, Ghesquière’s effect – a refined yet stony sexiness – was a suitably memorable statement for his last collection at the label’s helm. And a hot one for spring. – T.G.
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MINIMALISM REDUX: Back in the 1990s, the emergence of simple, architectural lines were intended to clean up the unkempt grunge scene. Now, the kind of minimalism that Jil Sander, Raf Simons, Heidi Slimane and Narciso Rodriguez then championed is resurfacing – thanks to those same designers and, in part, a resurgence of grunge. This season marks Slimane’s and Simons’s debut collections for Saint Laurent and Christian Dior respectively, while Sander is back at her namesake label after an eight-year absence. Rodriquez, the slipdress master of that decade, has refreshed his signature frocks with a sensibility recalling austere beauty Caroline Bessette Kennedy, for whom he designed that famous wedding dress. – T.G.
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