By Adina J. Pernell
Wherever you are in the world, fashion week draws style enthusiasts, celebrities, start-up designers, artists, the politically connected, social climbers, and everything else in-between to its hallowed catwalks.
They come to feast their eyes on the wearable art that struts down the runway with confidence in effort to remain fashionably relevant.
It is a bold, functional aesthetic that will make waves this season at the world’s most popular fashion weeks held in London, New York and Paris.
“The trends have been veering towards maximalism the past few seasons after several years of very relaxed and frequently more athleisure-influenced collections,” said Tony Bravo who is an adjunct instructor at City College and a staff style reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.
90’s flavor, that give homage to Sporty Spice are making a strong comeback on the runway and in Milan, New York and London you will see everything from fashionable pajamas to sports bras worn outside of the gym.
In Milan, “Donatella Versace led the charge with graphic nylon parkas and leggings, while other brands like Max Mara and MSGM followed suit with athletic-inspired performance gear,” affirmed Brittany Adams in her fashionista article “8 Top Trends in Milan Fashion Week.”
In London, designer Henry Holland’s, sloppy-esque but trendy, oversized T-shirts competed for space in uniqueness with Ryan Lo whose sleeves flowed past the model’s hands to create a weird silhouette that would make Bjork proud.
While in New York, Lacoste and Alexander Wang started a trend of wearing designer robes. Room service anyone? And big names like Coach and Ralph Lauren used an esthetic that channels “Coyote Ugly” with western themed designs that took the sporty feel to the great outdoors.
In Paris, heavy hitters like Balenciaga and Saint Laurent brought back the boxy-shouldered, power suit jackets of the 80’s, and Stella McCartney gave another nod to the 90’s with casual statement tees that screamed hard-core feminism paired with soft frilly skirts, reminiscent of a vintage episode of “La Femme Nikita”.
Accessories on the runway have leaned towards wildly long, dangly earrings and eccentric hats. While makeup trends seem to favor bold nude eyes with lush browlines, paired with nude or vibrant lips. Glowy, fresh faced looks are also in.
“I’d expect fall 2017 will continue the current romantic streak with an emphasis on texture, fuller silhouettes (for women) and darker hues,” said Bravo.
There are a plethora of designers vying to get into various fashion weeks worldwide, but Bravo called former Calvin Klein and Christian Dior designer Raf Simons’, sporty, Oxford-chic line of menswear- as the line to watch.
And speaking of menswear, it was refreshing to hear the male models of fashion week are gaining a new look – diversity.
The fashion world is moving to embrace new faces of fashion that are more diverse and inclusive in New York and abroad.In the mostly caucasian model castings comprised in part of Milan’s Fashion Week, we see a change.
“Miuccia Prada opened her fall 2017 show over the weekend with Kaissan Ibrahima, who is one of the few people of color to have landed the coveted top spot at Prada,” said Janelle Okwodu in the article “Milan Men’s Fashion Week Is Finally Embracing Diversity.”
Along with a varied cast of models in the runways, fashion week, has escaped the confines of a physical location and gone online.
Bravo contends that technology will play a huge role in shaping fashion week this year, and indicated that we will see more “special ‘experience based’ shows, social media only shows, buy-it-now platforms.”
He credits a new shift in social media based shows that are being featured on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and other popular applications as part of “the ongoing evolution of New York Fashion Week [that] can be laid at the feet of Bay Area tech innovation.”
In a September 29, 2016 article from the Chronicle, Bravo quoted Veronica Swanson Beard, the other half of a fashion duo that includes her sister-in-law Veronica Miele Beard as saying that the “experience is the greatest luxury today.”
In today’s computer-driven fashion world of availability and instant gratification, where shopping is literally at your fingertips, never has a truer word been spoken.