Home furnishing fabrics abound this season, adding an unexpectedly lush note to the usually featherweight materials used for spring. There are needlepoints, tapestries and matelassés, brocades worthy of Marie Antoinette’s sitting room at Versailles and kitschy bedspread chenilles that would be at home in a 50s trailer park. Quilted or trapunto effects and bound or fringed edges underline the upholstery feel.
On the very first day of NYFW for Spring 18, Kim Kardashian attended the Tom Ford show wearing a slithery black latex dress by indie Queens-born designer LaQuan Smith, known for his body-hugging fits and hip-high slits. The shiny black was a harbinger of looks on runways in all four major cities. Several collections showed glossy coated fabrics, patent leathers or vinyl in inky blacks or the occasional lacquered lipstick red. There were prim ruffled skirts, mid-century frocks, tailored pants and precise blazers, making these high-gloss materials more about fashion than fetish.
Purple, with its symbolism of mysticism and utopian ideals, has long been a favorite of hippies. This season that bohemian spirit is still there, but it is refined with flower-petal shades, fluid fabrics and shapes that are soft yet precise. The hue looks particularly fresh worn head-to-toe in jumpsuits or frocks, or used as a surprise color pop — as in a diaphanous dotted swiss maxi-skirt styled with a simple white tee and easy trench.
As fashion goes, sometimes something is “so bad it’s good”. Acid-washed denim is one of those things. The runways abound with 80s-flavored treatments, whether acid-washed, bleached-out, sand-blasted or stone-tumbled. Many of the shapes are reminiscent of the Run DMC era as well, with rounded legs, pegged ankles, reinforced knees and myriad patch pockets. Some of the newest looks use panels of various washes, or lighter-and-darker mixes for gussets or trims.
The newest pink is not the meditative, gender-bending, leaning-towards-neutral millennial pink. For next spring, designers explore the gutsy bubblegum varieties of the hue, made even more sticky sweet with tulle flower petals, slick coated surfaces or punched-out eyelet lace. Used in strong shapes and accented with crimson red for boots or belts, these orchid pinks pack a punch that is more erotic than insipid. As feminist artist Lynda Benglis states, “Pink is a very floral, lush color. …No color is quite as seductive as this color is in nature.”
Designers seem to be channeling that moment in the 1960s when Wrangler released jeans in fashion colors, bringing a feminine twist to the cowboy dungarees for which the company was known. For next spring, clean nature-based shades like browns, greens and reds look right in classic 5-pocket styles, chore jackets or truckers. Sharply contrasting topstitching is a must.
Time was, wearing a bra in public was either the stuff of fantasy (vintage Maidenform ads) or a signal that the wearer is engaged in the oldest profession (as shown in the new HBO series “Deuce”, about the porn industry in the 1970s). Now the bra is fully out from under, whether it’s delicate lingerie styles for evening or modest knitted versions for day. Shiny fabrics and elasticized edges give the piece a sporty spin. In real life, these pieces will be worn showing though openwork knits or sheer tops, peeking out under jackets, or layered on top of shirts and dresses. Of course, for customers who can carry the look, they will simply be worn as tops.
The needle on nude has finally moved far beyond the Crayola orange-peach crayon. Current foundation lines (Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty has 40 shades) and lingerie (NubianSkin offers a wide range of skin-tones in underpinnings as well as shoes) reflect the vast variety of colors that human creatures come in, underlining the movement toward inclusiveness in beauty — whether it’s about color, size, shape or age. For next spring, designers dabble in the skin-tone palette, from ivory to beige to taupe to espresso, often in sheer stocking-like fabrics. With all the lovely complexion tones, lipstick shades like fuchsia, coral and carmine work perfectly as accents.