Every fashion week we wait with bated breath to see how designers will once again inspire us. It’s to see what styles are in and what is out, and to prepare our accounts for their sudden demise. Yet, as we are drawn to what parades down the runway we often overlook those standing on the outside. For these individuals are the true representation of fashion, as it currently stands. Whether these people are following their own trends or the ones dictated for them, they represent the idea that fashion can be carried from the runway to the street.
This season, Spring/Summer 2016, saw the rise of many classic trends on the street. It demonstrated that both women and men are focusing on two factors in their choices – comfort and ingenuity. More often than not, we are seeing people exude their own style. They are looking for pieces that reflect who they are and with that high-end fashion feel. At the same time, there are those who are looking for individual pieces that are memorable. Whether it is intricately pleated dresses or unique graphic prints, every one is looking for a style that will turn heads.
When we think of comfort, we think of garments that are like a second skin. Ones made of fabric that morph to our bodies and are in sync with our movements. They are effortless and ooze cool; they are biker jackets. The silhouette of a biker jacket is one that seems to be timeless – originally built for utility and durability during the war; it then became the signature of rebellion throughout the years. The jacket is a subcultural archetype that eventually embodied the sexual and social liberation of younger generations. From the greasers in the 1950s to the punks in the 1970s, everyone wanted a piece of the rebellion that the style embodied.
Whilst the biker jacket never really went out of style, it has now become a staple in everyone’s own style file. Yet what does the modern day biker jacket represent? Known for its masculine origins, the jacket has now become a representation of gender freedom. Over time, as the idea of equality evolved, men and women began trading and adopting different styles, and this one stuck. Both women and men, now have the opportunity to find comfort and freedom in the style of their trusty biker jacket, a garment that will stand to last the test of time.
Whilst many opted for the luxury of comfort during fashion week, as always, there were many who focused on the wow factor. Their bold choices saw a mix of bright colours, as seen at the Balmain and Elie Saab shows. The choice in colours acted as an ode to the passing summer, celebrating its vibrancy and energy.
The brilliant shades of yellow, orange, pink and green were often complemented by a vast variety of textures. Texture added that little extra ‘pop’ that made their look go from wow to WOW.
Colour was also perfectly demonstrated through the use of graphic prints and patterns. This style seemed to be all the rage on and off the catwalks, with designers and followers daring to go loud and proud.
Prints ranged from feminine paisley prints, matched to their simple feminine styles, to bold Aztec inspired prints. But the prints that really stood out were those that incorporated artistic elements. At the Valentino show, we show a beautiful loose fitting blouse, intricately pleated so that its shape and print design gave the effect of pouting lips. This kind of design ingenuity is evidence that fashion is still able to take an artistic approach, even in street style. Technically crafted seam lines combined with the effect of the pleats, gave great volume to this set of lips. With its approach to the pop-culture style, this design was sure to have heads and camera’s turning.
Whilst street style can often be interpreted as an advertisement for oneself, it is however the perfect opportunity to express style. Street style is the runway of the streets and it is fashion being seen as accessible to the public. Fashion should not be limited to the catwalks; it should be an expression of our reality. As Coco Chanel once said, ‘fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live [and with] what is happening.’