Fashion has decided not to take itself too seriously for 2017, which is probably just as well. What with all the surprises of last year and the adjustments we will no doubt have to make this coming year, the last thing we need to worry about is “serious” fashion.
Therefore, it is something of a relief to report that “feel-good”, “relaxed” and “easy-going” are key encompassing themes for spring/summer 2017. Flattering long silhouettes, clean lines and fluid fabrics are at the heart of the season, although there are statement designs and decorative details to add personality, polish and elegant flair.
Some trends evolve, some are the result of a backlash, and others comes from who knows where. The Eighties remains a key influence (shoulders, ruffles) and athleisure is still with us, with the anorak inspiring jacket and coat shapes. There’s lots of boy-meets-girl looks too, given a sexier edge with cropped tops and bralettes. Utility remains a major theme in nude tones and khaki but is given clean exaggerated silhouettes, while the nightwear-is-any-time trend evolves to reference gentlemanly silk dressing gowns.
Colour is bold and rich, with the focus on yellow from mustard to primrose and pink from pale to punchy. Pattern is also key, from sophisticated florals to stripes. Here’s what to expect:
The new shirt: The workwear staple gets a makeover with shoulder cut-out details, oversize shapes and extended sleeves. It’s all getting a bit 1980s New Romantics with ruffles, puff sleeves and drama.
Stripes: Inspirations are nothing but eclectic, from the seaside to Wee Willy Winky, vintage bedlinen to city pinstripes, rainbows to modern art. Look out for easy pieces in white and neutral tones (to wear separately or like an unstructured suit) and more fitted looks in cheery panels of mixed colour block stripes.
The white dress: Beachwear-meets-eveningwear, off-the-shoulder, huge fluted and puffed sleeves, floaty maxi dresses, fluid oversized shirt dresses – these are the looks to lust after.
Utility street-chic: With relaxed, boxy shapes, oversize cargo pockets, drawstring cords and toggles.
Bralettes: Madonna’s ’80s signature look, out and proud (or peeping from under your shirt or jacket, if you prefer).
Pink: Fuchsia bright, soft or popping, colour block it by wearing coats over dresses as at Topshop Unique or keep it layered and floaty. Céline, Valentino, Gucci and Loewe all revisited pink for spring 2017 – it’s going nowhere.
Yellow: Rich like mustard or pale like primrose, by itself or infused into both exotic and prim prints and patterns, yellow is the colour of sophisticated cheer for spring and summer.
Ruffles: Getting bigger and getting everywhere. On everything from floaty romantic dresses to office-ready pinafores (Mulberry).
Dresses over pants: Gucci and Rodarte came up with dress-over-pant ensembles, while Sportsmax brought us a long sweatshirt dress over wide-leg pants. Check out Jigsaw’s neat take on the trend.
Sack-tie trousers: An easy look led by Stella McCartney, highlighting the waist while allowing relaxed trouser shapes that are perfect for summer.
Dressing gowns: Burberry brought us gentleman-like silk gowns to be worn for going out. Wear as a coat or wrap over and tie firmly, to become an elegantly easy dress.
Look out also for: Unusual hemlines (up and down and with frills and bits added); foldover waists (flattering); slouchy fluid fabrics; large buckles; extended silhouettes; longline trench shapes; sexy street-wise athleisure; exposed shoulders; voluminous sleeves; chunky flatform shoes; big earrings; sheer fabrics including Perspex and lace; slogan tees and dresses; heart-shaped cutouts and motifs; Elizabethan looks with puffed up sleeves and nipped-in tailored waists; huge bags, cases and mini purses.