Plenty of trends are on the horizon following the end of the women’s catwalks in Paris.
The spring 15 womenswear season concluded last week in Paris, following three weeks of shows in New York, London and Milan. The French capital’s designers unveiled several of the standout shows of the season including Chanel, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton, while also confirming the key trends and directions that will be influential next spring.
The strongest message was a return to the 1970s. The decade’s glamorous-cum-boho look promises to be the most dominant style of the season and a widespread winner on the high street. Elsewhere, easy, wearable and sellable trends such as mid-length skirts, a return to denim and a focus on black and white monochrome looks are sure to have an all-encompassing appeal that will offer something for every buyer.
Back to boho
Tying into spring’s 1970s focus, some designers pushed a trippy hippy-inspired vibe that will undoubtedly be replicated by the high street. Tommy Hilfiger kicked things off, staging his own music festival complete with groupies in New York, but the trend was also spotted at Anna Sui, Etro in Milan and Dries Van Noten in Paris. This look is all about loose fabrics and clashing prints and patterns - expect babydoll dresses, printed maxis, throw-on ponchos and pyjama-style trouser and top sets.
Chloé creative director Clare Waight Keller took the French label back to its heyday in Paris, solidifying the 1970s as the standout decade. The message from many designers was celebrating the glamour of the period, so buy into sexy suede, slinky lace, swinging tassels and dashes of denim. The Italians did it best, such as Emilio Pucci, Etro and Gucci, but influences were also seen in the topstitched suede and flared trousers of Derek Lam and the Studio 54-style printed blouses and maxi dresses of Matthew Williamson.
Stuck in the middle
Mid-length knee-skimming skirts came into their own for spring 15, seen elegantly printed at Donna Karan in New York and Salvatore Ferragamo in Milan, boldly graphic at Holly Fulton, Christopher Kane and Giles in London and finally in show-stopping embellished styles at Valentino in Paris. In common across the ranges was an emphasis on a cinched waist for a more flattering silhouette on both dresses and skirts. Pleats (another trend to watch) and fuller A-line shapes were also popular variations.
A military-tinged utility style first appeared at Marc Jacobs in New York and came full circle at Chanel in Paris, with these influential names pushing simple workwear pieces for spring. The uniting element was pared-back and minimal masculine shapes, particularly for outerwear layers, statement cropped jackets or button-through shirt blouses, all scattered with pockets and epaulettes. A slightly more mature look, this will counter the season’s more directional 1970s style as a more approachable trend.
The versatile pattern dominated the New York catwalks from Altuzarra to Michael Kors in a classic, ladylike form in monochrome or pastel shades. The same carried through in Milan where Bottega Veneta’s elegant belted dresses came in mini checks, while London designers such as Ashish went for a bolder, younger take with sequinedgingham or blown-up squares. In Paris Vivienne Westwood ticked off the trend by marrying the two extremes, focusing on staple monochrome but on an oversized scale.
A trend worth noting for spring due to its easy-to-wear appeal, shoulder-baring dresses offer a hint of flesh while remaining demure. New York’s Creatures of the Wind’s cut-out dresses demonstrated a more subtle approach, while Osman, Michael van der Ham and Eudon Choi in London were all a little more statement-making, with high necklines and arm straps revealing a flash of shoulder - one to watch in the occasionwear market. Cut-out knitwear at Chanel in Paris proved the look can work across other categories too.
Stella McCartney’s double denim look in Paris confirmed the humble fabric as a top womenswear trend for spring 15, having been utilised across the catwalks in numerous guises suitable for every woman. For instance, Burberry Prorsum breathed life into denim jackets, updated with tailored wasp waists, contrast fabric panelling and luxe furry or feathered linings. There were denim shirts at Fendi and Kenzo, dresses at Lacoste and Gucci, and even standard jeans at Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana.
It will come as no surprise that monochrome black and white was confirmed as the key colour trend of the season in Paris, with punchy contrasting leathers at Givenchy and graphic squares and stripes at Balmain. It ties in nicely with the optic stripes and patterns seen in New York at DKNY and at Jasper Conran in London, as well as the softer contrast embroidery at Dolce & Gabbana in Milan. Its versatility and wearability will make the trend eye-catching when merchandised in store and should attract shoppers of all ages.
While knee-skimming hemlines stood out as the most important skirt story, buyers should also note a focus on flouncy, swirling asymmetric shapes. Seen at every fashion week, from Céline in Paris to London’s Peter Pilotto, they offer a more fashion-forward option. Wrapped, tiered or layered skirts from the likes of Marni and Rodarte are more directional, while simple falling shapes and hi-lo hems offer more approachable versions. Young fashion brands and summery party looks will take inspiration from this trend.