SILHOUETTE DIRECTIONS FOR WOMEN’S SPRING/SUMMER 2018 COLLECTIONS
Breezy, Long and Reconstructed: Silhouette Directions for Women’s Spring/Summer 2018 Collections
Every few years, fashion discards its old ways, calling them passé and moves out searching for something new because that is what keeps the cycle going. But the evolution of style always maintains its roots in the traditions and trends which are essential for reshaping and radicalizing these very basics. So it is fitting to note that the neo-silhouette of the decade is an artisanal deconstruction and reconstruction of everything we already know with a grandly, flowy vision. Monica Oberoi of Dipin Creations confirms that the cut of next summer will be loose and flowing and the entire silhouette is all about easy-going long lengths as well as smartly cutting out heavier volumes with soft fabrics. Fashion constantly repeats itself. Hence, expect the trends which were prominent during our parents’ times like wider trousers and floor-sweeping gowns to repeat their dominance now.
Analogous to this, designers are amply playing with proportions, graduating from the ‘big tops with skinny bottoms’ combination. One key contributor to this wind of change is Rei Kawakubo’s seminal work at Comme des Garçons.
The Japanese label, founded and headed by Kawakubo since 1981, has pioneered the concept of merging architecture and fashion, single-handedly revolutionizing the basic shape of modern garments without forgoing the femininity of womenswear. The designer’s work was chosen as the theme for this year’s annual retrospective exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which brings the body of her work under a macro lens for the entire world to see.
As Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s Curator in Charge, aptly put it, “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time.” Another factor that plays a massive role in this ‘out of proportion’ trend is the way designers are looking at the past to inspire their present collections – the process has resulted in something of cut and paste scrapbook of details from yesteryears, artistically reinterpreted for modern runways. Here are a few features of this new chopped and spliced silhouette that will form the face of fashion in the years to come!
OUTERWEAR GETS LONG & BREEZY
Cape coats for winter are almost a classical choice now, but elongated jackets are fast becoming a transseasonal norm as well. The long summer jacket for Spring/Summer 2018 takes an overtly feminine turn
with floor grazing lengths and light fabrics like crepe de chine and silk or silk chiffons.
Uplifting the workaday utility of a Mackintosh jacket, designers like Nina Ricci are repurposing the garment in a more whimsical direction giving it a very light and fluid feel. Aastha Kapoor of Affordable Exports reaffirms that long and breezy isn’t just for outerwear but rather sums up the entire silhouette story of the season. She adds that the summer girl of the next season will have a gypsy, Free People sort of look complete with long dramatic sleeves and flowing hemlines. Flare and flounce will be the key winners and the boho-chic sensibility that has been going on for a long time will continue its reign, moving in a more outward looking ladylike rodeo avatar.
ASYMMETRY WILL GO INTO EVERYTHING
A strategic element of Spring/Summer 2018’s shape is the asymmetry of everything. Designers want to keep the semblance of an imbalanced look to keep the intensely feminine looks functional. From bias, diagonal to just plain irregular, hemlines do not have to be boring this season. From Rodarte’s take on multi-layering sheer fabrics to Proenza Schouler’s artisanal deconstruction of mid-length prairie dresses, tactile references to modern architecture will be found in abundance this season.
A lot of inspirations may also be rooted in Eastern garments like the traditional Kimono and Qipao which are informing, layering and helping designers in crafting reimagined silhouettes. Nivedita of Nivedita Swarup explains that the season’s heart lies in light-weight feminine cuts and the key fabrics in play are cotton, linen and even light wools. However, fabrics like viscose-rayon are the game changers because of their appearance being close to silk without the high cost and construction maintenance. Colour play like the tone-on-tone look is also a big help in achieving this silhouette with muted yellow, brown, pink and pastels ready to take the 2018’s crown.
CUT & SPLICED VOLUMES
With garments looking flimsier and choppier than ever, the only way to reinstate some structure is by rehashing some of those pure silhouette elements and injecting them back into basic garments. Structural design is bringing in a new take on functional dressing, where instead of impractical volumes of the 1980s like heavy shoulders and padding, designers like Khomenko + Zirochka and Hussein Chalayan are using the process of ‘cut, splice and layer’ to keep a minimalist yet body-conforming appeal in their summer offerings.
A mix of artistic collaging and perhaps the grown-up, more avant-garde version of ruffles – deconstruction is fashion’s answer to all the consumer-driven needs for hyper individualism and sophisticated tailoring in one precise packaging of unexpected shapes.
Nina Ricci Flare and flounce are the key winners for Spring/ Summer 2018 and this boho-chic sensibility that has been going on for a long time now will continue its reign, moving in a more outward looking ladylike rodeo avatar next season.
Khomenko+Zirochka Cedric Charlier