LISA ARM­STRONG sees in A/W 2018’s key sil­hou­ette end­lessly flat­ter­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties — and an ex­cuse to buy new boots

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents - Lisa Arm­strong is head of fashion for The Tele­graph (tele­

Lisa Arm­strong cel­e­brates the sea­son’s new sil­hou­ette.

Ayear ago, fashion seemed to dis­cover a new sar­to­rial ob­vi­ous: fashion sneak­ers, luxe jog­ging pants and cash­mere hood­ies sud­denly be­came the ‘wear any­where’ uni­form for cool girls ev­ery­where. ath­leisure was here to stay, and, baby, we’d bet­ter get used to it. I dab­bled. I dipped. After all, I love an Alexan­der Mcqueen sneaker or a Chloé jog­ging pant. But gymwear as a blue­print for ev­ery­thing in my closet? For­ever? I couldn’t do it.

This sea­son, the ath­leisure trend is still there for any­one who wants it, and its pos­i­tive in­flu­ences abound: more and more tech­ni­cal fab­rics used in more and more imag­i­na­tive ways; chunky-soled flats; and heels no higher than four inches. But, thank­fully, the bar is ris­ing for the com­ing sea­son. we’re talk­ing A-game here. It’s as if fashion’s ra­dio-fre­quency sig­nals switched from ana­log to dig­i­tal. tai­lor­ing, al­ready hum­ming along nicely for sev­eral sea­sons, has re­ally turned up the vol­ume, with skirt suits join­ing the pants-suit as a pow­er­ful day-and-evening al­ter­na­tive to dresses. things are tak­ing a turn for the for­mal. also, in­ter­est­ingly, the mod­est.

At Valentino, the neck­lines were so high and the sil­hou­ettes so body-con­ceal­ing that the clothes would’ve looked right at home at Riyadh fashion week (there re­ally was one ear­lier this year — times are chang­ing ev­ery­where). the new mod­esty may well be fashion’s way of ad­just­ing to #Timesup, although the de­gree of cov­er­age made some women watch­ing slightly un­easy. When does de­mure tip over into op­pres­sive pro­scrip­tion? For­tu­nately, de­sign­ers of­fered plenty of op­tions, so let’s ex­er­cise our free­dom to take as much or as lit­tle as we want from this development.

Scarfs are ev­ery­where, from Gucci tover­sace: fas­tened to purse han­dles and wrapped around the neck as well as the hair. Head­wear, in gen­eral, hasn’t had it so good since the 1950s. Hats, base­ball caps, Stet­sons… and even bal­a­clavas. I was tempted. I mean, cosy, but then I re­alised that the look hasn’t worked for me since I was about nine years old, alas.

Colour, al­ways a re­veal­ing lens through which to view fashion, has shaken loose from just about ev­ery last shred of pro­to­col and prej­u­dice. think fuch­sia is for hol­i­days in St Barts? See Os­car de la Renta’s A/W col­lec­tion. Or that baby blue is more of a spring­time state­ment? Not when it’s mixed with bur­gundy, as seen at Al­berta Fer­retti. In­ci­den­tally, bur­gundy now does the job that used to be­long to black — it an­chors an out­fit — and brown, after decades in the rust-belt wilder­ness, is also back in favour, along with rust and ochre, as it hap­pens. It’s all part of a ’70s vi­sion that I pre­fer to think of less as a tran­sient re­vival and more as a clas­sic genre that has thor­oughly earnt its po­si­tion on fashion’s Mount Olym­pus. I’ll slow down be­cause there’s a lot to take in here. We should prob­a­bly start with the fashion mark­ers that make the big­gest dif­fer­ence, such as length. If you’ve

been steadily ac­quir­ing midis, know this: they’re still

“The bar is ris­ing for the com­ing sea­son. It’s as if fashion’s ra­dio-fre­quency sig­nals switched from ana­log to dig­i­tal. Tai­lor­ing, al­ready hum­ming along for sev­eral sea­sons, has re­ally turned up the vol­ume.”

your go-to, although de­sign­ers flirted with even longer, an­kle-graz­ing lengths (a lovely flat-shoe friendly op­tion for evenings). there are minis, too — at Saint Lau­rent and Bal­main, for starters — and at some point, be­cause this is the way of the world, they’ll swing back into full ac­tion. But for now, longer feels most con­tem­po­rary, even if it leads us into a quag­mire of shoe quan­daries. Feel free to shout me down, but I don’t think a very long, sweepy hem­line looks good with a spindly heeled pump. For one, it doesn’t send out the right kind of style sig­nal. this isn’t about be­ing Princess Tip­py­toes but about tap­ping into that care­free ’70s new-dawn-of-fem­i­nism vibe. Chloé’s lace-up Vic­to­rian-slash-cow­girl boot (there’s an in­ter­est­ing mashup) has the ideal de­gree of off-kil­ter elegance. Boots may be your new footwear sta­ple: knee-high and taller for when you’re wear­ing some­thing slashed; shin-length for midis; and an­kle boots for pants.

Speak­ing of pants, they’re longer too this sea­son.and high-waisted — but not so high that you can feel the zip­per dig­ging into your breast­bone, yet suf­fi­ciently raised to tuck in a blouse and have it stay there all day, and high enough to make your legs look longer.the cropped an­kle is still rel­e­vant, but a sub­tle floor-skim­ming flare looks new­est. And now for a tip: the way to re­tain your san­ity is for your clothes not to swish on the ground — that’s just dis­gust­ing — but to hover a cou­ple of barely per­cep­ti­ble notches above. tory Burch, whose height is in in­verse pro­por­tion to her busi­ness acu­men, prefers to wear her pants with huge plat­forms or wedges, but you don’t see all that. You just see Tory look­ing in­cred­i­bly wil­lowy. This, my friends, is what we call fashion stilts.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Pants may flare and skirts gen­tly swirl, but the su­per­sized pro­por­tions at Ba­len­ci­aga, Miu Miu and Junya Watan­abe are, for the most part, out­liers. Sure, Ba­len­ci­aga’s triple-layer du­vet parkas and opera coats were in­spir­ingly con­structed and in­trigu­ing to be­hold, as well as ex­pres­sive of a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic clothes-as-ar­mour sen­ti­ment that was ar­tic­u­lated at other houses, most no­tably Prada and Calvin Klein. But the main story, shape­wise, is fit and flare. Do you know how uni­ver­sally flat­ter­ing this sil­hou­ette is? How end­lessly adapt­able? Even if Mick Jagger has big­ger boobs than you, you can make the new sil­hou­ette work. In fact, if you re­call (younger read­ers, google this), the true ’70s spirit was not about chan­nelling a Kar­dashian. Back then, the flat­ter you were, the bet­ter be­cause, let’s face it, you’d al­ready burnt your bra.

De­sign­ers are nur­tur­ing sep­a­rates again, and not a mo­ment too soon be­cause — hello, ver­sa­til­ity! At Jac­que­mus (the fashion ed­i­tor’s lat­est crush), de­signer Si­mon Porte Jac­que­mus plays for high stakes with his sep­a­rates, go­ing for clas­sics with sub­tly de­viant qual­i­ties (twisted cot­ton shirts, un­ex­pected peek­a­boo slashes on skirts) and strong but not out­landish colour con­trasts — saf­fron and cobalt, for in­stance, or but­ter­milk and Jil Sander, cre­ative di­rec­tors Luke and Lu­cie Meier are do­ing lus­cious things with a pared­back sen­si­bil­ity. Think more sep­a­rates, gen­tly curv­ing sin­gle-breasted jack­ets and pants in del­i­cate shades of ivory and white with star­tling jolts of sap­phire and laven­der, and the oc­ca­sional blurry flo­ral print. The bot­tom line: there are no bi­nary choices in fashion any­more. that may be the big­gest story of all.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.