The trend... THE BOLD SHOULDER
DESIGNERS ARE TURNING UP THE VOLUME WITH VOLUMINOUS UPPER HALVES
Spring’s standout silhouette is just that – literally standout – with each shoulder resembling a generously stuffed cream puff. They may be most commonly associated with period dramas, but, just like the latest adaptation of Little Women, the puff sleeve has been given a 21st-century update. This isn’t the puffed shoulder prairie dress, which has become a spring staple in recent years, but a bolder, brighter spin that packs a punch, appearing on everything from shirts to cropped jackets. ‘We’re seeing a toughening up of the popular prairie style, with more separates and stiffer fabrics, such as jersey and coarse cotton,’ says Tiffany Hsu, fashion buying director at MyTheresa. Even the most romantic brands, such as Valentino, renowned for its expansive fairytale-like frocks, displayed a hard streak with bold-shouldered neon separates, styled with flat shoes and gold jewellery. ‘I wanted to make something ordinary extravagant,’ says creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. It goes both ways, with the space-taking shoulder also functioning as a way to elevate the ordinary – your everyday jackets and shirts – thanks to its ostentatious shape. ‘You can easily mix these statement-shoulder tops with razor-sharp tailoring to toughen up your look, and can lift everyday pieces such as denim and T-shirts,’ says ELLE Fashion Editor Felicity Kay. ‘For off-duty dressing, I recommend styling them with equally bold shoes, such as chunky-soled flats or military boots, and polished metal jewellery.’ But however you decide to wear the puff sleeve, it’s clear that rubbing shoulders, sartorially speaking, is on the agenda this spring.