One of the biggest trends of the Spring/Summer 18 season so far, is hardly new. We’ve been seeing a return to glamour and glitter for a few seasons now. But its ubiquity this month, from New York to London to Milan and now Paris is signalling a real shift.
This isn’t just a fleeting moment. It’s the fashion world resisting dark and deeply unnerving times the way it knows how: by celebrating beauty and the joy of life.
Dries Van Noten SS18
It’s time to get the heels back out (after the era of the sneaker, the Manolo is the shoe of choice on the street style circuit this season) and give in to the pull of sequins and glitter (an idea fashion insiders once snubbed as naff and frivolous.)
It’s telling that this was the season when the original Supermodels broke the Internet, vintage couture shapes made a comeback and Cindy Crawford’s daughter, Kaia Gerber, has emerged as fashion’s biggest new catwalk star.
This was also the month in which KiraKira+, an app that adds a glittery filter to your photos on Instagram, started trending. Beauty, in its universally appealing sense, is big.
And for the most part, the austere minimalism, ‘ugly shoes’ and challenging shapes, that dominated the fashion story in recent years has taken a back seat, replaced by a kind of sartorial eye candy of the highest form.
Take Saint Laurent, for example, where creative director Anthony Vaccarello showed a fantastic, emotive tribute to Yves Saint Laurent’s long-time partner in business and love, Pierre Bergé, who passed away this month.
The collection, shown outdoors, underneath a glittering Eiffel Tour — the show was timed to coincide with the landmark’s lights — was the epitome of what one imagines Paris fashion to be: an explosion of feathers, frills, satin and shimmer.
It was the kind of glamour that harkened back to another era. Vaccarello’s puffed hemline dresses (the bubble frock is trending this season) and cocktail tailoring were clear tributes to the archives. And yet the clothes transcended time. Because no matter where the trend cycle falls, a glamorous pouf of a dress covered in opulent, swaying ostrich feathers or black molten shimmer has inarguable impact.
Alessandro Dell’Acqua also showed a more dialled up version of glamour, with voluminous satin separates and glittery dresses with KiraKira+ levels of sparkle.
Shimmer was also in abundance at Dries van Noten, where the clothes were the fashion equivalent of a shot of serotonin, all cheery canary yellow, lilac, blush and rose. Long known for his use of print, he heightened the optics with lavish jacquards, sequins and crystal embroidery.
This was a decidedly grown-up take on glamour that cut quite a contrast from the millennial bait proving to be so popular at other houses this season. But his belted coats, soft tailoring, and silk shift dresses had an ease and elegance that prevented the ornamentation from looking too ‘done.’
At Maison Margiela, things looked just as effortless, and glitzy. Case in point: the standout trench coat that closed the show, covered in outsized, mirrored squares.
John Galliano took the banal staples of everyday living like the t-shirt and the trench and transformed them into what he called a new glamour, splicing and mixing wools, jacquard and organza with elaborate strips of feathers.
He wanted to explore the idea of dressing in haste. Hence a series of jackets and coats, embellished with luggage tags and handbags modelled after carry-on airport pillows — because dressing for a morning flight is the most rushed and banal experience of all.