The latest round of catwalk shows is currently underway. New York kicked off four week’s of fashion last Thursday, which will see the style set move from the Big Apple onto London, then Milan and finally to Paris. Some of us, myself included, relish a month of gazing at runway looks and tracking the trends across the globe’s fashion capitals, but for others, the whole event barely registers on their radar, and the relevance of catwalk clothes to everyday lives is continuously called into question. So, is there a place for high fashion in today’s day-to-day wardrobes?
Given that the runway has traditionally tended to represent each designer’s vision for the new season in its purest form, which can very often seem at odds with wearability, not to mention most people’s budgets, the naysayers would seem to have a point. But while the catwalks of the past may have been considered out of touch, today they are increasingly becoming a much broader church.
In terms of wearability, our everyday wardrobes now have a far greater influence on designers’ collections, with Hedi Slimane having started the trend towards more commercial designs during his time at Saint Laurent. Sportswear-influenced styles now also regularly feature on today’s runways, with even Karl Lagerfeld, who once famously declared in an interview with Vogue, “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants,” finally giving in and showing them for Chanel. And once exclusively the preserve of the luxury brands, high street favourites such as Topshop and Zadig & Voltaire now also feature on the official show schedules.
With regard to the issue of budgets, I have to concede that some designer clothes do cost extortionate sums, and are indeed way out of reach for many of us. However, notwithstanding the fact that these prices often reflect the workmanship that goes into making them, the joy of fashion shows doesn’t just revolve around the prospect of buying pieces straight from the runway. Yes, there are a privileged few who can afford to do this, but just as there are many fans of fast cars who get pleasure from simply seeing the latest models roll off the production line, so many fashion fans also enjoy looking at designer clothes hot off the runway. We are savvy enough to know that it’s not all about affording the clothes, but being inspired, and the runway is a great place to pick up new tips and tricks to update our wardrobes and have some fun while doing it.
So with the new season now on the horizon, here are a selection of runway looks that caught my eye from the spring/summer shows last September, one from each of the four fashion capitals…
Zadig & Voltaire SS18 / Photo: vogue.com
Dresses paired with trousers have been one of fashion’s most popular looks over recent seasons. But it was the asymmetric hem styled with a cropped trouser that stood out for me here, as it gives this already very wearable look a fresh slant.
Marques’Almeida SS18 / Photo: vogue.com
I love the way this very feminine pink dress has been styled with the heavy black leather boots, which tone down the pretty and up the toughness.
Aquilano.Rimondi SS18 / Photo: vogue.com
A full-on stripe can often overwhelm an outfit, but styled under this simple white top the stripes add an unexpected edge. And I do love the extra long sleeves.
Chloé SS18 / Photo: vogue.com
Typically paired with jeans or trousers, or shorts à la Kate Moss, waistcoats are rarely seen styled with a skirt. Yet this looks great, and contrasts surprisingly well with the feminine ruffles.
While at first glance, many catwalk looks may not seem relevant to our every day lives, on closer inspection the smaller details and the styling often reveal fresh ways of dressing that can easily be incorporated into our wardrobes. And taking inspiration from the runway, rather than succumbing to here-today-gone-tomorrow clothes, is also a much more cost effective way of keeping our looks current.
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Author: Julie Hurst