With a new fashion season fast approaching, we look back at the runway trends that easily transitioned into everyday, high street fashion.
Spring/Summer 2009 was a happy mishmash of style contradictions: comfortable but tasteful dressing, structured and architectural pieces, fluid and draping dresses, bohemian dressing, and an undeniable ’80s flashback that saw fashion reviving some of the trends from this “decade of excess”, which we never thought will ever see the light of day again.
There are so many interpretations of the different looks that designers sent down the runways, and this list doesn’t even capture half of all of these looks.
However, these are the looks that were deemed most wearable—meaning they suited even us mere mortals who don’t have the gams and sizes of those ladies who walked the runways. Here, in no particular order, are the top ten looks from spring/summer 2009.
The fringe is most always associated with the wild, wild West, but this season, designers showed the versatility—and glamour—of fringe.
There were still allusions to the Western world and the cowgirl, as seen in Hermes, but other designers, like Alberta Ferretti and Aquilano e Rimondi, resurrected the swinging 1920s with flapper dresses. The “glamour fringe” in jewel-tone and metallic frocks gave us the perfect look for a night out on the town.
2. Goddess dresses
Another look that’s great for a night out is the goddess dress. These Grecian-inspired frocks never really go out of style. Season after season, they come back; thanks in big part to designers who have made this look their “own”.
Marchesa is one brand that constantly gives us to-die-for, gorgeous goddess dresses. Monique Lhuillier glammed them up with jewel embellishments in her trademark light and airy creations. The ethereal, lovely and always elegant appeal of goddess dresses will survive any season.
3. Statement shoes
Pair your party frocks with statement-making shoes. (Or better yet, wear these with your most basic outfit and see the magic these shoes can weave.) The season’s most provocative footwear showed cut-outs and peekaboo details, usually in platform booties or towering gladiator sandals.
Yves Saint Laurent’s collection was the jump-off point for this shoe design trend, when his collection showed his now famous Caged Heel bootie. Also scoring high were Balmain’s jewel-encrusted gladiator-style stilettos by Giuseppe Zanotti. Other designers, like Nicholas Kirkwood, showed off sculptural, covetable pieces, too.
4. Trashed jeans
Classic denims were a no-show this season as the runway showed us the many ways we can “trash” our jeans. Another ’80s staple, acid wash and faded (bleached) jeans were seen in the high-end brands and most especially in the high-street labels, like Topshop Unique.
This London it brand took this denim treatment everywhere: on denim jackets, vests, and miniskirts, and even made wearing denim over denim acceptable, even cool.
5. Power shoulders
Who knew that shoulder pads—those made famous by Dynasty TV royals—would be back in fine form? Balmain made the most impact with his padded shoulders that jutted out prominently on his one-shoulder dresses and his now so-famous band jackets.
This flashback to the eighties was also seen in the shows of Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs (for his own label and for Louis Vuitton). This trend is not for everyone; those who hated shoulder pads in the ’80s shuddered at the thought of having to wear them again. But there were also those who more than happily—and fiercely—wore these architectural pieces.
It was not really expected for summer, but people covered up this season. Their cover-ups of choice? Band jackets and boyfriend blazers. Band jackets, reminiscent of those worn by the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, were on the spotlight once again, most notably in Balmain.
Fashion’s latest it boy, the wunderkind Alexander Wang, meanwhile, made us grab our boyfriend’s jackets and blazers and pair them with the loosest cotton shirts and the shortest shorts—with sky-high platforms, of course.
This year is the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, and it was only timely that fashion also paid homage to this decade of freewheeling love, fun and fashion. Diane Von Furstenberg gave us boho luxe, with her models going down the runway in dresses in bold colors and vibrant prints.
Prints were not restricted to hippie florals (also seen in Fendi, Oscar dela Renta, and Dolce & Gabbana); there were also exotic tribal prints, as seen in Matthew Williamson and Anna Sui, watercolour splashes on pieces by Marni and Rodarte, and of course, fierce and fabulous animal prints (zebra, leopards, tigers, etc.) in the Christian Dior, Gucci, and Prada catwalks.
It really is the season for practicality as even the usually frivolous fashion world made an attempt to look comfortable via sports-inspired pieces. Erin Fetherston continued with her laid-back yet ultra-chic pieces; this time, the young designer looked to seventies sportswear for inspiration.
Lacoste, of course, was the frontrunner for this look, but even other designers not really inclined to doing sportswear, like BCBG, showed us their athleticism when it came to fashion.
9. Muted tones
Maybe the big recession has really caught up with fashion, because even in the summer, colors were primarily muted. Gray was ubiquitous, and so were really soft pastels.
But there are always rebels in fashion (which make it fun), and at the other end of the spectrum were day-glo, neon, and punchy colors—like the orange crush in Etro, Luella and Pucci. This really just goes to show that, in fashion, you always have an option.
Marrakesh was closely alluded to by designers like Paul Smith and Dries Van Noten, who had glorious turbans to show off. But it is more important to note that this Moroccan fantasy brought forth Ralph Lauren’s Ali Baba harem pants that literally stole the spotlight (they were very shiny, to say the least).
Yes, pants were strong this season, with everything from dhoti, harem and the simple act of rolling up your jeans dominating catwalks and high streets.
( Photos from Style )