We’re not recommending, just reporting. The designers showed it, magazines photo’d it, knock-off-artists knocked it off already, and there you’ll be this fall thinking the New looks awfully good.
Call these two trends, but this is bigger than that. A lot bigger. There are two schools of dressing for fall that are carrying the silhouette away from the body. One does so in a haphazard or devil-may-care way that brings to mind a bag lady or hippie. The other evokes a bygone era of high fashion as sculpture.
The first, the if-you-own-it-pile-it-on school of dressing which results in a silhouette similar to a tent we choose to blame on Miuccia Prada’s temporary insanity and the latest of Marc Jacobs’ shenanigans (grunge collection, anyone?). Oh and yikes, it occurs that this could be blamed partly on one of those Mary-Kate and Ashley twins.
Perhaps it was just a somewhat inevitable backlash against ladylike dressing (that the jeans and cami crowd never really bought into anyway). The new trend that takes tunics to new lengths and even puts skirts and dresses over pants, may be more up the jeans crowd’s alley. Perhaps they’ll happily layer massive cardigans (or multiple long thin cardigans at Hermes) and bulky scarves and coats over other random layers of clothing, like blouses, skirts and dresses over pants, (for that hippy-girl look). And since Chloe started making Big Pants, everyone from Marni to Louis Vuitton (hey wait, that’s Marc Jacobs too!) is showing voluminous pants perfect as a base layer for the layering of voluminous blouses, jackets, sweaters, and coats.
Remember when you used to make a fort under a big pile of blankets and hide under it? Good. That’s the look. So go eat that roast beef sandwich and have another glass of wine, you can afford to pack on a pound or two. Come winter, who’s going to know?
The second look is more refined, more overtly luxe. With all of the interest recently in Cristobal Balenciaga and the fact that current Balenciaga designer, Nicolas Ghesquiere finally had the good sense to have a little look at the Master’s archives, it’s no surprise that the Balenciaga school of silhouette might rise again. But it was actually Alber Elbaz for Lanvin who made the first moves toward doing volume-y skirts in a way that somehow manages not to look like vintage Christian Lacroix pouf skirts. How? Well this time around the skirts are almost exlusively to be found in inky and sober hues which makes the look simply about the shape of the garment as shadow silhouette expanding away from the body.
And if everyone from Bill Blass to Giorgio Armani to Zac Posen wants to follow Elbaz and Ghesquiere (who did a much younger, very 60s take on volume for Balenciaga) in one way or another, fine. You can bet this means that these skirts are going to look necessary to you come time to pick out your holiday party look.
Surely the new volume in skirts is to be an expected rebellion against the drapey-drapey look that’s gone mass. Quite shortly here, “floaty” fabrics (we have come to detest that word, used to excess in a certain shopping rag) will look staid while looks in more substantial fabrics with a firm hand will soon be imitated high and low for their incomparable luxe. Vera Wang, among others, we’ll say, still conflated “floaty” and the new volume doing a “bubble” skirt in a chiffon, but you can’t do this one halfway. Many of the “bubble” skirts we’re seeing in lower priced lines are limp and lackluster. But you’ll wear them nonetheless as an antidote to your pencil skirts and slim pants, won’t you.