I love fashion; there’s nothing not to like. From striking styles to simple silhouettes, there’s something for everyone. One of my favorite parts of fashion, though, is when I find an absolutely ridiculous ensemble, probably from the likes of Gucci or Moncler, and I show it to someone. They always roll their eyes in disbelief and groan “how in the world does somebody wear that?” Although not alone in this assessment, it’s important for any fashion lover to know and acknowledge that trends start extreme and trickle down into something wearable. A floor-length puffer dress that’s essentially a single person tent with a hood becomes a quilted coat dress, jeans that seem to have been fitted for a giant become palazzo leg pants, and models sauntering down the runway in lingerie transform into embroidered dresses and corset style blouses. Let’s take a look at some of the extreme styles on the runway today, and how to turn them into ready-to-wear garments.
No, I don’t mean tents and sleeping bags. I’m talking campy, kitschy, comical. I’m talking about a literal TV dinner, carrots, peas, mashed potatoes and all making it’s way down a Moschino runway like it’s the little black dress we’ve all been dreaming of. Jeremy Scott, self-proclaimed “King of Camp” gave us all a little fashion education at the Moschino Fall 2019 Ready-to-Wear, where models sported common household cleaners while marching down a “Price is Right” themed runway, with spinning stages and big blonde smiles. A lot of campy styles are about satire, poking fun at fashion; Richard Quinn showed this with precision when he featured a gorgeous floral dress paired with a full face mask, reminding us that a model is simply the vehicle for a beautiful garment. Rodarte played with our hearts with a dress reminiscent of the classic heart boxers, and Sara Battaglia seemed to be inspired by the likes of Elmo and the Cookie Monster, with a fluffy trimmed set. Although all these looks scream style, something tells me it’ll be hard to pull off a tv dinner.
There’s something about camp that’s got people crazy; it’s the theme for the MET gala this year so designers are showing off their tackiest styles. Moschino gave us a slightly more wearable piece in the form of a fox stole… like the whole fox, head, feet, and tail. Prada toned it down a bit with a campy style slinky dress that features Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein, while Rachel Antonoff made a beautiful blouse made up of basic household items. Valentino fashioned a sickly sweet romantic piece that showed two statues kissing, something so kitschy it’s cute.
Extreme Shoulders and Sleeves
Designers must have a pep talk this season because they went big with their sleeves and shoulders, which have taken over garments like the zombie apocalypse on network television. They’re everywhere, is what I’m saying, and they’re HUGE. Osman’s ruffled sweater makes the model look genuinely shorter, and Peter Petrov’s asymmetrical creation is dizzying. Peter Pilotto created movement by lining sleeves with feathers, while Redemption’s dress looks like it just might take flight.
As much as I poke fun, I’m actually obsessed with extreme sleeves, and Nanette Lepore showed us exactly how you create one for ready-to-wear with a shorter puffed sleeve on a beautiful brocade blouse. No. 6 showed a lovely blouse that mimics Redemptions ruffles but takes them from a thirteen to a 3, while Peter Pilotto’s dress pairs ruffles with bishop sleeves. Sachin & Babi created two stunning ensembles that featured sleeves that might be a little extreme for a casual day at the office but are ideal for after work functions like a dinner party or cocktail hour.
Similar to extreme sleeves, necklines have gotten a little wild lately. Alexandre Vauthier’s ruffled neckline could be a shirt all on its own, while Calvin Luo takes the pussy bow to new heights. David Koma bares all with a neckline that plunges… and then comes back up… and then plunges again. Tsumori Chisato’s fuzzy sweater looks extremely cozy, but the ruffled neckline looks more restrictive than anything else.
An interesting neckline can take an ensemble from drab to fab with some simple sewing. Alexis Mabille artfully executes the pussy bow in the ideal size, while Antonio Berardi’s scalloped dress is sweet and elegant and absolutely perfect. Celine has figured out a ruffled neckline without the restriction, but it’s Reem Acra’s absolutely stunning neckline that reminds us exactly how interesting things can get.
There’s something beautiful about a lace dress. There’s something a lot less beautiful about being totally naked in public. Designers have combined these beauties to create one awkward trend: totally sheer ensembles. Naeem Khan’s dress is lovely, but might not be totally appropriate for pretty much anything, while PH5’s jumpsuit is totally appropriate for going to bed or taking a bath. Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s high low dress manages to cover at least something, while Rahul Mishra expertly covers up what matters with well-placed appliques.
The sheer style is one that I love, but something about walking around naked doesn’t interest me. That is why I’m so thankful for Miu Miu’s adorable sheer overlay with lovely little flowers, paired with a simple black slip. Mugler exemplifies another style to show off some skin, with sleeve and bodice cutouts. Peter Pilotto gathers tulle in the appropriate places to make this sheer silhouette more opaque, and Valentino’s lovely translucent dress over a black leotard incorporates wearable ruffles as well.
What looks will you be toning down for this season? I’m all about those extreme necklines! Let me know in the comments!