The womenswear trends that ruled the F/W 2017-18 runway
For next winter, designers are once again suggesting an eclectic wardrobe mix inspired by a range of influences. Clothes should be both practical and spotswear-inspired, including parkas and oversized down jackets, denim alongside work staples – think jumpsuits and overalls – as well as chic styles like blazers, fitted dresses and ankle-length skirts.
Menswear-inspired looks also had more staying power this season, including maxi jackets in fabrics like tweed and tartan. The runway showed countless monochromatic looks or simply black and white. Finally, many designers spanned the boundaries of time and space to find inspiration via the stars and history, suggesting both medieval and futuristic looks, sometimes even a little obscure and divine.
1) The pantsuit
The women’s pantsuit will be a wardrobe essential next winter. The favorite version is an oversized jacket and flare pants. The look is ideal for business women, but not only, as it offers elegance in a variety of circumstances. Designers made them in typical menswear-inspired prints like tweed, plaid, checkered and more, as well as in corduroy, like at Prada. Meanwhile, the look was fluid at Lanvin, and Dolce & Gabbana presented a three-piece version in bright velour.
Small and large houndstooth prints also largely inspired designers this season for their winter womenswear collections, similarly to the Scottish tartan patterns seen on the catwalk last season. This black and white print, a symbol of chic bourgeois, was deployed in many coats, jackets, pants and dresses, and even in complete head to toe looks, as seen at Wanda Nylon’s runway show.
3) The midi-skirt
The approved return of the midi-skirt hit the runway this season. From New York to Paris, designers brought this retro look back to the modern day. This look stops mid-calf or sometimes falls to the ankle. It made appearances as a flared tulle, pleated in silk and leather, or in see-through lace, as well as in a tight sheath version. But among all the versions, it was the straight cut with the right front split design that dominated the runway.
Though this item has been shunned for many years, this basic is making a triumphant return in womenswear. It first appeared over the last few seasons where there has been a 1970s fashion revival, and now you can’t miss it. This season, you will mostly find it with a turtleneck and in a mostly fitted cut. It’s easy to wear under a jacket, tucked in a pair of pants or skirt, and is meanwhile a wardrobe essential.
5) Wild thing
You can’t have a wardrobe without a leopard coat or a little leopard dress next winter! Designers really loved this animal print in particular this season, which allowed them to showcase their wilder side. Or with Dolce & Gabbanna, its more childlike side, which sent out a stuffed tiger backpack in Milan. Last season, we saw this print on jackets and coats, but this season you can find it in an even wider range of fabrics like silks, cashmeres, velours and fake furs. Marco De Vincenzo created the print through his own patchwork, while in the same spirit, short fur prints were also really popular.
6) The bra
Under their heavy winter coats, women will wear their bras next season! It’s both feminine and uncomplicated. This top reduced to its bare minimum can also be found in the form of crop tops, bralettes and other bandeaus, and will be a hit for winter 2017-18. In lace, you can find it with thin straps over a dress, or as a cow-girl inspired look at Nina Ricci. Simple and knitted, this look that got its debut on the Prada runway will be a sure hit.
Following a runway hiatus, denim is back in a big way this winter 2017-18. It’s at the centre of collections from the likes of Christian Dior and Maria Grazia Chiuri, in classic forms like button-up shirts, jackets, pants and blue overalls. A number of other designers also proposed their own versions of the denim jacket and other pieces, such as the ripped zipper jeans seen at Sacai.
They were a hit last season and now, they were once again a star among winter collections. You can find them in their classic form in leather, thigh-high (even in a velour tartan print), laced in the front for a retro look, and lined with faux fur for an after-ski look. At the Alexis Mabille show, boots were golden, at Saint Laurent they were ruched and stopped just-on-the-knee, as they were at Y/Project but in a python print. At Balenciaga, they were a soft nylon and fitted like a pair of tights. But the must-haves for next winter hands down are the red boots seen at Fendi and Prada.
9) Ostrich feathers
Feathers could be found on a number of designs this season. It’s the lightest feathers however – ostrich and marabou feathers - that designers favoured. Minuccia Prada used them to augment a large part of her collection, including on sleeves, along the trim of skirts or on collars, as well as on an original hat. Sonia Rykiel also used them on dresses, while a number of other designers showcased puffy coats filled with feathers. Then there's Haider Ackermann, who sent out a pair of pants entirely out of marabou feathers.
Women will continue to shine bright next season. Following the cascade of crystals, sequins and other glitter seen on the runway last season, metallic clothing is now front and center. Metallic fabrics were seen brightening winter wardrobes in the form of jackets, skirts, corsets, and loose fitted dresses in both gold and silver.
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