The Novella team picks their fave trends for spring!

Fashion, like all forms of art, is about self-expression. It’s about taking colour, pattern, texture, shape, and style and making it all your own. This season saw some of the freshest and newest collections to date. Giving all of us here at Novella a reason to cheer over. There was no shortage of extremely wondering and eye-catching pieces. From beautiful coats to soft ruffles and baby pinks, our picks for best spring trends are sure to get yours and our spring wardrobes feeling as fresh as the springtime scenery that’s to come.

 

Chris Zaghi, Fashion Editor

Photos: L’Uomo Vogue | From L to R: Louis Vuitton, Angelos Frentzos, Juun. J

Berets

Berets are happening and they’re happening in a big way. They’ve been everywhere for spring/summer and fall/winter. Every designer under the sun, from Louis Vuitton to Christian Dior, gave the fashion world its take on the iconic Parisian staple. After having witnessed season after season of floppy hats and wide brim felt hats, the understated beret uses its touch of whimsical flair and elegance to add a special touch to casual looks, while giving more formal looks an ease of wear that only the french can pull off.

Shades of Icy Blue

My absolute favourite colour is slowly, but surely, making its way into a slew of designers collections this season. And with perfect timing too. Spring is the season of pastels. Light pinks and soft yellows dance with mints and orange sherbets in the most delicate dance. Spring is the season of floral blooms and all the colours that come with them. So it comes as no surprise that with the softness spring’s blooms come with their softest colours. At Angelos Frentzos, icy powder blues add a calming and luxe appeal to heavy streetwear looks. Giving the harshest of streetwear scrutinisers a reason to praise.

Extreme Trenches

The trench has been a rainy day springtime staple since its inception back in the 1800s, remaining unchained for centuries until today. The new trench now comes in whatever colour, shape, and style you can imagine (and desire) This season’s trend for extreme trenches came during Juun. J‘s fall collection. Where extreme duster lengths and avant-garde proportions are perfectly balanced with one another to create a modern yet classic silhouette that’s only sure to grow and evolve as time goes on.

Liat Neuman, Fashion Contributor

Bright colours

Super bright colours were playing a bold part in the capital fashion cities of the world, from Balenciaga to Celine and Phillip Lim, all brought a lot of energy to the runway, with a collection that contains all the shocking shades we can think of. There is no doubt that these rainbow colours bring your outfit to live – For me it’s much needed after all these gloomy days we were dealing with.

See-Through Garments

I am so fascinated over this big trend, that is also the most risqué one. See-through garments like tulle skirt and dresses, which were taken from the ballet world, has been seen in Dior, Rochas and Valentino and are very popular among the Londoner’s fashionistas. I adore the way it can blur the line between party outfit and a casual day look, evoking a romantic feeling blend with an edgy touch.

Ruffles

The ruffles continue to be a major hit this season and the bolder the better. I love how the ruffles creating a fierce statement. Well appreciated designers have included ruffles in a sophisticated way in their current collection, create unexpected layers, like ruffles with lace or with asymmetrical and voluminous pieces. The layer upon layers of this frilly fabric provides feminine flair to any springy look.

Natasha Grodzinski, Arts & Culture Contributor

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Tory Burch, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga.

Stripes on Stripes

In the past few seasons, we’ve occasionally seen a bit of pattern-on-paten action. While certain houses like Dolce & Gabbana still put out here combinations, the new buzz for Spring 2017 is about matching striped suits. I’m always interested in borrowing from menswear and a striped suit is a real classic. I love the idea of making it contemporary through feminine tailoring and fresh colour. Spring uniform? I think so.

Statement Tees

A good t-shirt has always gone a long way, but lately they’ve been at the forefront of trends. Aside from the slew of vintage band tees gracing almost every street style blog, multiple designers put out statement t-shirts, from Dior‘s feminism tees to the “No leather” number seen at Stella McCartney. In our current social and political climate, designers are taking notice of the importance of self-expression and individuality. If fashion is an introduction without words, a statement tee is an introduction and the opener of a debate.

Big Shoulders

I mean. I mean. I’m in love with the amount of 80s inspiration seen on the spring runways. As mentioned before, I like to borrow from the boys, and a good shoulder padding can cut such a crisp, strong look. (I’m thinking specifically of the looks in Working Girl.) Since I am somebody with naturally broad shoulders, I was often told to steer clear of added shoulder padding. But what if I went the other way, and drew a bit more attention to it? I’ll likely not be at the Balenciaga level, but I’m ready to play around with a padded jacket or two.

Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief

Photo Credit: L to R: Wooyoungmi (Vogue Runway), Gucci loafer (GQ UK), Haider Ackerman (Vogue Runway)

Check Mate

Squares and checks were all over the runways this season. One of my favourite brands Wooyoungmi paired widowpane  checks of varying sizes together and gives men more options to play with other than the standard pinstripe staple. I will definitely be rocking this trend this spring.

Two-in-one Shoes

With the growing popularity of  Alessandro Michelle‘s new Gucci, the two-in-one shoes are a must-have this season. The fold down back feature flattens underneath your foot to make the shoe into a mule. You don’t have to have be rich to rock a pair. Zara‘s has more a more affordable pair for any budget.

A Touch of Pink

Pink is always one of my go to colors during the spring/summer season and it was spotted on many runways. From light pink at Haider Ackerman to dusty rose at Gucci, each designer offered many ways to add a burst of pink to your wardrobe. 

Claire Ball, Editorial Contributor

Photo Credit: L to R: DKNY (Vogue), Yeezy (Vogue), Rag & Bone (Vogue)

White dresses

I’m not usually one to wear white. It takes a special piece of clothing to make me want to be that risky. But I find this trend to be so enticing because it’s almost romantic in such a chill and casual way. Since I’m already a big fan of shirt dresses, I love that the right shape and hemline can turn a rather boring white dress into a spring essential.

Khaki

Thanks to the many designers that tackled the look on the runway, I have recently developed a new appreciation for the utilitarian look. I don’t have an explanation why, but thankfully I no longer associate khaki with my dad’s wardrobe.

New Athleisure

GIVE ME ALL THE ATHLEISURE! I am seriously obsessed with this trend (shocker). The welcoming of sweatshirts into the fashion world has now opened the door for all facets of sporting style to be acceptable (#blessed). I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, and I grew up playing sports, so I L-O-V-E that all my casual athletic wear is chic now. Time to get in the game, it’s officially warm up season folks!

Is Haute Couture Still Relevant?

Is haute couture still relevant? That’s the question many fashion industry heavyweights have been asking as of late. As a flurry of rising fast fashion powerhouses, online shopping and now the emergence of see now buy now collections become a major trend within the industry, Parisian haute couture has been seeing a slow decline in customer interest and even industry interest. With many iconic houses opting to shut down their haute couture operations and others only being kept on the official schedule out of good grace and respect. Many believe that the iconic couture industry will, sooner that later, die out. But there’s an underlying question that can help answer the big question in regards to the current state of haute couture, and that’s why. Why is haute couture in such jeopardy of becoming the next big fashion faux pas?

Mme Jeanne Lanvin fitting a model photo from Style Magazine

To start, the biggest factor that’s come to affect couture is most definitely the rise of pret-a-porter. For the better part of human history, most clothing was either handmade or at least sewn on a machine but made to fit the customer like a glove. The idea of ready to wear collections that came in standard sizes was unheard of. Whether a person was young or old, rich or poor, someone was most likely making clothing meant to fit their specific measurements. That was truly the essence of haute couture. Whether a garment required the diligently trained hand of a master couturier to sew pearls into a silk bodice for an aristocratic woman or the caring hand of a mother making a dress for her child, couture had a way of coming into anyone’s home. Now some may argue that true couture started in the ateliers of Belle Epoque masters like Madame Lanvin and Monsieur Patou, but couture has truly been around for centuries, from the togas fashioned by the Greeks long ago, to the panniered gowns of the French court. Couture has been present throughout human history for ages.

Models backstage at Christian Dior Haute Couture ss12 Photo by GoRunway

So why put all that wonderful history to waste in favour of ready made garments. It comes down to cost. Historically, haute couture has been attributed to the rich upper echelon of the world and as the human population began to grow and go through revolutions in business, trade, and technology. The need for previous industries to quicken their production speed and product output was essential, causing the first real blow to haute couture. As time went on people forgot about the idea of handmade clothing and began to equate it with something only out of touch old money and nouveau riche people cared for. From then on the fashion industry began to grow into a commercialized form of revenue. Iconic houses like Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior had no choice but to begin incorporating pret-a-porter collections after designers like Yves Saint Laurent hit massive success in the market when he introduced his first ready to wear collection.

Christian Dior fitting a model Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

Another main reason why the fashion community has slowly lost interest in haute couture is due to the sterilization of individual style within the industry itself. As trends become the norm, luxury fashion houses are forced to create collections based on the year’s biggest trends as opposed to collections based on innovation and creativity. For example, the legendary house of Christian Lacroix dominated the world of fashion from the late 80’s up until its final collection in 2009. However, even though Lacroix was one of the most iconic and innovative designers for his time, his brand failed to ever turn any profit and was ultimately forced to close its doors due to massive debts and waning public interest. Likewise, design houses like Ungaro, Hanae Mori, and most recently Saint Laurent, have all halted their production of haute couture due to the massive expense it takes to create and the lack of clientele to justify its production.

A look from Christian Lacroix’s Haute Couture ss09 collection Photo by Marcio Madeira

With all that said, it seems that the future couture has been decided. With its slow but relentless decline in popularity and need, in a few years, couture may become completely obsolete. This, in turn, brings the argument back to its initial question, is haute couture still relevant? And the answer is yes. Couture should undoubtedly still be considered relevant. In an industry that’s become so obsessed with profit as opposed to artistic expression, wouldn’t it be important to keep something that showcases the art behind fashion? Rather than pumping out uniformity all year around, couture should be preserved alongside ready-to-wear to keep the craftsmanship and artistry alive. Like Simon Porte Jacquemus said, “I would like to see more poetry, less industry; because fashion is nothing without poetry.” Another very important reason to keep haute couture alive is for the sake of the seamstresses, tailors, and ateliers that devote their lives to perfecting their craft. Since couture must be made by hand, there are hundreds of ateliers working in various couture houses which carry the knowledge and the expertise to create extravagant creations that cannot be duplicated by a machine. Putting these valued and respected team members out of work would be a grave injustice to them and a grave injustice to the fashion industry as a whole. If the fashion industry rids itself of couture and the experts who make it possible, a piece of valuable knowledge would be lost for future generations. Who would be there to teach aspiring couturiers their secrets? Who will be there to uphold the artistry and standards that legends like Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga created decades ago? Who will be there to take our wildest dreams and bring them to life?

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Haute Couture fw16 collection Photo by Alessandro Garofalo

In the end, questioning the relevance of haute couture is question fashion itself. Without couture, fashion itself becomes irrelevant. The storytelling becomes irrelevant. Without couture, the fashion industry becomes just another industrial engine, pumping out factory made clothing that doesn’t represent anything other than profit and uniformity.

Yay or Nay: The Novella Team Share Their Thoughts on Three Subjects

You already have your opinions on these subjects. So our verdicts aren’t here to change your mind or get you to start thinking like us — but, seriously, if you did, would it really hurt tho? They’re here to validate your opinions or to get all up in your face about them. In other words, to start engaging — and respectfully, mind you — in conversations, as such subjects do at our content meetings. So, read and discuss with a friend who always seems to have a slightly different take on things from you. Add a glass or two of wine and meet them in the middle.

Yay Or Nay: The Term ‘Woke’

Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief: The word has become a bit overused. We are facing troubling times so I hope all the so-called people who are ‘Woke’ get out and do something about it.

Hoon Ji, Managing Editor: I say any word that facilitates dialogue is game. True, the word sounds rather ugly. I’d also like to take this opportunity to share my crusade against ‘handcrafted’. It’s insipid, fatuous, and ugly. Please don’t use it. And if some coffee sleeve says it’s been especially handcrafted for you, for god’s sake don’t drink the coffee. 

Chris Zaghi, Fashion Editor: There’s just something that REALLY bothers me about using a word that is clearly in the past tense to describe something that’s happening to you in the present… Verdict: Nay

Jordan Dziewir, Arts & Culture Editor: I am a man who is known to have a rather silly sense of humour, and I too believe the term ‘Woke’ sounds quite juvenile and is more likely to stifle any serious conversation that an individual using it is trying to start.  So my opinion is this: you may only use the term ‘Woke’ if you continue using it in the incorrect tense AND ironically.  Example: “Wow, I’m really woke right now about these Multi-Grain Cheerios!”.  Verdict: Nay.

Claire Ball, Editorial Contributor: Honestly, I just don’t understand it. I agree with Jordan that it sounds quite juvenile. I think it is kind of demeaning to the cause it is trying to adhere to. Definitely a Nay.

Yay or Nay: Childish Gambino’s New Sound

Childish Gambino, Awaken, My Love

Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief: Some good music came out of 2016 and after a second lesson I am feeling Childish Gambino’s new sound. Coming off the success of his hit show Atlanta and Gloden Globe wins for Best Comedy series and Best actor in a comedy series , Donald Glover’s Awaken, My Love! mixes Prince with some Al Green soul; a combination that I’m not mad at. Verdict: Yay

Hoon Ji, Managing Editor: Let the man do his thing. Verdict: Yay

Chris Zaghi, Fashion Editor: All musicians go through a period of reinvention. Lady Gaga’s Joanne, Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreak and Keaton Henson’s Romantic Works are all perfect examples of this. If ol’ boy needs to experiment and broaden his horizons, let’s let him. Verdict: Yay

Claire Ball, Editorial Contributor: Full disclosure, I am not super familiar with Childish Gambino as a whole, so I don’t have much room to judge his new creative sound. But, change is good. Artists need to be creative and explore new things. So, you do you Childish Gambino. Verdict: You go Glen Coco Childish Gambino!

Yay or Nay: Square Toe Shoes

L To R, Balenciaga, J.W Anderson, MAN

Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief: I have seen many guys wearing Stacy Adams square toe shoes in ill-fitting suits that has made my blood boil. Recently, designers have made some cool options, so like with all things it all depends on the person, shoe, and how they style it. Verdict: Torn

Hoon Ji, Managing Editor: They remind me of ducks. I think that’s a nay. But then again, I’ve been known to find Birkenstocks rather nice looking.

Chris Zaghi, Fashion Editor: Nothing says timeless elegance like a good old clunky toe box. Now pair that with a short stumpy heel and you’ve got a real winner! Verdict: N-A-Y

Claire Ball, Editorial Contributor: It kind of reminds me of a less-hickish version of the old-fashioned Western style cowboy boot if that makes sense? Overall, I think I’m into it.

Jordan Dziewir, Arts & Culture Editor: This is a tough one, but I think it’s a matter of degrees. For men I think the wider the toe box, the closer you end up dressing like a grandpa.  With women’s shoes, you gradually end up losing the elegant look, and it begins to look more casual.  So high-end square toed shoes for women just look odd to me, personally. Verdict: Do you boo?

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Brighten Your Winter Wardrobe

Since we had some warmer days lately, the first snow caught us unprepared. It is time to bring out those winter clothes that will take you through the long and harsh winter season. Whether you like it or not, one thing is for sure — you can still be stylish even with the winter layers. We tend to associate winter with frumpy coats, heavy-duty rubber sole boots, and chunky accessories in melancholy dark hues. While this is true, there are still some layering tricks and trendy pieces that will help you put together a stylish winter look, while staying warm and cozy.

accessoires-refinery
Photo: Victoria Adamson

First Impression

The winter coat is a wardrobe saviour, so it pays to invest in a quality and fashionable one. The good news is that this season we are flooded with so many choices that you might even wish for snow so you can wear yours. From parkas and puffers to tailored wool coats, there is something out there to suit your style. Own at least one bold coat. It’s all about the first impression and making a statement. The waxed ski jacket in green and blue from Balenciaga is a great pick. It is guaranteed to add a boost of colour to your wardrobe, without compromising your coziness. You can also choose the flashy option such as the Vivenne Westwood’s metallic puffer jackets or make a dramatic impact with an oversized fur coat like Burberry Prorsum.

vivienne-westwood-balenciaga-burberry
Photos: Vivienne Westwood, Balenciaga, Burberry FW16

Layers, layers, layers

Take inspiration from New Yorker fashionistas, who know how to master the cool-girl even in the frigid cold. Start by picking out the base layer. Wool is on top of our the list. This fabric will not only keep you warm but, as a breathable insulator, it will also allow you to sweat without getting your other clothes wet. For another layering example, wear a turtleneck with a silk camisole on top or a cashmere cardigan with a wool coat. A blanket scarf or poncho with unique prints can also jazz up your look, so don’t be afraid to load on the layers and play up with different textures.

hbz-winter-is-coming-07_1
Photo: Harpers Bazaar

It’s all in the (BOLD) details

As much as we love wearing blacks and greys during the cold season, it can be boring after a while. Incorporating bold accessories into your winter ensemble will elevate a simple look and will even bring new life to the most redundant winter clothes. Experiment with bright toned and fun statement pieces like scarves that can be worn in various ways and will push you to think outside the box. You can fold your scarf in a triangle knot or even wear it as a belt on top of a jacket. Another option is to add a dash of luxe to your appearance with fur details, such as fur collars or fur mittens. Pom-pom beanies and printed socks (oh, the power of socks to change an outfit!) will also spice up your outfit in a cheerful way.

scarf-refinery29
Photo: Victoria Adamson

These Boots Are Made For Snow

No need to neglect your favourite skirt or dress during winter, you just need to invest in a thigh-high classy boots. Pair them with a midi skirt that falls below the top of the boot, or with a shorter skirt to reveal a flash of bare skin. Practical footwear doesn’t necessarily have to be unappealing. In frigid weather when you are forced to wear snow boots, you can opt for unique details such as colour blocking, neon accents, or colourful texture that can bring together a  cool outfit. Or try wearing track sole boots and loafers for an androgynous style. To make a fashion forward statement, match these chunky platforms with super feminine elements like a romantic lace dress.

fendi-msgm-diesel
Photo: Fendi, MSGM, Diesel FW16

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SS17 Shoes & Accessories Trend Report

Scrolling through Instagram for the past little while, I’ve noticed so much sameness and it seems that fashion industry has too. For SS17, the focus is to differentiate yourself, let your fashion freak flag fly if you will.

In a similar way as the SS17 clothing trends, accessories for next spring all rely on intention. None of the trending accessories are absolutely necessary for function, instead they frivolous additions. We are finally moving away from the era of practicality and monotony in fashion. This season, designers have brought everything back to getting dressed. We are here to create outfits, to stand out, to pay attention to the details, and to have fun. Does Iris Apfel need twelve bangles per wrist? No, but that’s not the point. We are moving away from comfort–forget hoodies and sneakers–this spring’s accessories might be unpractical but they are beautiful.

Kitten Heels

kitten-heel
L to R: Céline, Christian Dior, Dries Van Noten | Photos: Vogue UK

A controversial shoe to be sure, the kitten heel has seemingly made its way back into the fashion industry’s hearts and runways. It is a step up (quite literally) from the flats trend and is a nod to the elegance of the 40s. Reminding street style stars how to wear heels again will be a journey after the dominance of sneakers, so perhaps kitten heels are acting as training wheels to the former glory of 9″ stilettos.

Colourful Eyewear

colourful-shades
L to R: Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Céline | Photos: Vogue UK

Do blue sunglasses do that much to shade your eyes from the sun? Maybe not. But they are fun! Especially when you match them with your cobalt, flare trousers and you incorporate them into the colour blocking trend.

Brooches

brooch
L to R: Dries Van Noten, Balenciaga, Gucci | Photos: Vogue UK

Perhaps you are tired of necklaces, rings, earrings and anklets. Why not give the latest jewelry trend a go? Brooches. Take a note from your granny and place one in the chest area. Or why not think outside the box and pin a brooch anywhere else on your body, like your hip or pant leg?

Microbags

L to R: Hermès, Anya Hindmarch, Isabel Marant, Valentino | Photos: Vogue
L to R: Hermès, Anya Hindmarch, Isabel Marant, Valentino | Photos: Vogue

Nothing is more fun and less practical than a teeny handbag. Perhaps designers are trying to move the world toward tech-free living, as there is clearly no space for phones with this trend. If you feel silly about microbags, perhaps I should tell you that all impractically-sized bags are trending. Because the following sized bag (half the height of the modes’ bodies) was nearly as common as the microbag:

massive-bags-celine
Photo: Céline | Photo: Vogue

Extreme options to be sure, but options none the less.

Mismatched Earrings

earrings
L to R: Marni, Alexander McQueen | Photos: Vogue

Matching your earrings? Boring! This trend alleviates one more decision from the endless decisions we make every day. Enough is enough, care less and mix up your earrings a bit.

Flatform Sandals

sandals
L to R: Preen By Thornton Bregazzi, Versace, Proenza Schouler, Dolce & Gabbana | Photos: Vogue

Because wearing flat sandals is too easy and wearing heeled sandals can feel silly, flatforms are the dream shoe for SS17. You can go for the fancy Teva, or try a gorgeously leather pair to up your game.

As someone who tries to maintain a minimalist wardrobe, I feel as though frivolity has a perfect place among accessories. Nothing radical need happen, yet a new pair of sunglasses can change your entire feeling about the day. A crazy handbag, same thing. All without having to change your essentials. So next season, try a silly addition to your accessory and shoe collections, it’ll be harmless.