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!

Gotta Have it! Must have show stopping accessories from the fall 2017 runway

One interesting thing that most people don’t know about is that many of the world’s most beloved brands and fashion houses actually make the majority of their profits through accessories. Brands like Prada and Dior are tasked with creating new and exciting bags, shoes, jewellery, and more to drive sales through the roof.

Some brands are even blessed with the gift of having almost their entire yearly revenue derived from the sales of their non-clothing goods. That just goes to show how important accessories really are to the fashion industry itself. They aren’t just afterthoughts or cherries on top to add “a little something” to the collection. They’re there to seal the deal on whether one loves a collection or skips it. Here are Novella’s top picks for best accessories of fall/winter 2017.

The Bags

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Prada, Miu Miu, Jacquemus, Chloe, Altuzzara

Prada: As she does every year, Miuccia Prada released a coveted selection of bags that are sure to end up on everyone’s must have list. Ranging from all black and all baby blue shoulders bags, green ostrich feather handbags, nylon satchels, and python skin to fur-covered confections and printed leather bags, Prada outdid itself once again in creating an innovative and versatile collection of handbags for every occasion. However, one bag stood out from the pack. A bag that clearly played off the brand’s fall 2017 collection of book bags. Like its predecessors, this new bag resembles a leather bound book, but this time the entire bag is comprised of velvet, giving the bag a quirky 70’s feel.

Miu Miu: Just like her bags at Prada, Miuccia’s Miu Miu bag collection is another beautiful example of how well-rounded a designer she really is. This season, Prada’s younger sister released a groovy collection of bags that mirrored the collection’s feminine 60’s flare. There were bags with fur handles and bags with large glamorous brooches. But the most interesting pick of the collection was a selection of bags that had “Miu Miu” stitched all over the bag in a stunning psychedelic swinging 60’s font.

Jacquemus: Simon Porte Jacquemus has been one of the only designers of late to actually produce worthwhile collections. And although the statement may seem a little extreme, it’s completely called for in Simon’s case. For his fall 2017 collection, Jacquemus gave the fashion world one of the most creative and innovative bags to date. Gone are the days of his “haricot” bags and wallets — his newest offering comes in the shape of an upside down envelope, mirroring the bags a bourgeois woman of the 1950’s would have worn in Paris. The greatest thing about this bag is that it carries (no pun intended) all of the things that define French clothing (like the gold chain and old world shape) and literally turns it on its head, thereby making the bag distinctly Jacquemus yet still very much French in design.

Chloe: Chloe has always been a staple in exceptional bag making and this season just another testimony to that statement. This season’s it girl bag has to be Chloe’s white sand coloured circle crossbody bag. The adorable bag is the perfect run around bag that matches any outfit, plus the brass coloured metal handle adds that perfect bohemian touch that Chloe has always been known for. And the best part is that the bag looks as if it will be available in a multitude of neutral and dark colours to suit any preference and need!

Altuzzara: The last bag on the list is by far the most traditional of the bunch, but that isn’t to say the bag is in anyway doughty or matronly. This Altuzzara handbag came in a stunning array of complementary colours that suited every look in the collection perfectly, which is also a plus. But the best part about this season’s Altuzzara bag had to be its simple design and decoration. There were no gimmicks here. Just a beautifully designed leather bag with an accompanying flower that would make even the most elite of New York’s Upper East Side squeal with delight.

The Shoes

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Gucci, Tory Burch, Maison Margiela, Rochas, Thom Browne

Gucci: Leave to Alessandro Michele create a cowboy inspired 80’s ankle boot that actually looks amazing. During his latest Gucci show, Michele sent out a real throwback of a shoe that was completely off colour to what has been going on at Gucci. The bright white bootie comes complete with an almost Wild West/almost Eastern European embroidered floral design that fits the brand’s outstanding new vision perfectly. On top of that, the boot itself is perfect for the 80’s revival trend that has been sweeping the fashion world this season.

Tory Burch: Tory Burch is a brand that has more recently been associated with wealthy soccer mom chic, rather than high fashion fallal. But this season, the American brand looked as if it was trying to shed its current plateau and engage new customers. And the shoe of the show did just that. This beautifully ornate Tory Burch heel burst onto the catwalk with one thing in mind — to make a statement. And that it did. The stunning heel pulled out all the stops to command attention; the sculptural heel, European style brocade pattern, and a beautiful oversized bow harked back to imperial French court glamour. It’s safe to say that Tory Burch is finally making fashion and that’s a wonderful thing.

Maison Margiela: The incomparable John Galliano has made a new name for himself at Margiela since his arrival at the iconic Belgian house. Every season it seems that Mr. Galliano has fresh and innovative ideas for his clientele’s eyes to feast on. For this season’s Margiela show, Galliano presented a knee length boot in an ever-so-relevant 70’s inspired silhouette. The boot, which features an ultra feminine pencil thin heel and deep ochre coloured python print, resemble the same heeled boots that independent and fashionable women wore back in the 1970’s, making it an instant buy on any trend followers must have list.

Rochas: Rochas has always been spot on when it comes to gloriously elegant women’s clothing. This season at Rochas, viewers were treated to the most darling of pumps one could ever imagine. The shoe, which looked to have taken inspiration from 1950’s fetish heels and Marie Antoinette court shoes, are as prim and proper as any shoe can get. And that beautifully placed heel makes the entire shoe look even more delicate and glamorous.

Thom Browne: Thom Browne has never been one to shy away from designing things that many would consider outlandish, but that’s exactly why he’s on this season’s “best of” list. For his winter wonderland inspired show, Browne created a heel that features his trademark all-American brogues crossed with an interesting hollow wedge heel made to look like a figure skater’s blade. The shoe is a testament to how amazing a designer Browne is. Not only is the shoe perfectly designed to fit, it also carries one of Thom Browne most easily recognizable trademarks. On the front of the shoe, a small shirt and tie can be seen peeking out from right under the ankle, showing any potential customers that Thom Browne’s quirky suiting is never too far away.

The Hats

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Christian Dior, Loewe, Coach, Adam Selman, Marc Jacobs

Christian Dior: Berets have been the go-to headpiece of the season and the hardworking ateliers at Christian Dior were definitely paying attention. For fall 2017, Dior had berets coming down the runway in full force. Part French go-to, part pro-feminist statement. The berets conjured up images of strong warrior women ready to fight for female freedom and independence.

Loewe: Jonathan Anderson has been wowing audiences in London and Paris for quite some time now, so it comes as no surprise that the British wunderkind presented another spot on collection for Loewe this season. The collection itself is a mishmash of all of the most beautiful things that Anderson has designed in the past, with the tiniest hint of European village life. This is where the hat comes in. The darling straw hat isn’t overbearing and ostentatious like many straw sunhats that have been shown on the runway. This adds to Anderson’s rendition’s charm. Rather than making the hat comical and theatrical, the small brim size gives the sunhat an air of authenticity and realness.

Coach: Coach is another one of those brands that ran into an extremely commercial plateau for quite a while. However, recently the brand has beefed up their designs and created relevant and exciting collections to lure would-be buyers in. For fall 2017, Coach has managed to design a wonderfully trendy hat for the young streetwear wise dressers of the world. With its fluffy shearling outer layer, the hat seems like the perfect alternative to a beanie for those chilly New York nights.

Adam Selman: Now this may not be the most traditional hat, but that doesn’t take away from how interesting a topper it is. At Adam Selman’s show during NYFW17, audiences were treated to a quirky little birdcage fascinator that was equal parts adorable and badass. Like 1950’s motorcycle gang chicks, the models stormed out with powerful little flowers on their heads and the best part about them is their versatility. Not only could you wear them with jeans and a leather jacket, but you could easily pair the fascinator with a beautiful black cocktail dress for more formal events.

Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs has always been fashion’s little rebel. Taking everyday trends from past and present and turning them into high fashion concepts. For his fall collection, the inspiration was clear. 70’s and 80’s urban and hip hop culture reigned supreme on the runway and it was perfectly evident in Jacobs accessories. This puffy hat is a perfect alternative to your traditional winter beanie. Instead of having a regular old boring knitted winter hat, you can have this interesting oversized retro beanie instead.

The Shades

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Anna Sui, Acne, Anya Hindmarch, Fendi, Sacai

Anna Sui: Anna Sui is one of those designers who has and will always march to the beat of her own drum. Since the early 90’s, Anna has been creating collections that are distinctly her own. This season’s Anna Sui sunnies follow in her great tradition of doing her own thing. The blue sunglasses feature a theatrical angular cat eye that is only further enhanced by their bright cobalt shade. The glasses also perfectly compliment the collections 1920’s/1970’s bohemian chic aesthetic, giving the wearer the glamour of a traditional cat eye with a bright pop of a mod colour.

Acne: The beauty of Acne is in its simplicity. While other brands thrive off of creating elaborate shows and collections, Acne has blossomed into a fashion powerhouse by infusing Swedish minimalism with high fashion appeal. And this is perfectly evident with this season’s sunglasses. The shades for fall/winter 2017 were simple in their construction. Two thin silver arms hold the angular coloured lenses in place to create a psychedelic feel to the glasses. Think John Lennon à la 2017 high fashion mod. But the quirky simplicity of these sunglasses aren’t the only selling points here. The glasses are actually quite versatile. They can be paired perfectly with a casual pair of jeans and a band t-shirt or glammed up with a silk neck-tied blouse, wide leg pant, and a floppy summer hat.

Anya HindmarchAnya Hindmarch’s entry into the industry as an accessories designer must be what pushes her to create an interesting range of accessories that are completely relevant, on-brand, and desirable outside of her own already spectacular clothing lines. Her fall 2017 sunglass collection just goes to show that she understands what her customers want. She could have easily made a pair of sunglasses with a simple frame and lens for her collection, but instead she chose to create a fur trimmed pair of sunglasses that more closely resembled a pair of skiing goggles. The fun, fur trimmed sunglasses add that perfect wintery feeling to an accessory that’s usually associated with warmer weathers and the summer months, giving the overall look a high fashion après ski feeling.

Fendi: Fendi is an accessory giant. Like its other Italian contemporaries, Fendi owes much of its success to its sales in trendy and in demand accessories. Usually known for its outlandish designs, Fendi presented a surprising take on sunglasses by creating a clean and perfectly polished pair of circular sunglasses. The posh specs fit spectacularly with the cool and composed vibe of the collection. It just goes to show that sometimes simplicity really is key!

Sacai: Sacai is a brand that has garnered a huge following over the years. And it’s easy to see why. This season’s sunglasses are in fact the most visually stunning, adorned with a number of butterflies framing the arms and lenses. These Sacai delights are perfect for commanding total attention when walking into a room. The one possible downfall of these sunnies may be their theatricality, but that’s also their the biggest allure. The beautifully decorative butterfly wings add an old world whimsy to the glasses that has slowly been coming back into fashion. And why not enjoy these shades all year-round? They would make the perfect winter pop of summery colour and the perfect summer conversation piece.

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Paris Fashion Week f/w 2017: The Highlights

Paris is widely accepted as the pinnacle of fashion around the world and for good reason. This season seems to be no exception, with designers pulling out all of the stops to present some of their most exciting and iconic collections yet. There were designers who celebrated milestones by walking down memory lane, while others expressed their takes on modern feminism by pulling from the past. There was even a utopia created completely out of fabric that transcended words. With that said, Novella is proud to present the best of Paris Fashion Week!

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

Dries Van Noten

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a runway show sport such an outstanding roster that it sends me into a flurry of nostalgia with every passing model that came into the camera’s view, but that’s exactly what Dries Van Noten did for his 100th show in Paris. Models from all over the globe strutted down the runway in his creations for the show (some whom have walked his first shows back in the early 90s) in a show of support for Dries’ 20-year long breadth of work. Apart from having the pleasure of seeing the likes of Nadja Auermann and Malgosia Bela strut down the runway, fans around the world were treated to a whirlwind of prints that came straight from the brand’s archives. Noten’s paisleys and florals were dusted off and brought back as a celebration of the brand and its iconic designer. One interesting (and completely appropriate for our current times) aspect of the show was the heavy emphasis on menswear. Coats and suits carried a masculine air that made each of the runway veterans shine with a sense of feminine empowerment.

Photo: Vera Wang

Vera Wang

Sometimes a collection comes along that is so underlooked by the those in the fashion industry that it’s almost maddening. Such was the case at Vera Wang‘s Paris show. The New York native presented her collection in Paris last week only using model Mariacarla Boscono as her muse and beautiful historic building as her background. The entirety of the collection seems to be inspired by the queens of the world, with a heavy emphasis on Napoleonic-era military and aristocratic garb. The beauty of Vera‘s understanding of the female form and understated elegance is completely evident here in the draping and gold embellishments that hark back to a time when what you wore showed the world who you are. And Vera’s woman is that the top of the echelon. Some of the most stunning pieces that came from the collection are an Edwardian empire waist gown that cleverly comes paired with wool sleeve military jacket sleeves and a beautiful gold dress with shearling outerwear sleeves that exudes a sexiness that commands attention. However, dresses weren’t the only thing Ms. Wang had in store for her collection. Various different aspects commanded equal praise through the collection. One important piece that comes to mind is a beautiful ensemble featuring a delicate blouse with exaggerated proportions topped off with a shearling capelet that was grounded by a beautifully tailored pair of French legion style military pants.

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

Jacquemus

The new king of Parisian design has once again outdone himself for his fall 2017 collection. I remember when a young Simon Porte Jacquemus began showing his collections in Paris. His designs seemed extremely easy going and effortless in comparison to the taught (and sometimes pretentious) standards that Paris demands of its designers. However, the idea of a young self-taught designer pushing through the fashion status quo to present original and inspired ideas was quite exhilarating. This season, Simon struck gold again with another solid collection based on the love story between a rich Parisian woman and a gypsy man from the south of France. The collection features Jacquemus’s tell-tale simplicity, which, as always, tells a far more interesting story than something with unnecessary glitz and sparkle. The collection is riddled with effortlessly fashionable “French-isms” like the simple Napoleon hats and the large gold brooches, that all bring us back to the iconic houses on Place Vendôme that put Paris on the fashion map. Apart from the all-around well-designed clothing, Jacquemus still manages to add his signature touches to the collection in the form of outstanding tailoring that plays on the brand’s fun-loving take on tailoring. Some of the best looks in this collection are the simplest in terms of design and styling — a black coat with a built-in peplum waist and suit ensemble that slightly twists at the waist.

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

Off-White

A lot of people (myself included) are beginning to become weary and tired of seeing Vetements-isms riddle the runway. It seems as if every designer and their mother are pumping out their own alternatives to the elongated sleeve, oversized everything, puffer-jackets, oversized logo everything. The list goes on and on at this point. Now Off-White is one of those brands that sprang up with the insurgence of the streetwear dominated industry, so it came as no surprise when the brand had its fair share of Vetements inspired pieces in its collection. Fortunately, this season came with a wonderful surprise, designer Virgil Abloh created a fantasy world that echoed the modern freshness of the Off-White client while standing far enough away from any of the overused trends of the past two seasons. His collection left a lasting impression by just exhibiting well made and well put together ensembles that stay relevant to French design and European trends. Two exciting trend that was easily spotted on the Off-White runway was Prince-of-Wales check and denim; the two was intricately mixed with one another to create a complementing look that nestled somewhere in between casual elegance and sports chic. In the end, some visible Vetements-isms were still in the collection, like the mini puffer and hoodie, but they were toned down and given relevant and refreshing reimaging that made sense with the collection, rather than fighting it.

Photo: Monica Feudi

 Miu Miu

Miuccia Prada never fails to wow me. While some designers opt for taking the ideas they presented for their main brands and just altering them for their side ventures, Miuccia consistently delivers news and separate ideas for Miu Miu that only ever rarely echo what Prada is doing at the time. She understands that Miu Miu girl is not her Prada girl and both women need clothing that best represents them, not a mishmash of “either or“. This season, Miuccia created a candy coloured whirlwind for Miu Miu’s fall 2017 collection. The collection, which showcased fur-clad twenty-somethings flouncing down the runway in 60s inspired outfits (an ode to the ladies that launched the first wave of feminism maybe?) presented an interesting and relevant idea. “I am a woman, a Miu Miu woman, and I’m here to be seen!” As every woman should be, which is refreshing in a moment where women’s empowerment is being expressed by how masculine she can dress. The best examples of the what Miuccia is trying to express with feminine strength come later in the show when silky mini dresses were decorated with 3-D fuzzy flowers, wild 60s prints created a strong and imposing silhouette, and pastel coloured furs left a soft yet dominating impression on the viewer.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

Undercover

I remember distinctly ranting and raving about this collection to our Editor-in-Chief Drew Brow whilst sipping a beer at Toronto Men’s Fashion week. The exact words I used were “I don’t think I’ve cried watching a runway show in such a long time! I was fanning my eyes Drew, I was so emotional!” And it’s true. It really has been years since a designer’s collection made me feel emotional enough to feel my eyes water, but that was exactly the case at Undercover this season. Designer Jun Takahashi presented what may be his magnum opus for Undercover at Paris fashion week last week. The collection was a cornucopia of beautiful looks that were meant to represent the residents of a kingdom or utopia built on extravagance and elegance. Now, while other designers have been rushing to pump out trend heavy and streetwear relivant collections it seems that Jun is in no way, shape, or form willing to water down his vision to accommodate the status quo. His collection was a remarkable ode to the days of Alexander McQueen, Christian Lacroix, and John Galliano at Dior. Where designers were more interested in telling a story through a collection rather than creating a collection whose sole purpose is to feed the retail industry’s need for new trends every season. But enough about the technicalities of the collection, because the clothing far outshines any written explanation that can be given to describe it. There were knitted gowns with accordion sleeves, and draped and gather military coats, velvet pie crust bomber jackets, oversized cable-knit dresses, beautifully printed opera coats, and a queen wearing and accordion pleated ball gown skirt that outshone anything that has been presented on the runway in the past few years. To be completely honest with everyone, no words I write can express the beauty of this collection in all of its regal glory. I implore you to watch the runway video of the show to see just exactly what I’m talking about. You can thank me later.

 

One Month, One Style: Graphic T-shirts

Graphic t-shirts have recently become a must-have piece in every fashionista’s closet — from classic vintage logos to quirky slogan tees and even political ones, which are relevant now more than ever. A t-shirt is not just a t-shirt anymore: Beside the fact that it’s a strong marketing tool, a t-shirt can deliver a message, cultural, social or political statements. It has no rules.

We encourage you to speak out  and inspire others to make a change with your style using a t-shirt as a platform to spotlight an important issue, because no other item is as attention-grabbing than a tee with a bold statement. A brief look on the ready to wear 2017 collections show that the slogan t-shirt is on the radars of some of the biggest names in the industry. Fashion designers want to have a say and this is the ultimate way to do it. For instance, in Dior spring 2017 RTW show, models walked down the runway in t-shirts that read “We Should All Be Feminists.” The street style scene found its way to protest against Donald Trump by wearing t-shirts with the popular phrase, “Not My President” splashed across the front.

photo: Broadimage/REX Shutterstock

Since a t-shirt is the most versatile item in your wardrobe — it goes from sunup to sundown — there are endless ways to style it. Don’t hesitate to take it one step forward and explore your creativity at its fullest.

Photo: House of Holland / IMAXTREE

Here are five ways to wear the boldest trend in the spring.

If I were a boy

A graphic t-shirt paired with boyfriend jeans is the ultimate weekend outfit. But with a little help from the accessories department or from your boyfriend’s closet, you can create a fresh look taken straight out from the boys’ arsenal. Allow yourself to choose a looser-fit bottom and opt for a boyish tailored blazer that will refine the look. Finish off with cool accessories like combat boots, sneakers, or brim felt hat.

Punk rock

The grungy vibe of the 90’s was not only about flannel shirts and indie hipster attitudes. It also reflected the rise of the coolest rock band like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Rock band t-shirts are everywhere from on Hollywood stars to It- girls, so this is your chance to give it a try. If you wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll in a flirty way, here are some tips to do it with style. You can soften it with a pleated or tulle skirt, which will give it a girly sweet vibe. A tutu skirt will add a very different texture to the cool tee. Feel free to mix up layers. For example, a loose band tee, a flirty skirt, and masculine boots.

Layer like a pro

Luckily there is no need to neglect your favourite t-shirt just because it is too cold outside. There are some layering tricks that will bring your look to the next level and also keep you warm. Have you ever thought of layering your tee over a turtleneck? Layering like a pro doesn’t have to be complicated, simply tuck in your tee with a turtleneck into a high-waist denim or baggy boyfriend jeans. It will give a new life to your shirt and refresh your outfit. You can also add an oversize denim jacket for a slouchy effect.

The modern princes 

While maxi ball skirt is one of those pieces that seem like they were taken from a fairy tale world, a t-shirt is the most basic item in your closet, which makes the combination incredibly modern. Make sure to choose a fitted graphic T-shirt and tuck it in the skirt. Or chop off the bottom to create a knot tied crop top. This look is all about adding drama to your night-out outfit without looking like you try too hard. You can spice up the look by choosing a bold slogan tee or a vintage one.

Photo: Dior , Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Back to business 

For a head turning attire, you can dress up your graphic tee with a well tailored suit in a single toned colour. To challenge the bounds of style a little bit more, neglect neutral shades and choose a suit in a bold colour instead. Opt for a white or black tee to break up the head to toe daring colour suit and add a statement necklace for a touch of femininity and sophistication.

 

Photo: Buro 24/7

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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.