Coming from a ‘70s-inspired summer, the winter collections of 2015-2016 speak to a new decade’s worth of influences. As the fashion eye takes a strong ‘80s turn toward graphic black and whites, slick vinyl looks, technicolor animal prints, and even head-to-toe sequin, winter 2015 turns up the heat with chic looks and a vibrant color pallet defining what looks to be one of the most fun seasons we’ve seen this year.
Fashion has reinvented the decade known for its pioneering technology, synthesized music, off-beat street style, high teased hair and shoulder pads, a decade full of self-expression and some of fashion’s most drastic faux paus. But the rebirth features a more refined and stylized take on an era we’ve all come to know was a bit tacky. One example: more structured and monochromatic checkerboard graphic prints. Designers like Valentino, Saint Laurent and Emilio Pucci turned to these Rorschach test-like optical illusions in black and white. This two-tone effect is easily wearable from day to night and can be paired with coats and accent pieces in similar textiles and prints, thigh-high boots, heavy gold link chains and bracelets that lend the ‘80s flair.
The influences of flash and vinyl were seen in various brands using a mix of high glam and punk, reminiscent of styles fashioned by Joan Jett and other punk rockers of the time. We saw many designer incorporating vinyl in miniskirts and slashed pants, but nothing like what we saw at Dior, where Raf Simons, the creative director of the brand was quoted as saying that this season his inspirations were based on the sense of feeling “liberated, darker, and far more sexual.” At Dior we experienced their classic attention to the female form in design, but gasped in delight as a glistening vinyl trench coat and thigh-high boots hit the runway. The vinyl trend was also spotted at Margiela in a floor-length jet-black rain slicker and at Loewe in a bright red coat paired with vinyl wide-leg pants.
A far more off-the-wall interpretation of the popular animal prints we’ve come to see season after season, Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu went a step further and took the ever-favorite spotted cat prints technicolor. Whether it was paint-dipped, acid-washed, or in an array of fluorescent colors, we saw leopard spots stalking runways in a new, far more exciting way than ever before. Many pieces were paired with a mix of textiles and prints, including houndstooth and linear patterns as well as large button style earrings, layered chains, simple hand bags and flats.
Nothing screams Eighties glam like heavy beading and sequins, and boy did we see some amazingly glitter-tastic ensembles on the runway this season. Nina Ricci, Dries van Noten and Sonia Rykiel are known for their funky takes on fashion, and of course pulled out all the stops when it came to their interpretation of eveningwear. Dries van Noten has a way with print and detail, pairing beautiful full-length dresses and pant suits with oversized coats and waist-wrapped skirts for a more dramatic flair. Looks at Sonia Rykiel gave us chic city vibes with sexy sequin party dresses and an array of separates. Once again accessories completed the look with large statement earrings and chunky bangles.
Being that fashion is cyclical and what were once antiquated styles from decades past are the new “it” looks on the runway, one can’t help but turn a nostalgic eye to the days of our youth. The rebirthing of decades-old styles is a reminder to never toss or discard your loving vintage wears, as they might be next season’s hot trend item.