Casting light on the Spring Summer 2013 season has not been an easy task. The leading fashion weeks, New York, London, Milan and Paris have all presented different styles, in keeping with their identity and heritage. Look no further for a detailed account of how and what to wear next season.
If there is one thing that binds the Spring Summer 2013 collections is light: as in colour or fabric. Perhaps inspired by the sweltering summer we had over here in the northern hemisphere, or perhaps looking to metaphorically lift a weight from our shoulders, the buzzword for the season is light. From chiffon and organza, to whites and pastels, the overwhelming feeling of lightness and softness was palpable.
Fashion is all about contrasts: although lightness was the central trend in terms of palette and fabrics, the runways also saw a lot of summer black and even fur. The appeal of black, even on summer runways is undisputed, yet the relevance of fur is another question. Globalisation has made it such where the fashion transcends climatic seasons, the styles from the runways now contaminate the globe, northern and southern hemisphere. Plus, lets face it; an element of shock value always helps- its better to be talked about, no?
Back to the light. Silhouettes also tended to reflect the element of lightness and keeping cool in the summer heat. The general look, aided by the materials chosen such as organza and chiffon, are less form hugging than before. There’s an element of flowiness to the garments, and the return of the trapeze shape on the skirts, as well as sleeves. The silhouettes, more than colour, print and fabric, are what most hone in on the overall feel of the collections.
The world is looking eastwards, for economic salvation, for gastronomic experiments, for technological advances and for inspiration. This is reflected in fashion, with a strong Japanese trend surfacing on the runways, kimono like garments, naïf Japanese floral prints, typical folds and high belts and samurai like armoured shoulders. The Japanese trend also picks up on an underlying minimalism, an apt contrast to the baroque and somewhat excessive looks from the Fall Winter Season.
The romantic woman takes on a new guise for Spring Summer 2013. Gone are the puffy skirts, and the girly silhouettes, romanticism is about what you feel inside more than out. Pastel colours and flowy silhouettes are in, but the feel is much more grown up this season.
White is the big colour of the season, on coats, on accessories, on trousers, shirts and dresses. White is no surprise for the summer season, though in the past few years it was considered perhaps too obvious and did not feature as much as we would have liked. For Spring Summer 2013 white is everything. Start the season on the right foot with a white trench coat and carry the trend through to high summer with light dresses.
As an apt contrast, black also makes a comeback in Spring Summer 2013. Black suits, dresses and sleeveless coats ruled the runways, in a counter climatic statement that is sure to please the southern hemisphere.
Bright colours are a must in summer. Shimmering in the light and complementing that healthy summer glow. This season, the bright, jewel hues range from fuchsia to ochre and emerald green to cobalt blue. Wear the together, as colour blocking, match them or go for a degradée style.
The summery feel and lightness of the collections overall is mainly represented by the fabrics used. Silk satins, chiffon, and a new old favourite, organza dominated the runways in all shapes and forms. Floaty, pleated, sheer, shimmery, printed, nude and colour blocked, these very feminine materials represented the mood of the collections perfectly: light, feminine yet somewhat minimal.
Lace has been a firm favourite on the runways in recent seasons. It adapts well to both Spring Summer and Fall Winter, and with innovation, experimentation and imagination, lace is not mundane and expected. From laser cut cotton versions, to three-dimensional creations and hand-crafted macramé, lace represents all areas of fashion, and in a way tradition.
With a season where the collections all shared lightness, in terms of fabric, construction and colouring, ruffles also proved to be very popular. When wanting to add some depth, some texture and extra movement to highly studied, yet light, destructured garments, the ruffle is the solution. Applied to form a peplum waist, as a sleeve on a top, a bib or a style statement, the ruffle will be a big thing next summer.
Though the collections were generally quite streamline, and generally very light, in construction and feel, some applications could not be amiss. From natural coral to sequins and crystals, the light fabrics and the colours are accentuated by extravagant decorations.
Stripes are a big thing this season, and were present on the runways from New York through to Paris. The summery mood of the season was heightened by the stripes, inspired by beach umbrellas like in Dolce&Gabbana or candy canes like at Marc Jacobs. Horizontal, vertical and oblique, stripes adorn coats, dresses and shirts, and will be a true statement come summer.
Optical prints have also made a come back. Building on the stripe trend, geometric shapes in black, or even colours supported the striped brigade down the catwalk.
Prints per se are less ubiquitous than in previous summers, but some strong, figurative and abstract prints are imbued on the characteristically light and feminine fabrics of the season. Perhaps wanting to break from the femininity of the fabrics, the prints are bold, unlike the whimsical flowers we would expect. From Sicilian puppets to negative effect flowers and Japanese dragons, the prints are more gutsy than girly.
It must have been watching Kate Middleton charm the crowds of adoring fans in her coat and dress ensembles that inspired the fashion set to carry on the continuously growing trend of the summer coat. This season its firmly divided in 2 sets: lady like, trapeze in shape and with cute details like the buttons and collars, and minimalist, either egg shaped or tailored like menswear.
With light fabrics, and light colours, (and black), transparency is inevitable, and the Spring Summer 2013 collections embraced it. From sports couture to risqué ensembles, transparency is key. More demure, lady like expressions of sheer also graced the catwalk, and they’re the ones that will fly off the racks come summer.
The new shape this season is trapeze, and it’s most visible in skirts and dresses, though some designers have translated it to sleeves. Whether its cinched in at the waist, forming more of an A shape, or sinuously following the body and kicking out in a gentle trumped form, this new silhouette is all about summer 2013, cool and minimalism.
Trousers are back big time for next summer. After a few seasons dominated by skirts and dresses we’re happy to see that trousers have earned their place back on the runway. These are not plain simple trousers though; they vary in silhouette, from flowing palazzo pants to tailored capris. Printed, cropped, extra long, colour block and even sheer, it’s a whole new trouser world.
The tunic works well within the look and feel of the Spring Summer 2013 collections. Less constrictive than a shirt, the tunic lends itself well to being fashioned out of the aforementioned feminine fabrics like silks and organza. This season the tunic takes life as both a shirt-like garment, with buttons and a collar or an oversize luxurious t-shirt. Wear it tucked in, or loose fitting, or even just on its own as a mini mini dress (for the beach).
Written by: Valentina Zannoni