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Fashion Month has finally come to a close, bringing an end to four weeks of runway shows, presentations, street style, and FOMO-inducing Instagrams. As always, many of the best shows came last, giving the industry a reason to wake up and pay attention long after the exhaustion level hit a high. Paris Fashion Week is where many of the season’s trends are distilled to their most coherent form, and where new, surprising ones take hold, leaving the rest of the world scrambling to catch up.
The Spring 2017 shows were no different, offering ideas for next season that ranged from ripe-for-the-copying to best-left-to-the-pros. The color stories, for one, were not for wallflowers: yellow and magenta were fixtures in just about every collection of the week, sometimes in small doses, other times not so much. The ’80s also came back in roaring color (and volume), though whether the general population is ready to embrace shoulder pads again remains up for debate.
Below, read up on the ten biggest trends of Spring 2017, according to Paris’ best designers.
The decade fashion loves to hate is back with a vengeance for spring, and this time, designers tapped into the biggest and brashest elements of ’80s style—think head-to-toe Spandex, space-hogging sleeves, and loads of lamé. Anthony Vaccarello, who just inherited Saint Laurent from Hedi Slimane, picked up where his predecessor left off last season (albeit with more black leather and no heart-shaped fur coat), showing ruched dresses, ultra-minis, and stilettos with heels fashioned to spell out the brand’s logo. Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia riffed on the silhouettes and predilections of the era, pairing ultrawide shoulders with legs encased in stretchy boot-pants. Will everyone jump on board with the look right away? Doubtful. But give it a season or two and they might be singing a different tune.
The relatively subdued, blush-pink trend that took Milan this season got a fresh jolt of energy in Paris, with deep fuchsias, magentas, and shocking Schiaparelli pinks dominating the runways. Most designers also went the head-to-toe route, ensuring maximum in-your-face impact, while also mitigating the risk of clashing. IRL, though, you might choose to sub-in some denim in place of either Ellery’s patent-leather pants or matching trench.
Earthy, organic, eclectic—2016’s bohemian cool-girl is about as far from the Coachella stereotype as they come. Depending on who you ask, she’s a staunch vegan (Stella McCartney), collects modern art and oversized jewelry (Loewe), and swaddles herself in piles of oversized knitwear picked up in far-flung locales (Acne). All three takes have their merits: McCartney’s proved that a no-fur-no-leather statement need not be totally crunchy, Loewe’s overflowed with covetable accessories, and Acne’s tapped in to the proportion play that’s becoming more mainstream by the day.
We’re slowly coming around to the idea of bigger sleeves, wider flares, and less conventional outerwear silhouettes (see: the increasingly popular, if somewhat impractical, off-the-shoulder jacket trend). Now, it’s office wear’s time to get a modern makeover—and if anyone can lead the charge, it’s Céline and Jacquemus, who have each pioneered some of the most-copied looks of the past several seasons. And while the latter’s approach is more conceptual—few beyond the Fashion-Week crowd would dare wear a suit quite so billowy and cleavage-baring—Phoebe Philo’s interpretation seemed feasible, exciting, and fresh.
While little of what we saw in Paris could qualify as “athleisure,” designers there proved that not every sport-inspired look has to be of the gym-to-brunch variety. At Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri presented slim-cut fencing jackets with matching sneakers and cropped pants—which, as a whole, might hew a little too close to an actual uniform to wear on the street, but will surely trickle down in the form of quilting and buckle details on pieces come spring. We’ll also be on the lookout for retro-inspired sportswear next season, in the vein of Off-White’s drawstring track jackets and side-stripe pants or Courrèges’ ’60s-futuristic neoprene leggings and bodysuits.
Not every trend for next season is so Instagram-friendly. Sheer clothing in general was just about everywhere this week, but more notable was how little of it featured the usual attendant undergarments. At Saint Laurent, one leather minidress covered only half the chest, leaving Binx Walton to make do with a silver pasty on the other. Bouchra Jarrar, in her first season at the helm of Lanvin, sent models out in filmy dresses sans slips, while Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing took his new “stripped-down” approach particularly literally with a few of his looks (as one of Kim K‘s besties, he clearly knows his audience).
1980s not your jam? Perhaps we can interest you in something from a little bit farther back. Designers pulled from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s in selecting prints this season, with Chloé offering flower-power florals (a high-fashion alternative to your favorite vintage sundress), Miu Miu going full poolside nostalgia, and Givenchy lending a retro vibe to their new mandala print courtesy of point-collar silhouettes and an orange-heavy color palette.
One of fashion’s favorite prints this fall, polka dots aren’t going anywhere next season. Monochrome spots big and small added dimension to sheer looks at Olivier Theyskens, Rochas, and Louis Vuitton, while at Jacquemus and Comme des Garçons, they added a classic touch to otherwise avant-garde proportions.
When they weren’t shrugging sleeves down below shoulders or slicing cutouts around clavicles, designers were lopping off a single sleeve from tops and dresses, leaving the other fully intact—one of the many silhouettes vying to be Spring ’17’s answer to the off-the-shoulder trend. Symmetry is overrated, anyways.
As far as wearable colors go, yellow tends to be a hard sell—but that didn’t stop designers across all four fashion capitals from taking their best shots, pushing shades from mustard and marigold to saffron and sunflower. As it was with magenta, the best looks tended to be those that didn’t hold back—Rick Owens’ sculptural column gowns were one prime example, though whether we’ll ever see them off the runway (say, on the back of one Tilda Swinton?) remains to be seen.