May 10, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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L to R: Prada, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Lanvin
Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks showcased some of the most thought-provoking accessory presentations in recent seasons. The juxtaposition between extreme angular shapes and soft volumes mixed with classic lady-like styles kept within the continuous theme of protective shields, organic comforts and a nod to powerful women in the workplace of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The Prada fur-covered carryall contradicted the ongoing spirit of austerity in turbulent economic times, while Alexander McQueen’s wristlet purse with lock-and-key closures evoked dark emotions from deep within. On the contrary, Stella McCartney showcased a light-hearted evolution of the clutch in new handheld octagonal shapes. Lanvin’s chain-strapped gold and brown flapped-bag exuded simple but understated elegance for women who are willing and able to make an investment this fall.
L TO R: Stella McCartney, Hermes, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent
Designers used footwear as a form of expression by incorporating over-embellished styles in exaggerated proportions and towering heel-heights during Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. There were more commercial offerings with understandable, editorial appeal, as seen with Christian Dior’s vibrantly colored exotic uppers and banana-shaped heels. Yves Saint Laurent introduced an updated platform silhouette and heel shape in sultry textures and colors. Models took flight during the Hermès show in beautifully crafted knee-boots with spat covers and buckles. Stella McCartney’s futuristic interpretation of this season’s thigh-high boot in skin-tight grey synthetic material reveals this fall’s new needle-thin shaped metal heel.
L to R: Marni, Fendi, D&G, Karl Lagerfeld
In this time of minimal styling and clean lines, jewelry becomes a defining element for basic-driven looks. The notion of piling-on and layering effects continue this fall with dark metals and antiqued-gold flowers decorating necklaces at Marni, while eccentric bangles in similar tones endured at Fendi. Oversized brooches re-emerge in new proportions as jeweled variations are attached to scarves and suit lapels as seen at D&G. Karl Lagerfeld’s futuristic approach to jewelry creations emulated warrior-chicness as models donned electronic headsets adorned with metal studs and rings, proving that unconventional ideas never go unnoticed.
L to R: Marni, CNC by Costume National, Chanel, Louis Vuitton
The shows have ended and the message is loud and clear: volume, geometric shapes and texture are shared elements across all collections. Other accessories included emerging shapes in eyewear like goggles and blacked-out shields with contrast color frames. Bulky crocheted scarves carry on this fall, emulating a cocooning effect that speaks to the notion of feeling safe and comfortable. Oversized flat, short-brimmed bouclé wool hats and elbow length ruched gloves revealing all fingers but a thumb are playful in a fairytale sort of way, leaving the impression that the world may not be ready to acknowledge the harsh realities that continue to present themselves.
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