Chances are that 50% of the reason you go to a fashion show is to dress up. The other 50% is simply to see what other people are wearing (including the models on the runway). Fashion shows are fun and glamorous, and a perfect event to go to if you’re looking to be creatively and aesthetically nourished.
However, there is a certain way to watch fashion shows to get the most out of them. This is the method that fashion editors, bloggers, and journalists use to ensure they’re picking out the important aspects of the shows and making the looks more digestible and accessible to the general public. Because honestly, no one’s really going to walk out of the house looking like this:
These kind of “high fashion” looks are all part of the entertainment value of fashion shows and the creative/art value of fashion. Fashion shows are designers’ chances to make a statement, so they’re not going to send something totally average down the runway. There may be some crazy ensembles, but rather than looking at them as outfits, one should look at them as statements – what are they saying, and how could this be applied to the average fashion-lover’s wardrobe? Here are some tips on how to properly watch a fashion show:
1. Document what you see
Take pictures of the looks coming down the runway, especially what inspires you and what shocks you. This seems really obvious, but it’s so beneficial to be able to look back at the pieces that really struck a chord with you. Add notes to your pictures, to capture your thoughts in those moments. Record the vibe you get from the show to determine the general theme. What do the clothes remind you of? What are they trying to say?
2. Find commonalities
You can use the aforementioned notes and pictures to find commonalities among designers’ shows. One should look for similar themes, colors, and silhouettes. The general rule is that it takes at least three designers to establish a trend. This season’s Paris Fashion Week has bestowed upon us an array of looks that will govern “what’s in” for Spring/Summer 2017.
Let’s take a look at Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Saint Laurent (below, left to right). These designers all sent one sleeve down the runway. Kind of an adaptation of the off-the-shoulder trend from last year, but with an attempt at making it more elegant.
Sleeves have also manifested themselves in puffy, 19th-century-looking things. Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent and Giambattista Valli (below, left to right) displayed these medieval silhouettes, all with dark colors and heavy leather.
There were also many designers that featured ruffles in their collections. Here’s a collage of several: Giambattista Valli, Altuzarra, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent and Marc by Marc Jacobs (below, left to right). It’s quite obsessive, really.
3. Become psychic
You can use these commonalities to determine trends and vibes of the upcoming season. You can be the first to wear one-sleeved tops or ruffled skirts, and everyone will think you’re a trendsetter (although, really, the designers set the trends…but no one has to know).
Everything we see above is dramatic and theatrical. There is exaggerated volume in sleeves and skirts. There is emphasis on asymmetrical silhouettes – sleeves on one side, ruffles haphazardly placed. The feel that designers are trying to portray is a new sense of romanticism, with an edge to it. There are florals, there are flowy fabrics, and there are feminine silhouettes, but all are accompanied by leather, combat boots, the color black, and misplaced additions like sleeves and ruffles.
4. Be inspired
Here is where you can adapt what you see to your own wardrobe. Now that these “high fashion” looks are more understandable to you because you’re not taking them at face value, it’s easy to incorporate them into your own style. Invest in a ruffled skirt or a puffy-sleeved top. Or, if you don’t want to be too literal, adopt the theme these designers are portraying. Mix more romantic pieces (like an off-the-shoulder, flowy dress) with edgier/artsier pieces (like a structured leather jacket).
Or do something totally your own! Fashion should never be dictatorial. It is simply an art form through which one can express themselves, so if the looks from PFW 2016 inspire you to take a completely different direction, don’t hesitate to follow it.
Images courtesy of: The Telegraph and Vogue Runway.