The Pleated Skirt

There’s something so seasonally right about pleated skirts for the autumn/winter season – they’re so very back-to-school (that’s September for you). But, thankfully, when they crop up in our wardrobes again now, there’s no longer the fear of double maths to accompany them.

Instead, they’ve received an upgrade – in luxe leather, shimmer, spliced with sequins and rendered in box or knife varieties that sway sexily around the knee as they go ( Christian Dior and Guy Laroche did these styles best).

Traversing wardrobe opportunities, this season sees them dressed up (a razzle-dazzle miniskirt from Marco de Vincenzo), dressed down (a slouchy jumper at Valentino) and everywhere in between. There was an elegant durability to Dior’s swishy take and a toughness at Guy Laroche. Of course there was that Eighties Lurex appeal at Loewe and those billowing splays at Balmain. Who knew pleats could look quite so good?

da2f777ee962d5efa814d0f3d23837be 9dab82d5b650ef0292331d304c645c15

.

The thing to note with the pleated skirt now though is where at school it blended into a background of navy or black (or green or red or grey depending on what your school uniform was), here it steals all of the outfit action. You’ll look forward to wearing it.

And directions for doing so? Strands of stealth should be worn with something neat and uncluttered up top – a shirt or simple T-shirt; while sparkly or sheer variations should have the luxe and polish factor amped up with a structured, gently oversized blazer, or an enveloping jumper. Be careful to keep the silhouette clean and not overload yourself with angles and layers, and of course be sure to leave fashion’s current penchant for backpacks right at home.

Remember, we are not going back to school.

0fda5c031f05b95183823fe59315cdd7


Spring/Summer 2015 Isabel Marant

Spring.Summer-2015-Isabel-Marant-2-e1434886729632Spring.Summer 2015 Isabel Marant 3

There was a distinctly tribal feel to this Isabel Marant show, which makes sense because Marant is one of those designers whose tribe you’re either in or you’re not.

Hers are clothes that are underpinned by bohemian spirit, youth and fun – and with this colleciton they got reworked in raffia fringing, lots and lots of pleats (for the label’s faithful short and flirty skirts), and plenty of ponchos with gaucho appeal.

Her girl had left last season’s night out and gone off in search of adventure: gladiator flats her footwear friend, thick wrestler-style belts to cinch her many pleated little dresses and a supply of cosy cover-ups for when it gets cold outside.

Marant’s girl is still up for a good time but she’s going about it next summer in more organic and natural-feeling wares.

Spring.Summer 2015 Isabel Marant Spring.Summer 2015 Isabel Marant 4

 


Spring/Summer 2015 Whistles

WHAT better way to cement your reputation as the working woman’s go-to brand than to stage your spring/summer 2015 fashion show in an entrance tunnel to Kings Cross tube station? The novel idea came from Whistles, who in doing so cleverly took their customer off the catwalk and put her into context: on-the-go and always looking good. The tight edit of sleeveless jumpsuits, cutout dresses, tactile knits and statement jackets in a limited colour palette of white, black, peach and the palest of blue all emanated the brand’s progressive-but-pared-back mix and will no doubt fly off the shelves when they hit the shop floor next year. A very stylish commute beckons.

 

 


Spring/Summer 2015 Pringle of Scotland

Massimo Nicosia wanted to incorporate plenty of Pringle of Scotland’s almost 200-year history into his Spring ’15 collection. He did it in a very contemporary, perhaps even futuristic way, continuing his experiments in 3-D printing, a technique he first employed (to much acclaim) for Fall. This time around, Nicosia created a nylon-powder chain mail. Assembled with panels of woven cotton and silk, it was used for airy, funky tops and a dress. “I wanted to combine the artificial and the natural,” Nicosia said of the 3-D printed looks. However, the high-tech textile wasn’t the designer’s only forward-thinking interpretation of Pringle’s signature knitwear. 

Leather embellishments on a diaphanous white dress mimicked a cardigan stitch—the tactile effect was slick, and it made more than a few of the audience to do a double take during its trip down the runway. Similarly, traditional pullovers were completely reimagined; in one instance, loosely woven threads were trapped inside a mesh casing. In another, fil coupe fragments in watery hues of green and violet were patched onto a roomy organdy jumper.

Water was a primary point of reference for Nicosia this season. Using Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais and Pablo Picasso’s The Bathers as inspiration, he attempted to translate its lightness, transparency, and reflective properties into fabric. This resulted in a number of sheer silk tops with woven collars and sleeves. A few of them were covered in translucent turquoise triangles that protruded from the chest—they were meant to act as prisms. Elsewhere, silver beads were used sparingly on a honeycomb knit dress to provide just a hint of shimmer. That piece stood out for its serene simplicity.

Returning to Pringle’s heritage, Nicosia played with the idea of lingerie (the house manufactured undergarments back in the day), and turned out hyper-thin silk knit tanks and bodysuits. Pleated and leather-trimmed skirts felt a little stiff and lacked the liquidity of Nicosia’s refreshing dresses and tops, but on the whole, the designer produced an innovative—and versatile—Spring lineup that will appeal to loyal Pringle customers and beyond.

Shop the beautiful and elegant artwork of Pringle of Scotland Spring/Summer 2015 below: