Stores and runways are showing crazy and chaotic juxtapositions of color, texture, pattern and shape. In short: Spring fashion is fun.
In Diane von Furstenberg’s spring fashion campaign video, Karlie Kloss wears a wrap dress in a clashing combination of miniature pink and green blossoms as she poses against an equally pattern-mad backdrop of hearts, flowers and cheetah spots.
It’s a giddy mix for sure, but Kloss pulls it off with aplomb.
“This is me being me,” the supermodel says, fixing the camera with a challenging stare. “Now you be you.”
Not such a tall order, it seems, if you consider the wealth of fashion options expressed on spring runways in the form of crazily inventive, willfully chaotic juxtapositions of color, texture, pattern and shape.
There were every-which-way stripes and plaids at Marc Jacobs, artfully mismatched chiffons and brocades at Dries Van Noten, and a Gypsy mashup of swirling motifs at Gucci.
A closer look at these unlikely pairings would seem to argue that the disruptive climate governing everything from politics to technology has infiltrated the world of style.
“The playfulness and eccentricity we’ve been seeing on the runways seems to be a response to a shift toward individual dressing,” says Rachael Wang, fashion director of Allure. It underscores the point, Wang says, “that there are no longer hard and fast rules for what’s ‘in’ or ‘out.’ ” Instead, she says, “One can find justification for wearing almost anything.”
Madcap experiments with color, texture and form are a testament to the high spirits pervading fashion now.
There is nothing dour about a Stella McCartney dress, all swingy accordion pleats, with an embroidered silk bomber by Opening Ceremony. Such colorful combinations offer a bracing antidote to the numbing predictability of normcore or the self-conscious rigors of minimalism.
There are plenty of precedents, certainly, some dating from the advent of hippies, who didn’t balk at combining multi-tiered prairie skirts with Army surplus field jackets, or circus-striped trousers with filmy Edwardian dressing gowns.
“I have been styling in this sense for years,” says Natalie Joos, a stylist, writer and photographer in New York. For a recent post on Tales of Endearment, her popular vintage-fashion blog, Joos dressed a model in a varsity jacket over a floor-length sequined gown. In another instance, she dressed the model in a screwball assortment of up-and-down and sideways stripes.
“I welcome this kind of whimsical fashion,” she says.
As for the latest purveyors of whimsy, J.W. Anderson, Simon Porte Jacquemus and the like: “They’re doing something new and unique and intelligent,” Joos says. “By all means let them.”