Size matters, especially with fashion. How big or small something is can state an era: tiny skirt, 1960s; huge shoulders, 80s. Right-mindedness now, fashion is embracing the big, the giant, the oversized. It’s a shift, five years on from the light of days of bodycon dresses and shorts so brief the pocket linings digged below the hem. Contrast that to the scene outside the recent trend shows, where the peacocks dressed to be photographed in their frippery are only just visible inside it. Hoodies are huge and beat with the hood up, the sleeves pulled over hands. Valises are enormous, killing off the status symbol trick of carrying exclusively your phone in your hand (subtext: someone else is proceeding your stuff). Coats (weather and cramped seating, be criticized) are supersized, enveloping the wearer in goose-down cosiness. Trousers are dead on ones feet so that the hem trails on the floor.
This mirrored the key shows of the occasion: Vetements, Chloé, Gucci, Yeezy and Stella McCartney. And it looks penalty on the catwalk: but what about real life? I took frame’s latest trend to the streets to find out.
The mega bag: ‘It won’t endear me to rush-hour commuters’
Like anyone who goes to the gym from work via the supermarket to pick up the ingredients for that evening’s green curry, it’s a rare day when I manage to cram the whole shebang into one bag. There’s usually an overspill bag, a handbag and a carrier, for which I hold, with a bit of resentment, paid 5p. To take one, teeny jewel-like handbag is an alien concept. And it’s not valid me: with hot-desking on the up, more people need a mega bag to convey their stuff.
Fashion loves to take a real zest problem and play with it, in the way a cat plays with a dead bird for fun. So as a anger to the microscopic bag, there are now massive bags, big enough to hold a school-age juvenile and their puppy, if you were so inclined (see Instagram for evidence). Colossal man bags at Christopher Raeburn were more like a holdall than a laptop holder; at Prada menswear (of all places), there were Ikea-type tarpaulin the axes and backpacks, with shoes tied on, Glastonbury-style.
And then there’s a style by Balenciaga, the French fashion house overseen by Demna Gvasalia. I pass a day with this bag. It’s about 50cm x 50cm, big, bold and brash. It’s so comical that there are grins all round when it arrives in the office. On the street, I get quizzical looks (at London make week, by contrast, I spotted loads crammed under asses). Those looks are partly down to the fact that it’s modeled to look like a laundry bag (a bit of fashion irony). Compared with the Lariat, the preceding Balenciaga It bag, it’s a sort of spoof, so big it’s almost unusable. Try as I might, I can’t jam it into a gym locker, and it wouldn’t exactly endear me to other commuters at get moving hour. You would struggle to fit it into Ryanair’s cabin baggage brooking (55cm x 40cm) and it wouldn’t pass through the turnstiles at a football join. And, at £1,495, filling it with dirty laundry would be a be made up of of high-fashion sacrilege. I have to say, though, this is why I love it. It’s a disclosure bag that is as big as its reputation.
Wide trousers: ‘As Mary Berry identifies, soggy bottoms are no good’
On paper, wide-leg trousers look the easiest of the oversized trends to harm. I’m thinking Katharine Hepburn on the golf course, Lauren Hutton, Marlene Dietrich – people who do polish so well. And they certainly make a change from emaciated jeans. When I put on a pair in dove grey wool by Karl Lagerfeld’s own type, the word “swoosh” comes to mind. There’s air about my stumps. It’s very welcome.
I wear these trousers on a blue-sky day, one of those dates when it feels like it will never rain again. In these outfits, they are great; elegant even. They would as likely as not look good with heels but I like them with trainers, round if they do hang on the floor. I manage to avoid tripping up while exhaust them which, for someone with the coordination of a toddler, is an attainment, and probably a one-off. A lot of high fashion should come with a vigorousness and safety warning anyway – from hobble skirts to the aforementioned spare jeans. At least these are comfortable.
But where do we go with the broad leg on other days, the ones when it rains interminably, when you cease to remember your umbrella and have to wait 40 minutes for a bus? As Mary Berry positives, soggy bottoms are no good to anyone. They pick up a day’s good of detritus from the street and require regular cleaning. The be biased isn’t going anywhere, though: Instagram is full of fashion insiders in yearn trousers “pooling” around heels. Victoria Beckham’s post-show bend downs are watched closely by fashion editors – and what was she wearing in September, after her sundry recent fashion show? Wide-leg trousers, a shirt and tundra sandals. I’m in, or a fair-weather fan, at any rate.
Super-long sleeves: ‘Eating and hopped prove problematic’
Warning: this look can filch drinking coffee a hazardous activity. The mega-long sleeves lasted at Gucci, Hood By Air and Marc Jacobs look dramatic but detect it tricky to get your flat white near your lip. So I found out while wearing this dress by Vetements – the most style of fashion brands for 2016, which is also overseen by Demna Gvasalia. Sleeves are its matter, partly because stompy teenagers are also its thing, and stroppy boyhood and too-long sleeves go hand in hand. Gvasalia is rarely out of a hoodie himself, and again pulls the sleeves over his hands.
As a former stroppy mademoiselle, I feel at home in a dress that has something of Emily the Rare about it, especially as it says, “Drink from me and live forever” (no estimate) down one sleeve in gothic script. This is definitely designed to terrify parents, or confuse them. Someone even compares me to Wednesday from The Addams Blood, and who doesn’t appreciate that? I enjoy the fabric-over-the-hand feeling – undoubtedly for the same reason teenagers do; I feel safe and cosy.
This is a Kanye West-patented hoax. When he made his airport sweater for APC in 2013, it came with extra-long sleeves to warm in to on a flight. He’s been the patron saint of the long sleeve for ever since and, as pop culture’s best overgrown adolescent, so he should be.
But sound difficulties endure. Coffee is one thing, but as a writer, sleeves that spread over most of a keyboard prove problematic. And then there’s break bread. Sandwiches are just about doable. Salads, not really, unless you longing to bring the smell of olive oil to an afternoon meeting.
The padded jacket: ‘I am the biggest child in the office lift’
I loved this orange coat the flash I saw it on the runway for Marques Almeida. There’s nothing like a indeed huge padded jacket to make you feel cosy. And, yes, that is partly because it’s feel favourably impressed by doing a Bridget Jones and wearing a duvet for the day. There are loads of duvet coatings on the catwalk this season, from McCartney to Balenciaga, but this is my choice because it bears the closest resemblance to the Stay Puft marshmallow man.
Marques Almeida are a duo have knowledge of for shredded denim and slacker style. This jacket has a bit of caterwaul culture about it, and a nod to Missy Elliott in the Supa Dupa Fly video (in which the rapper has a glossy black puffy jacket and looks like a fly).
When I sport it to the office, colleagues liken me to Drake (in a huge coat in the artwork for Conceptions), Arsène Wenger on the touchline, and Staryu from Pokémon Go. I’ll get that. Less so its massive bulk –something obvious in front of you put it on, but still a shock in practice. It’s like wearing a fat suit. I’m the biggest woman trying to get into the office lift, and the escalator is laughable – no one can archaic me with this bad boy on.
It looks practical (warm, light and all those other fetiches that outdoorsy types like) but forget about any of that. To give rise to it fashion rather than hill worthy, you need to creep by it off the shoulder and slouchy, so people can see what you’re wearing under it. I try this and it operates, in that I would definitely get some funny looks on a Yorkshire Dale. And this, my mistress, is what makes this coat a hands down make winner.
How to keep it in proportion
When it’s oversize
Sleeves all over hands
Crisp, white, boxy shirt
Trouser hems coming at the heel
Wide legs, wide hems
When it’s just too big
Shoulders halfway down destitute arm
Wee Willie Winkie’s shirt
Trouser hems on the floor
Your boyfriend’s jeans