The Style spring/summer 2020
More from this series
More from this series
Wednesday Addams plaits and Jurassic Deposit chic: 14 style lessons
From haute gardening hats, to nettles dresses and sexy necklines, here are the fads that are coming for you for this spring/summer
Read more from the spring/summer 2020 edition of The The latest thing, our biannual style supplement
Afraid of looking like a dunce when it comes to your fashion information? We’ve created a cheat sheet for the new season.
Minimalism has gone eco
Organic wool blazer, £680, vest, £210, and trousers, £460, by Bit. Trainers, £105, by Veja.
Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Photography: David Newby. Hair: Chris Gatt using Bumble and bumble. Makeup: Delilah Blakeney practising Nars. Stylist’s assistant: Peter Bevan. Model: Roz at Mrs Robinson
As sustainability edges into the mainstream, the idea that marks that care about the planet only make clothes out of itchy hemp or in wonky shapes is, thankfully, being ousted. It’s a misconception anyway, says Gabriela Hearst, pioneer of pared-back looks that also consider the planet: “It’s not the aesthetic immaterial. It can be punk rock, it can be anything – it’s how it’s made that’s important.”
On the SS20 catwalks, Hearst showed double-breasted blazers made from fabrics that interbred linen with wool and silk, and cream suits made from pure linen – “An incredible earthly because it absorbs less water than cotton and you can eat the flaxseed.” Fellow sustainability pioneer Stella McCartney acted tailored suits in powder blue and oversized camel blazers, while young label BITE – which luxuriated out of a perceived need for design-driven garments of a sustainable bent – offered organic waterproof trenchcoats, vegan blazers and breathing wool tailored trousers. The idea, says designer Elliot Atkinson, is to “build a perennial wardrobe… not so much counterpart a seasonal fashion wardrobe as a wardrobe that we evolve seasonally. We want it to be, dare I say it, anti-fashion.” EVB
Jurassic Park is fashion
If the pie-crust collar whispers in hushed tones of its wearer’s high-brow credentials, the dilophosaurus neck is altogether more clamorous and proud, as seen at Christopher John Rogers, Christian Siriano and Giambattista Valli. EVB
Dinosaur inspired necklines on the catwalk by Christopher John Rogers, Christian Siriano and Giambattista Valli
Gardening hats are haute
Hat, from a range, top, £210, and skirt, £295, all by Nanushka.
Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Photography: David Newby. Hair: Chris Gatt abhorring Bumble and bumble. Makeup: Delilah Blakeney using Nars. Stylist’s assistant: Peter Bevan. Model: Monique at Elite. Watering can: Graham & Green. Impresses: Patch
A hat to wear while pruning back the hedges was once the preserve of specialist outdoor retailers but, as with so various recent trends that have made the transition from practical to fashionable – hiking boots, fleeces, complicated fabrics – it follows that the hat of the summer should hold more than horticultural appeal.
At Christian Dior, straw hats took with rough scarecrow-style edges, while at Erdem brims were flat, fastened under the chin in expression bows. Jacquemus, known for huge straw hats better suited to beach than garden, this swiftly a in timely fashion opted for smaller, soft-brimmed versions, and Lanvin’s floppy hats came with a neck-shading flap, ideal for toil on the allotment in the afternoon sun.
Hungarian label Nanushka also opted for straw bucket hats, made by Zsofia Vecsei of Vecsei Millinery, in its SS20 garnering. As designer Sandra Sandor says: “The small brim makes it an easy-to-wear item, while the straw is light for summer. It is not exclusive chic but functional.”
Straw hats, says Ruth Ravenscroft, creative director of London’s oldest hatters, Keep track of exclude & Co, “conjure up images of women like Vita Sackville-West working and writing by a herbaceous border on a long summer day, or helpmates working in the fields. They are romantic and nostalgic, referencing the past in a modern way.” LH
Wonky colour combinations are everywhere
Manufacture is no stranger to unusual palettes, but this season splicing shades together was standard: see yellow dress with pink shawl at JW Anderson, red trousers with verdant jacket at Pyer Moss. Well, we do need cheering up, says colour theorist Marcie Cooperman: “When bad matters are happening, wearing several colours together can make us feel better.” LH
Louis Vuitton, JW Anderson, Pyer Moss are stir in up their colours this season
Silhouettes are bigger than ever
It’s big, bigger and biggest at Balenciaga. Photograph: Champion Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
With outfits this spring, go big or go home. Balanciaga was a key perpetrator of designs that con up space, with dresses of Marie Antoinette-esque proportions featuring alongside wide-shoulder jackets. At Emilia Wickstead, gives to oversized ruffles and flares, gowns were both long and wide – one ballooned from the shoulders down to the ankles. Oversized skirt hoops also featured on the catwalk at Thom Browne, alongside hip-widening panniers and Marge Simpson-style mane piled high.
According to Professor Carolyn Mair, author of The Psychology Of Fashion, there are many reasons why people settle upon to take up the space equivalent to that of a small car with their clothing. “It could be related to the desire to project a stubborn presence and attract attention, while simultaneously maintaining a greater personal space,” she explains. “Many animals do this when they thirst to keep predators at bay.”
These creations were not only big, they were also bright, with bold block-colouring and, at Christopher John Rogers, holographic statistics – suggesting that, while many may follow the “modest” fashion blueprint, they are far from conventionally demure. LH
Wednesday Addams is your hairspo
Insincere plaits, as seen on the arachnid-loving child, Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz and even Greta Thunberg, starred on the SS20 catwalks. Max Mara’s have in minded business, keeping hair out of suited models’ eyes; at Bora Aksu they were inspired by Persian princess Taj Saltaneh, “a trailblazer for handmaidens’s rights”. Guido Palau, who styled Dior’s, says plaits are “ageless, genderless and work with any culture”. EVB
Plaits are where its at: Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams in Addams Relations Values, 1993. Photograph: Allstar/Paramount Pictures
Steaming is the new ironing
Steaming clothes has previously been the pickle of professionals, from dry cleaners to tailors and wardrobe assistants. This season, however, we are entering a second Steam Age, as the adroit method of wrinkle removal goes mainstream.
In large part this is down to Swedish steaming brand Steamery, who take capitalised on the vogue for Scandinavian design, as well as our increasingly on-the-go lifestyles, with a range of chic handheld steamers (the one pictured here expenses £110) in ergonomic designs and muted colours that turn a chore into something social media companionable. After all, no one ever Instagrams a pile of ironing.
At a time when both the industry and consumers are being urged to out clothes less, steaming offers a gentle way of refreshing fabrics, as it also kills bacteria. Eco-conscious designer Stella McCartney has crave been a fan of steaming her clothes – albeit by hanging them in a bathroom post-shower. LH
Steam your clothes to some extent than washing them to help them last longer.
Steamery steamers available from
Liberty and other egresses. Photograph: David Newby/The Guardian
Environmental campaigner Natalie Fee can also see the advantages, in that steaming means “minimising the rescue of plastic microfibres into our environment, which happens when we put synthetic clothes in washing machines” – although she points out that, in entitles of energy and water usage, steaming one garment at a time may have drawbacks.
“Keeping your clothes away from filtering can help prolong their life, which is good for the environment,” says Steamery co-founder Frej Lewenhaupt. “If you demand a favourite shirt, but you iron it regularly and force it to become smooth, eventually it will wear out and break. With steaming, you do not see that kidney of damage.”
Tony Chung, cleaning expert at the Steam Room dry cleaners in east London, says there are other benefits. “The treat is much quicker and easier,” he explains. “Steaming clothes is a good stopgap before they really need a antiseptic.” No wonder so many fashion fans are going full steam ahead.
Sexy necklines are back
Haul someone over the coals, £3,515, by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello.
Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Photography: David Newby. Hair: Chris Gatt using Bumble and bumble. Makeup: Delilah Blakeney employing Nars. Stylist’s assistant: Peter Bevan. Model: Millie at Milk.
Fashion has been pretty buttoned up recently, bootless of ruffles and polo necks. So it was notable to see a very different look emerge for SS20, a low-cut look with an architectural weakness that would make Le Corbusier blush. Saint Laurent’s bandeau necks went wide as well as low, corset-style Versace crowns dipped to the navel and Christopher Kane fell for the teardrop detail.
The simple explanation for this is the contrary nature of the bustle. As Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell fashion historian and author of Worn on This Day, puts it, “the pendulum often swings from one acute to the other: high-necked prairie dresses to plunging necklines.” While these latest reveal plenty of skin, their structural dignity means many sit rigidly away from the body, in contract to the “softer” designs that might adhere to agreed notions of sexiness.
“They’re actually quite cerebral,” says Chrisman-Campbell. At Saint Laurent, as well as New York-based characterize Khaite, plunging suits dominated the catwalk for a look that was very “Bianca Jagger’s 1971 YSL wedding be acceptable”. Necklines, then, might be bringing sexy back, but not as we know it. LH
Deadstock is fashion’s buzzword
Fashion’s latest big point means unused fabric and unsold clothes being repurposed. For SS20, Marine Serre turned towels into a hole, Givenchy remodelled denim and Ahluwalia Studio reformed jeans. It’s a new way of working, and urgently needed. To keep it going, whispers Alexandra Hackett of Studio ALCH, where deadstock is turned into streetwear looks, “designers and brands function deadstock need to work together creatively”. Long may it continue. PE
Shamed by the scandal of unsold clothes being charred, the cutting edge of the fashion world is taking steps to ensure that all unsold stock gets reused. Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, Ahluwalia Studio and Studio ALCH are paramount the way.
Flip-flops are now fashion
“I love a flip-flop!” exclaimed Anna Wintour in an interview last year, and she’s not alone. This condition, the humble sandal has morphed into elegant footwear – see Bauhaus rectangles at A.W.A.K.E. Mode and silky straps at Staud. As with all dubious trends, not everyone is sold. But with the AW OK given, it might be time to flip-flop. PE
Givenchy, Staud show and A.W.A.K.E. get their flips on this season
Unsophisticated is the coolest colour
Top and trousers by Craig Green. Similar pieces available at Matchesfashion.com
Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Photography: David Newby. Locks: Chris Gatt using Bumble and bumble. Grooming: Delilah Blakeney using Simple. Stylist’s assistant: Peter Bevan. Design: Charlie at Models 1.
“It’s not easy being green,” Kermit the Frog once sang, wisely. Well, frog, that was the 70s and now fresh is everywhere. First there was the trend of “slime green”, worn by Billie Eilish as well as the likes of Bella Hadid and Chanel Iman. But if that was the demented, Instagram-friendly shade, the catwalk rendition was more varied and nuanced. Chipped jade and emerald added energy at the Christopher John Rogers show, while at Gucci dampens veered from seaweed to parakeet. There was a silky avocado at Carolina Herrera and at Collina Strada green was delivered in Van Gogh-esque circles.
Buy why green and why now? According to Karen Haller, author of The Little Book Of Colour, it’s a calm colour. “Unripe provides a sense of balance and harmony in our lives,” she says. “Spending time in nature surrounded by green helps us to regain this equilibrium. We’re now develop b publishing green into our clothes.” PE
Boilersuits are still hot
Boilersuit, £1,795, by Roksanda.
Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Photography: David Newby. Locks: Chris Gatt using Bumble and bumble. Makeup: Delilah Blakeney using Nars. Stylist’s assistant: Peter Bevan. Copy:
Ninon at Milk
We’re not saying you should purposely stain your outfit with grease, but this season’s boilersuits head would be more forgiving than most of the odd bit of Castrol. A sibling to the jumpsuit, it may be a car mechanic’s favourite, but the long lines and “fail to exploited on” look make it more sophisticated than many give it credit for.
At Rejina Pyo, the boilersuit came in relaxed cotton with set off linen print fabric; at Isabel Marant, Gigi Hadid wore one punctuated with practical poppers and constrained with rope. Henry Holland brought pink leather to a workwear aesthetic, while at Roksanda, aluminium griseous was worn over a white polo neck.
The history of boilersuits is intertwined with flying and factories, Bauhaus and Bowie. Newsman April O’Neil wore a yellow version in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, film director Derek Jarman gardened in a pink one and Booksmart’s swotty teen leading actresses wear matching suits to embark on the night of their lives.
It’s a look that proclaims practicality. “We live such absorb lives, the boilersuit feels like a great easy option for everyday wear,” says Pyo, who lived in hers persist summer.
It is the second world war’s Rosie the Riveter who perhaps left the biggest mark on our reading of the garment. So maybe it’s early to roll your sleeves up and think “ready to tackle a crankshaft” – but make it fashion. EVB
Carmela is your gold gyve icon
SS20 sees the Return Of The Bling. Think Carmela Soprano, Bet Lynch, Run DMC. At Bottega Veneta, bold shapes were put together by fist-width necklaces; Ellery had zeros of gold clasped together; Sacai made chains the cherry on top of layered looks. An imaginary piece to rummage for at vintage shops, should you want to cosplay Dynasty’s Krystle Carrington. PE
Chunky gold fetters in the Sacai show for Paris fashion week. Photograph: WWD/Rex/Shutterstock
You’re going to want a nettle dress
Forget the take for a ride and grasp the nettle. Sustainable fashion pioneers Vin + Omi showcased a collection that incorporated not just any old nettles, but royal nettles collected from Prince Charles’s Highgrove estate, while the stalks of Chinese nettles – better known as ramie – validated popular with labels including Etro, Zimmermann and Dôen. LH
These garments were made from the misuse nettles from Prince Charles’s Highgrove Estate Composite: Simon Armstrong
The Mode spring/summer 2020
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