The weather in South Carolina has been weird lately, to say the least. We’ve been experiencing unseasonably high temperatures and an abundance of rain. I owe all the credit for this post to this dreary weather, however. I was brainstorming for this post the other day, mid-downpour, when I remembered my favorite runway show from the spring 2016 ready-to-wear shows by a designer by the name of Hussein Chalayan. I stumbled across his collection one afternoon and was instantly obsessed. Let me explain why that is. In addition to his collection consisting of neutrals, inspired by military wear and subtle prints amongst all-black ensembles, were two pieces unlike any I’ve ever seen. Chalayan placed two models on platforms mid-runway dressed in white coats. When their time came, water fell from a shower above, drenching the models completely and revealing something magnificent underneath. The two models stepped from the platforms dressed in sheer white dresses, embellished entirely with Swarovski crystals. Aside from the dresses being gorgeous, the presentation was unlike anything I’d ever seen in a runway show. Aside from that, I really liked what this statement could represent.
I interpreted this runway show in two ways. The first way is how I’ll be wearing looks from this collection this spring. As much as I would love to walk around everyday in dresses covered in crystals, that’s just not realistic. So, I took the military style and the eye-catching white to style my outfit. I paired my favorite black and white striped T-shirt dress with an army green military coat and white Arizona Birkenstocks.
What I really loved about the spring collections this year was the use of patterns and prints. Almost every designer took the classic spring floral theme (floral for spring? How groundbreaking!) and put a twist on it. I also really like the consistency of neutrals, especially the presence that all-white had on the runway. The second way that I interpreted this show was in terms of a metaphor for fashion. With the coming of spring and the New Year I found it appropriate to connect the dissolving outfits to a period of transition. Spring is the season of growth and blooming, and that’s one of my favorite things about the season. The water drenching the models and erasing their white coats is relieving them of constraints; it’s cleansing them of everything and preparing them for something new. They transform from beings held back by a stiff form and a full body covering into beings of freedom, dressed in weightless clothes and crystals.
That’s such an important connection for fashion as a whole. The way that we interpret a style and clothe ourselves daily represents our personalities, feelings, etc. It’s also a nice reminder heading into a new year and a new season.