A lot of elements are important to balance, when making a fashion collection such as fabrics, silhouette, colours, details, styling and so on, and it all starts with an excellent research. A research that feels fresh and is intuitive, while also being rooted in what’s going on in the fashion world around us (read more about the two parts of fashion design here). But, more often than not, students – and sometimes also designers – struggle to understand the importance of Key Shapes and Silhouette. Without a strong and convincing Fashion Collection Silhouette, an otherwise rich and well-crafted collection tends to fall apart.
Of course, the Silhouette should reflect the customer, who is more or less fashion-forward. Every fashion brand should know, who their customer is, and then each season they can add more or less trendy shapes to their basic garments, which their brand is known for. So, what makes a ‘strong’ Fashion Collection Silhouette depends on the brand essentially, as most other decisions should often come directly from the brand identity.
To give an example, Prada is known for being very experimental, and the customers expect and appreciate the brand, because of the level of novelty and experimentation. On the other side, Escada is less experimental, and the success lies in being wearable. The reason is that the Prada girl is a so-called ‘fashionista’, while the Escada woman is rather a slightly older and more bourgeois lady. Halleluja for diversity!
We’re just in the midst of ss17 fashion weeks, and I wanted to point out some brands, who have gone differently about Key Shapes.
Bottega Veneta chose very basic or simple shapes, and was highly praised by Vogue Runway for the wearable ss17 collection. Personally I think, it could have been a bit more experimental. The BV girl may not be the wildest chick in town, but she still likes something extraordinary.
Marni ss17, on the other hand, had very, very strong shapes and to add extra drama, these had very strong details such as maxi pockets. Being so bold can go both way – I think, it really worked in being novel, while never feeling forced or outside the Marni DNA.
Something a bit more balanced and in the middle came from DKNY. It has never been one of my favourites, as I generally like a stronger proposal, but this was an excellent example of taking things right to the limit, while not over-stepping. Also the DKNY girl isn’t the funkiest lady in town, but this collection was sporty, positive and fresh in a way that felt just so right.
Of course, above-mentioned are just opinions, and it all depends what we want fashion to be. I happen to like a lot of directions, as long as it’s not plain boring. Good quality can still make something boring work, but then I will appreciate it as a classic. If my heart has to sing with joy, there has to be a glimpse of something.
Quite on the contrary, sometimes eliminating the attention on shape, while strongly emphasising on something else, can also really work. While the Akris fw1617 shapes are relatively simple, they’re still impactful, and combined with the total lack of details, the colour can really come alive and this way, it turns into a very convincing ensemble.
All photos are from Vogue Runway.