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What’s Up for Spring ’17, According to the New Collections

If it seemed a little early to be thinking ahead to spring during the fall 2016 fashion week, that’s because it was very early. But fashion designers were thinking about this spring as of last spring, if not before then, and fashion month in Paris let us take full stock of what made people perk up and take notice at the shows (and on the internet), from expensive-looking beauty to semi-grungy bandanas. Here are the fashion month moments that will flavor, if not define, the Spring ’17 season. 

1. Anthony Vaccarello’s Refreshed Saint Laurent Girl

It’s a new era at Yves Saint Laurent. Hedi out, Anthony in. Over the course of his four years at the helm, Slimane redefined the house’s quintessential character, transforming her into a neo-grunge nymph to great commercial success. Now, according to the new creative director, “She’s certainly not bourgeois or classic. She has a huge respect for Saint Laurent, but not in the first degree. So I thought of her taking a vintage dress and cutting into it.” How has his vision materialized? Leather! Pasties! (The nipple has almost been freed.) Draped gold lame! Bustiers! Boyfriend jeans! You might recognize a certain puff-shouldered mini dress from the house’s 1983 collection, now in decidedly tougher black leather form. The mood is disco-casual, which is a great mood to be in. Perhaps more importantly, Vaccarello has put the “Y” back in YSL, courtesy of pumps featuring the enduring logo as their heel. 

2. The Trippy Club Kid Mix at Marc Jacobs

Closing New York Fashion Week with a bang is no small feat, but fashion’s seminal showman always delivers and this controversial cocktail of sexed-up pre-teen and all-out wild child looks was no exception. A lit-up carnival of see-through Victorian-inspired teddies, glossy satin separates, precocious thigh-high socks, suede minis, embellished hot pants, rainbow-print sequin motifs, camouflage baby doll dresses and mega suede platforms to dare you not to twist an ankle, just to name a few elements, this is low fashion turned up on high (one of Marc’s favorite themes to toy with)… on molly… at a balls-to-the-wall festival. The controversy was delivered via the candy-colored fabric dreadlocks, handmade by a Florida woman discovered on Etsy, piled atop each model’s head: Cultural appropriation or innocent, impactful fun? White people sporting dreadlocks is nothing new, but the main issue here lies in the backstage references, which included Boy George, Burning Man, Harajuku girls, ravers and the designer himself, but not Rastafarians or the people who originated dreadlocks. That’s as uncool as the ready-to-wear pieces are sick. 

3. “Rich Girl” Makeup at Rodarte

A devilishly angelic collection of intricate layers of lace and studded leather and ornate jewelry accents demands a mostly bare face that lets the clothes shine. What is “rich girl” makeup, you ask? It’s a reference to “rich girl hair,” which translates to long, loose, semi-straight hair with a middle part that speaks of a fresh blowout (and vaguely of racism, if you ask me). It’s also a more appealing way to essentially describe a look that was a fashion month favorite last year: “no-makeup makeup.” The Rodarte show’s key makeup artist, James Kaliardos of Nars, explained this fresh-faced mood is about “sheer illumination”—and looking “expensive.” Achieve it, or at least attempt to, with a tinted moisturizer (you want to still see your real skin, so nothing too thick or heavy); flushed cheeks, thanks to blush applied to the outer cheekbones, not the apples; golden shimmer blended out from beneath the eye; and light peach lips. 

4. Bandana Headbands and Sooty Eyes at Baja East

Surf-goth, anyone? What about beach-grunge style? For some reason, after John Targon and Scott Studenberg of Baja East showed their collection in New York, everybody couldn’t stop talking about the folded, hand-tie-dyed bandanas, positioned over dampened locks, described as having “oil, bedhead fluff” on the crown. Maybe because they look effortlessly cool? Hair stylist Guido Palau naturally cited Axl Rose, circa his early-ʼ90s heyday, as an inspiration. As we all know, looking like you didn’t put in any work often requires a substantial amount of effort. Enter the technique to achieve that smoky yet glistening eye. It’s not meant to look perfect. It’s a little sweaty, even. Recreate it by blending a black kajal pencil with some eye cream (extra points for warming the pencil up on your hand first) and misting your face with a touch of rose water. 

5. Rihanna’s Rococo Rabble-Rouser

Model Imaan Hamman opened the latest Fenty x Puma show, setting the unexpected tone in a sheer, ruffle-topped parka that resembled the love child of a functional windbreaker and Sweet Sixteen birthday cake. Speaking of cake, Rihanna explained Marie Antoinette acted as the collection’s main muse, so it’s only fitting, after all, that she showed in Paris. How does 18th-century-inspired streetwear and athletic basics materialize into actual clothes? Corseted sweatshirts, jumbo-sized cameo ribbon chokers, preppy polos with bondage-inspired accents and stiletto pumps with sneaker-style laces prevail. They might very well take off, if the success of Rihanna’s past collections for the once-tired athletic wear brand is any indication. Equally likely to catch on is a new piercing: a lip ring, accented with a single pearl, worn front and center. 

Photo credit: Pinterest.

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