By now we know that fashion is cyclical. After a certain amount of time collecting dust in the back of your wardrobe, the unforeseeable and forgotten trend reemerges with a vengeance. In order to break the cycle, designers play with classics, reimagining the designs with innovative new features. Silhouettes change. Once hemlines reach their shortest, they drop to their longest. The latest subject of industry-wide change is peak utilitarian, and mostly unavoidable: sleeves. The silhouette play came in different varieties and of different degrees of severity, but the most unanimous design pattern of Spring/Summer 2017 was sleeves dropping (sometimes way) past the hands. Designers such as Acne Studios, Prabal Gurung, Ryan Lo and Sonia Rykiel let their sleeves hang down real low, while Delpozo, Genny, Marni and Simone Rocha incorporated their sleeve amendments from the wrist up.
The Acne Studios collection, filled with rich textiles in oversized shapes, would appeal to winter-wary consumers today, especially after showing sleeves that are dropping like the temperature. Ryan Lo, almost comically, showcased cinematic sweaters best suited for the circus, made of metallic knits with sleeves so long they almost touched the floor. (This is where we factor in the height difference between the model and the self, and understanding that dragging sleeves down the streets of New York City is never in style.)
The Sonia Rykiel show paid homage to the late designer’s iconic sweaters by way of giant bell sleeves on supersized silhouettes. The collection was as French as Rykiel was iconic, assuring us Creative Director Julie de Libran will take the house in the right direction.
Fashion darling Prabal Gurung presented a breathtakingly elevated rose-colored column dress with floor-length sleeves, made up of a diaphanous fabric with flowing knife pleats, exhibiting a softer approach to the current fashions. Comparatively, set against a razor-straight neckline, the billowing sleeves demonstrated at Genny added a touch of contrast to the ethereal and iridescent fabrication.
The master of modern design, Josep Font of Delpozo, always knows how to add a contemporary touch to his designs. Ruffled inserts laid atop a bubblegum pink sleeve felt fresh and current, while maintaining the brands signature otherworldly glamour.
Marni, on the other hand (no pun intended!) stayed on-brand with the trend, adding widely cropped and curving sleeves on a cornflower utilitarian coat. Simone Rocha, whose collections usually have a nun-like nod with a touch of sex appeal, lifted the trends from the sleeves to dropped shoulders on a white taffeta blouse. Paired with a checker print coat, we’re absolutely charmed.
While some variations may not be practical, these sleeves sure are fashion forward. Eager to adopt the trend early? Designers such as Céline, Tibi and Roksanda Ilincic all incorporated proportion play into their Fall/Winter 2016 collections.
This spring, we’ve got you covered, from head to sleeve, at least.
Photos provided by Jonas Gustavsson