Fashion: see through spring

After months of covering up, it’s time to lighten up with pinks and sheers

 

BT2015SPRING011_WEBFashion designers, it is said, are no longer dictators, their looks slavishly copied year on year by the waiting hordes. In these days of social media, what appears on the international catwalks is immediately captured on Instagram or Twitter and versions almost simultaneously hit the shops, but there are so many current trends so quickly interpreted that individuality is what matters today, as street style so amply illustrates. It is mainly to do with the newfound confidence and self-expression of smart young modern females.

It is no coincidence that the 1970s obsession in fashion at the moment harks back to a time when feminism and women’s lib made headlines and that the alternatives to the baseball shoulders of the 1980s, which expressed the new responsibilities weighing on working women, are also reflected in the way punk styles from that decade have been watered down and depoliticised to become familiar everyday wear. Nothing surprising or shocking about nose rings and tattoos any more.

Women today choose for themselves what they want to wear – at least in this part of the world. As the gender divide narrows, overt femininity has become a buzz phrase in womenswear, with conventional interpretations of what it means to look feminine being reinforced in new and powerful ways.

BT2015SPRING006_WEBIt’s no surprise that the colour pink, for example, has been embraced by forward looking designers, from Simone Rocha to Celine, and new takes on floral motifs, a standard indicator of femininity and fragility, are a far cry from the sugar-sweet nostalgia of Laura Ashley, so fashionable in the 1970s. Pink power comes with many meanings.

So in the recent ultra-polished Brown Thomas show for spring/summer, no one theme dominated the selection from a line-up of international designers, some of whose ensembles are shown here.

These are very expensive pieces, but they embody the current diversity of fashion, from the tailored midi skirts of Victoria Beckham and the sporty monochrome mesh of David Koma to the playful Sicilian sensibilities of Dolce & Gabbana and the shapeliness of Dior.

You could say that sheer is a recurring theme this season, you could say that the midi is gaining traction or that sportswear has become a fixation, but there is no overall thrust, other than that they are new looks for spring 2015. We are the dictators now.

Photographs: Andreas Pettersson @Morgan the Agency; stylist: Darren Feeney; hair: David Cashman @Morgan the Agency; makeup: Lesley Keane@ MAC Cosmetics; set design: Ciara O’ Donovan; model Lise Olsen@ IMG

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