Welcome to the season of The Dress. Sure, dresses for spring may be about as groundbreaking a concept as florals but, for S/S 2015, nothing encapsulated the mood and feel of the season more.
“There was a real feeling of softness and romanticism that we haven’t seen for some time, and Chloé was a key show to summarise this mood. There was a lot of fluidity, billowing fabric and longer lengths, all-around,” says Tilly Macalister-Smith, fashion features director at Matchesfashion.com.
The finale of the Dries Van Noten show captured the new mood perfectly. A tableau of models languidly resting on a mossy forest floor like the hippest of hippie festival-goers, their dreamy dresses made out of tiers of striped and floral-printed chiffon barely held together by thin straps. “What I loved most was this focus on long, easy, almost 1970s-inspired dresses that were just so effortless and elegant. I love the idea you could just throw one on with a pair of flat chunky sandals and you’re done,” says Refinery29’s editor-in-chief, Christene Barberich.
Which brings us to how to make these dresses feel “now”. Think of it as the new off-duty-model look, girls rushing from backstage to the next job, still in a gorgeous dress but in trusted sneakers that clash. The flat shoe defines the season’s dresses unquestionably as of the moment, and it was masterfully executed at the Valentino show. Every model walked out with a pair of simple gladiator sandals snaking around her legs. So elegant, so easy and so refreshing. And guess what? Easy flats were there at Chloé, raised with a small platform heel, and at Erdem, alternating with cool brogues, and at Céline, too, in the shape of elasticated-heeled ballet flats. On the street, Tank Magazine’s Caroline Issa rocked a dreamy Christian Dior number with pretty ribbon-tied flat sandals in Paris, instantly making couture with high heels seem, well, a bit stuffy.
“Just look at the way modern women are wearing dresses now, with sneakers and beaten-up jackets,” says SHOWstudio’s editor Lou Stoppard. “That’s what’s making the dresses we’re seeing feel new; they have a more casual, less preened sensibility.”