You know that feeling when you come across a really great vintage treasure? Well, designers are replicating it this spring. Collections based on second-hand finds were everywhere on the runways, suggesting that the slick newness of the minimalist trend is about to be replaced by something freer. If in doubt, look to Céline. Phoebe Philo, the doyenne of minimalism, replaced its blank slate with textured prints and layers, commenting backstage that she wanted to “explore not editing, and see where it took me.”
An admirable aim, and one that other designers echoed. Stella McCartney talked about inspiration coming from a woman’s collection of favoured pieces, and used loveworn washed silk as a major component of her designs, while Christopher Bailey’s Burberry collection took its prints from paperbacks the designer discovered in a second-hand book shop. Prada, always a bellwether for what fashion is feeling towards, explored vintage textiles, with old-fashioned techniques namechecked as an inspiration.
Then there is the appeal of DIY, another way to get creative and make a look that’s personal to you. Luella Bartley, the design director of Marc by Marc Jacobs, said she was inspired by a punk ethos for the spring collection, which translated into deconstructed dresses patchworked together to make something new. Jeremy Scott, meanwhile, roped in Miley Cyrus to do it herself, resulting in jewellery made from junk shop finds. This kind of perfectly imperfect look – a bit scruffier, and all about creativity over curation – has been missing in fashion of late. It’s a way of dressing everyone can get involved in, whether through thrifting in a local junk shop, or making something for yourself at home. We’re glad it’s been found once again!