Back in 2016, the fashion industry saw floral printed dresses and Heidi braided hairstyles run rampant on the streets and runways of spring. Very girly. Very sweet. Very Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. But the trend made a complete 180.
Now consumers are willing to take more risks, meaning that retailers need to supply the demand for edgier and elaborate cuts, structure, and fabrics for the coming season. Off the shoulder tops, asymmetrically cut tops, and tops cut in every which way to bare the shoulders and chest. Chokers are also appearing in every major retail store, including Urban Outfitters and Free People, a fierce and rebellious look that made its last appearance in the nineties.
Shoulder and chest baring tops allow women to flaunt their chokers and tight-fitting necklaces and earrings. The extra flair is then tempered with simple heels and simple bottoms, like light-washed denim shorts, a style strategy used by fashion icons such as Olivia Palermo and Ariana Grande. Girls all over the United States are picking up on this look, donning Instagrams and Tumblr pages of fitness gurus on their off days, beauty experts, and Youtubers.
The trend seems appropriate in lieu of the world’s tumultuous political and social climate. Women are fighting to express themselves in the communities, a fierceness that has become reflected in their clothing choices. The sweet-heart necklines are gone. No more skirts in pale pink. Good-bye Dorothy.
Customers are opting for bigger volume on the sleeves and bodice to accentuate their wrists, necks, and shoulders. The fashion industry has witnessed a keen interest in ruffles and big volume, as seen in the various pieces featured in the 2017 Giabattista Valli couture runway show.
Designers and models alike are becoming enamored with the upper body, meaning shoulder baring tops and accessories that direct more attention to the arms and chest will be in higher demand. The idea is to go big and bold for the top, with ruffled sleeves and bright statement necklaces adorning the woman waist up.
These outfits take more planning and creativity in the morning to pull together, but the street looks prove that women want to put in the extra effort.
The final spring trend that has hit the runways and streets is the sheer, see-through top made from gauzy or other silky, transparent material. The piece made a stunning entrance in the Bottega Veneta Spring fashion show this year, and has already made it onto the racks of many a department store.
With the entrance of see-through shirts in the industry came matching accessories designed to be worn under them.
Millennial women are wearing bralettes, an item that has experienced explosive success this year, underneath see through or otherwise revealing tops for a sensual and suggestive effect. Cage patterns tend to trend the most, and the combination proves fascinatingly stylish. It’s also a practical spring look, since the outfit lets the skin breathe during the hotter hours of the spring day with the illusion of being covered up. Black especially adds mystery along with a grungy edge.
All this talk of edginess and boldness for flowery, happy springtime seems like a far-fetched take on this year’s spring trends, but social media profiles and publications for fashion have picked up on a clear deviation from the girly and innocent polka dotted ensembles from the past. Women are gravitating towards shoulder-baring, vibrant, and big volume looks because the girl of today is not shy.
Retailers and buyers take notice: the popularity of daring and statement making tops, especially the more innovative ones, indicate the demand for more unconventional looks in the inventory.
Leslie Lee, Fashion Writer