Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:20
Now that Gainesville Fashion Week has come to a close, and we’ve had time to process all the amazing pieces we saw, it’s time to look at what was hot on the runway this year.
By Danielle Peterson
Photos by Sujie Wu
Video by Studio 352
Three labels that utilized the classic graphic T-shirt in a fun and zany way at GFW were 1oz, Leemari Designs and Mikho Resort. For 1oz, the T-shirt served as homage to the weekend that started it all. In 1999, founder Albert Coronel and his friends attended the first Coachella Music Festival wearing 1oz shirts inspired by Morrisey. This season, Albert’s bright and bold T’s had more than just 1oz on them, though. The T’s rocked phrases such as “I will not change the world” and images like a smiling and starry-eyed Hillary Clinton. Another label that utilized the graphic T was Leemari Designs. Its runway show included T’s that read, “Live to Inspire,” which is the tagline and mantra of the company. The graphic shirts in Leemari’s collection gave her show an urban and street vibe, and the shirts varied in shapes and sizes from simple T-shirt to long flowy tank tops. Finally, Mikho Resort, who closed Gainesville Fashion Week Saturday night, included graphic T’s as well with phrases such as “Beweave in Yourself” partnered with Andy Warhol-like prints and quirky phrases like the play on the protest movement “Occupy My Pants.” Every night of runway shows a designer utilized the graphic T to make statements and to help define the feel of his or her show.
When models turned their heels on the catwalks, the look kept going in the form of deep, plunging backs. The twist on the typically low-cut shirt allowed designers to show skin in a sexy but subdued way. The deep backs added pizazz to dresses that may have been simple in the front, such as when Rent the Runway incorporated the trend into their show with a patterned mini dress with a high neckline and a low back. AJNEL Designs took the trend one step further when Lenja styled a model with long pearls so that they gave a cascading look where the dress plunged. Finally, Whitley Denise showed the most skin with this trend on the closing look. The piece was a black spaghetti-strap dress, and when the model turned, her back was totally exposed save a tie that kept the dress together. This look is perfect for women who are daring and are looking to show skin without coming off as too risqué.
Memories of my mother putting shoulder pads in her jacket came back to me during GFW when look after look came down the runway complete with broad, structured and bedazzled shoulder styles. Laura Kathleen incorporated this look in her structured, boxy jackets, reminiscent of what we saw on the New York runways during fall fashion week. Whitley Denise, whose style at GFW has been very ‘80s in the past, showed off some strong-shouldered pieces like a green silky jacket that opened the show, a black-and-white striped blazer and a black dress with the fringe and sequin shoulder details. Levels Boutique incorporated the ‘80s vibe with a black-and-white patterned boxy jacket and a black strong-shouldered mini dress. Although some may be hesitant to jump on the trend, one benefit of it (besides having a jacket for ‘80s night) is that the broad-shoulder look will help give the appearance of a slimmer waist. The moral of the story: You might want to ask your mom for some of her ‘80s power jackets this season.
But the biggest trend at GFW was the strapless dress. Whether it was floor length, knee-length, body conscious or frilly, the strapless dress made a cameo in just about every runway show. AJNEL Designs included the look with a green sunflower print dress, 1oz opened the show with a tribal print mini tube dress, Rent the Runway included body conscious bandage dresses, and Southern Frock took the look to a casual level with cotton and breezy pieces. Even Solutions Bridal showcased a collection of wedding dresses that were primarily strapless. With summer coming up, this is a good time to use that trend to the fullest: It’s a fun way to show skin, and with all the shapes and variations, you’re sure to find a strapless dress that flatters your figure.
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