With the wind down of fashion week, I’ve had some days to reflect on what each city had to offer up on a metaphorical silver platter. Many things in fashion have evolved over the years and, although it feels like we are going at a snail's pace, there are huge changes happening to this well-oiled machine. As true as this statement is, there’s still one huge trend that seems to be a consistent eye sore each season: we plaster a bandaid over the bigger issue of body diversity on the runway. Without trying to discredit the work of plus-size models who walk in Paris, there’s still a huge problem with only hiring one or two token models – or absolutely none at all.
This year I had the privilege of viewing the shows in person, sitting amongst editors I look up to and admire, but what I saw also left me feeling a little jaded as a plus-size Black woman. I have to write about how much I admire the designs and aspects of clothing I may never get to buy and wear for myself because the brand only goes up to a small 14. There’s definitely positive changes in the works where this issue is concerned and I hope that it’s addressed in the near future by our industry.
With all that said and off my chest… there was so much magic this season and a trend of wearable, smart and mixable wardrobe essentials.
The cocktail bubble dress has been designed differently throughout the season, highlighting the diversity of this garment. The Helmut Lang leather dress was worn by Hari Nef at the debut show, and I was immediately sold by how chic this take was. The silhouette feels contemporary and it’s one I feel will be fun to play with.
Left to right: Helmut Lang, Dion Lee, Altuzzura, LUAR, Feben.
I love bottoms
The power a sheer or sequenced skirt has to elevate a preppy top is unmatched. For the SS24 collections, there was a version of this on almost every runway – and for good reason. It’s one of those trends we could all participate in and recreate with our style touches. My favourite look would have to be the Proenza Schouler glass skirt, as it jingled and sang coming down the runway.
I do feel a lot of this trend is a reflection of Miuccia Prada’s influence on the many designers behind these collections.
Left to right: Altuzzura, David Koma, Proenza Schouler, Luar.
From built-in cardigans to knitted sweater vests and polos, there was something preppy for everyone. The knitted Proenza monochrome dresses with built-in cardigans are on my list, right along with their matching accessories. It’s such a buildable look and changeable for the seasons, with Fendi proving that and Stella McCartney with a very 'fall' rebuttable. Miu Miu this season was the epitome of this trend, with Troye Sivan making his debut on their runway and fitting right in. Much of what went down the Miu Miu runway was a refreshing take on previous collections and I love this way of slowing the pace of fashion down.
Left to right: Fendi, Brandon Maxwell, Miu Miu, Proenza Schouler, Stella McCartney.
Peter Do was leading the casual-but-exquisitely-chic parade this fashion week with his debut at Helmut Lang and first show in Paris. There’s something very luxurious about the way he approaches design and while it can be quite intimidating for the everyday wearer, the trend can be versatile. For example, swapping a formal bottom for something slouchier – or even a sheer skirt for that playful edge. A functional-but-stylish take on belt bags were seen at Proenza Schouler that fit the brief well, while still serving a purpose.
Left to right: Ann Demeulemeester, Ferragamo, Peter Do, Proenza Schouler.
Briefs out for the boys/girls and they/thems
Again, this trend rears its daunting head for the Spring Summer 24 season. And it’s beginning to tempt me more and more.
I love the idea of styling these briefs, or what some might consider micro shorts, with really beautifully tailored jackets and blazers, because it gives the outfit a little more seriousness if you don’t want to look like you’re running away with the circus. This is always a polarising choice for those who are safer at heart, but in the right context it’s honestly fashion-forward in many ways. I love the Bottega approach of 'vacation bliss'. You could easily be walking to find an empty pool chair at a 5-star resort in this look.
Left to right: Bottega Veneta, GCDS, Luar, Miu Miu, Stella McCartney.
Edgelord meets motomami
There was such a variation in the way leather was used on the runway but my favourite would have to be this hybrid of edgy, vamp, moto boss alien owning a space ship babe uniform. If I’m not explaining myself quite right in this report then Dion Lee’s SS24 show was a great example of this movement. The combination that I love the most would have to the micro short and boot because nothing says c*nt more.
Left to right: David Koma, Dion Lee, Knwls, Prada.
Yachting in capris
The casual-but-chic effect a capri pant and a heel has on me goes back to my Mariah Carey stan days. It’s the perfect mix of trying, but not too much. Coperni did it the best this season, especially in the way that they’ve styled up a really casual pair of pants with a great layered top look and a thong heel. It’s very much on-the-go, woman-about-town – but sporty chic in its execution.
Left to right: Coperni, Diesel, Dion Lee, Valentino.
For more fashion month insight, read Kim Russell's editor's diary from London Fashion Week or New York Fashion Week. You can also check out our runway reviews, fashion week highlights and street style edits in under 'Fashion News'.