Pre-fall 2016 trend: Let’s hear it for legs

hosiery board

Maison Margiela, Rochas, Ohne Titel, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, No 21

I’ve seen some hosiery trends come and go in my time – from sweet knee socks with flowers up the side, to Lurex ankle socks, lace tights, seamed stockings and every type of opaque/woolly leg covering you can think of.

But in recent years tyranny of bare legs from spring to autumn and black opaques in winter been kind of boring.

Which is why the pre-collections six months ago proved interesting as Chanel offered us cosy-but-colourful floral strewn tights. OK, they didn’t spark an instant trend but since then we’ve definitely been seeing more in-your-face hosiery looks. So maybe, just maybe, this is a slow build that will suddenly hit big 18 months down the line.

socks board

No 21, Missoni, M Missoni, Lisa Perry, Preen, Maison Margiela. McQ, Maison Margiela, Rochas

So what about pre-fall 16? There’s definitely a hosiery ‘thing’ going on. At its simplest it’s a styling trend – stylists have gone head over heels (excuse the pun) for ankle and knee socks with both flats and heels this pre-season.

Those socks are largely ultra-plain. The impact is in the contrast of otherwise-bare legs against dark socks. or the geeky contrast of pale/neutral tones against colourful (and quite girly) Mary Janes or strappy sandals).

But occasionally they come with embellishment, some kind of trim or even – pretty daring this one – a power colour band at the upper edge.

In the tights corner, it all gets a bit more daring with lacy darks – sometimes made more interesting by the use of contrasting lace panels – as well as stripes and holey knits.

Does this all mean it’s time for power hosiery to stage a major comeback? Possibly not – and for anyone over a certain age, the idea of knee socks with Mary Janes is pretty questionable anyway. But, the season’s trends are definitely pushing us in that direction. There are lots of ankle boots coming through and plenty of mini-length skirts, leaving a whole area of leg that’s crying out for something to be done to it.


Alexander Wang, Chanel, JW Anderson, Maison Margiela, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Ohne Titel, Missoni

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