The SS17 action wasn’t all about what happened on the runways yesterday as four major names released the lookbooks for their secondary lines. Red Valentino, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, M Missoni and McQ by Alexander McQueen all offered clues as to the direction this quartet of influencers will be following for their mainline labels, as well as giving us a basket of trends more suitable for a slightly younger consumer base.
So what did we get?
Red Valentino continues to mix the pretty and girlie with the boho for a very summer-like offer that’s instantly recognisable as being from the label. But that doesn’t mean it’s a no-change season.
- The denim may be a small part but it’s key. A denim jumpsuit and jeans make two strong statements: graduated colour rising from dark at the hem to ultra-pale; and a wide, slouchy cut. The consumer is still all over skinny but high-end labels are persisting with wider-leg pants and the slouchy, hem-trailing fish we left behind a decade ago.
- Also strong are the scenic patterns on tops and bottoms, as well as crochet, scallop edge shorts with tiny camisoles, a flamingo print, and a slightly sporty edge that taps into the athleisure trend.
- For footwear, flat and flatform sandals with laced ankle ties are the way forward, and the mini bag is the key accessory. This bag may have been around for a while but it’s not going away anytime soon. At Red it comes with the flamingo print, appliqué stars, psychedelic waves and stripes.
Sonia by Sonia Rykiel looks even more youthful and feels like there’s enough there for transitional weather as well as high summer.
- Denim counts too – a marbled wide jean may not be slouchy as at Red but it still backs the wider-leg trend, while the same wash comes in a denim short and a pleated mini skirt. We see the wider leg pant in pyjama styles too, including a piped and delicate floral print jumpsuit.
- Simple basics, that actually look far from basic, form the backbone of the collection so think T-shirt styles, cotton blazers, classic cardies, and striped jersey dresses.
- Key details include frills (as a statement on a strapless dress, as an edge to a ‘peplum’ skirt, as a bib front or a cap sleeve), quilting for coats and skirts, and allover broderie anglaise.
- Sonia also opts for ankle-laced flats as well as perforated leather for wide not-quite-kitten heel boots.
- Bags meanwhile are big and slouchy in perforated, sheer or denim finishes, while belts come as fabrics band with giant round studs.
On one level, M Missoni is doing what Missoni as a whole does best, brightly coloured fine knits.
- Look further and you can see some other key trends peeking through. Peplum hem skirts, safari beige cottons, contrast colour pockets (we’re seeing quite a few of those), and statement leather belts.
- The label has tapped into some key pieces that we also saw for pre-summer with the wider trapeze line dress looking like a strong high summer piece.
- The wider pant (either as a jumpsuit or just trousers) is also significant.
- And for accessorising, don’t forget that ankle-tied flatform, seen here with a wood-effect sole and metallic leather uppers.
- And the mini bag (or is it a purse-cum-phone holder?) is a star piece. M Missoni offers it up with an extra-long shoulder strap (that looks like it contains more leather than the tiny bag itself). Add a knit detail edge that references both the brand’s knit heritage and the current detail-focused trend and you have a piece that should be a top seller.
At McQ Alexander McQueen the theme is darker than the rest of this quartet but the trends are surprisingly similar.
- So the flatform ankle-tied sandals have a more punk edge, in black with thicker soles and featuring the season’s favourite rounded studs. Shoes also come as 70s-influenced full-on platforms with chubby heels or clog-style wooden soles.
- Meanwhile mini bags are there but again, black is the colour.
- So what of the clothes? Dark denim comes with softly frayed edges and is patched and pieced with contrasting darks. Again, a slightly wider leg is what counts.
- Elsewhere there’s a surprising delicacy (well, surprising in the context of the Goth-look but maybe not such a shock given the McQueen brand’s overall profile). A soft purple sueded jacket and skirt is etched with delicate leaves while a bomber and shorts combo comes in embossed florals. Black slip dresses and camisoles mix lace, sheers and pintucks, while a casual white jacket-and-pants look combines heavier cotton with tablecloth lace.
- Colour is kept under control. The aforementioned purple is about as exciting as it gets with the rest of the collection largely in shades of black, white, grey and silver.
Top Five Takeaways
- The star item so far is the ankle strap sandal. And if that may seem familiar, forget the current crop of vertiginous heels. These newbies are flat or flatform. Colour can be bright, detail can be intense, the straps can be thick or thin. But it’s the basic idea that counts.
- The wider jean or generally wider-leg pant is a silhouette that designers aren’t ready to give up on, despite the mass consumer still being wedded to their skinnies and yoga pants. Find them as jeans, careerwear or evening styles.
- The mini bag is stepping up a gear with more decoration and more adventurous materials from metallic leather to heavy studding.
- Shorts are making a comeback both for day (city and festival) and for night. Find them in every fabric from leather to lace, denim to the softest silks.
- Statement belts look like being a seasonal favourite either in decorated fabric or with detailed leather straps, echoing the strap detail seem on shoes and bags.