While trends resurface once over every few seasons: “the new minimalism”, “fifties revival” and so on and so forth, SS12 introduced a glimmer of something unseen – under the sea creatures on the catwalk. Designers dipped their toes in iridescent, futuristic fabrics, taking this season’s pretty pastels in a more esoteric direction; encapsulated in today’s shoot. Seahorses, shells, and starfish popped up everywhere in a muted palette of white, pale lavender, mint green and an array of underwater blues injected with glistening silvers.
Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel lead the pack transforming the Grand Palais into a surreal sea world: waffle-textured organza tanks and tops layered to resemble jellyfish, turquoise fish fins on tunic dresses, and mother-of-pearl accessories completing the looks.
Elsewhere at Versace, Donatella summoned deep-sea sirens in lithe mermaid dresses – from mini to figure-hugging full lengths. Signature-Gianni studs were scattered to look like sea urchin shells, but the trend came alive when photo-transfers of pastel seasides combined with the house baroque. Of course, being the print capital, London decidedly stole the show with engineered water-waves appearing on Peter Pilotto’s sculpturist silhouettes and J.W. Anderson’s aquatic paisleys.
While the overriding femininity of the trend isn’t for everyone, there’s always Haider Ackermann’s seaside nomads – veiled in cobalt blue sheer tops, persian green tapered trousers and slip on flats. Or Alberta Ferretti’s slim-cut slip dresses that fall loosely on the body, in thin, shiny fabrics and spaghetti straps for a louche nineties feel (complete with dripping wet locks).
Whimsical yet sharp, airy yet structured, the trend’s whispers of couture-detailing escape an antique feel, with innovative fabrics that push technology to fashion’s forefront. Less sports couture – this is every day opulence.
Photographer: Daniel Lehenbauer
Fashion Editor: Francesca Prudente
Words: Modesta Dziautaite
Anastasija Kondratjeva at Elite
Hair: Lotte O’Shea using Bumble and Bumble
Make Up: Emily Mergaert using Chanel SS12 and Perfection Lumiere
Photographic Assistance: Rose Wilk-Mullis
Fashion Assistance: Siobhan Frew
Special thanks to Shoreditch Studios