We’re living in a post-minimalist world as embellishments, embroidery, layers, lamé, frills and neck bows enter the scene with sharply modern updates for 2016. There’s a modernization of retro silhouettes and a move toward femininity and maturity, as grown-up versions of childhood favorites like ruffles, braids and bows resurface.
Designers this season are also seeking to awaken a sense of reflection, gravitating toward a palette of gentleness and tranquility. There’s a yearning for softer shades and natural, classic and quieting tones that offer a sense of calm and relaxation in an increasingly uncertain world. The color grey, which epitomizes this move towards stable elegance and a quiet composure, will become as much a staple as distressed denim and the classic white tee.
From the sleek, soft silhouettes perpetuated by thin, thoughtful layering and the silky Parisian neckerchief to the season’s focal point on bare shoulders, this is my go-to guide for styling the top 8 defining trends of the season!
Hailing from Germanic origins — whether simple or elaborate — braids are having a major moment this season. Formerly reserved for summer or schoolgirls, this effortlessly chic style can be not only beautiful and elegant, but surprisingly practical, and much easier to style than it may look. From no-fuss fishtails to charming milkmaid braids, the more mature versions are abundant and infinitely cooler. Though this style works best on longer or thicker hair, it’s nothing a clip-in extension can’t solve.
Photo by: Chloe From The Woods
According to celebrity hairstylist and British Hairdresser of the Year Nominee Jamie Stevens, “grey is the new blonde.” Formerly reserved for top style bloggers, silver hair hues are slowly working their way into the mainstream. What’s most interesting about this empowering and slightly intimidating color is the ageism element, or desire to appear more mature. It’s a trend that is showing us that aging is something beautiful and to be celebrated, offering an alternative narrative for the societal standard of beauty. Start off with an ombré and maintain your locks with silver shampoo — or if you’re feeling ultra-bold, go all in with a full head of silver.
Photo by: Ebba Zingmark
Ruffles dominated the SS16 runway shows this season, getting an elegant makeover for the new year. Designers indulged in the idea of celebration as they added frills, flounces, sheer tiers and leather ruffles to nearly everything they could think of — dresses, tops, coats, skirts and more. Types of ruffles ranged from slouchy and loose to bold and dramatic, delicate and restrained to charming and frilly, robust and leather to light and gauzy. The trick to pulling off flounce is to turn it into a signature aspect of your outfit. Dries Van Noten did an excellent job of doing this by playing with transparencies and multidimensional textures, resulting in eye-catching ruffled tiers with a soft, romance-inducing element.
Photo by: Anne-Miek
Ready to tie one on? Bows are apparently one of the biggest and long-lasting fashion trends to expect for the coming year — particularly super skinny or oversized ones, wrapped around the neckline. Try a gauzy organza one around the neck for a large, fluffy look, or experiment with double bows against a transparent top as they did at Gucci. You can also go the route of Marni and tie one up on the shoulder in an earthy color.
Photo by: Paz Halabi Rodriguez
What began as a Parisian trend, and evolved into long, thin knots and silk foulards in the 70s and 90s has been revived this season by major fashion bloggers as an alternative to this year’s statement necklace. Neckerchiefs are pretty little things that can spice up any outfit, infusing a basic outfit with some life and personality. Fashion blogger Beatrice Gutu of The Fashion Cuisine says that hers never fails in having others mistaken her as a legit fashion editor. Not to mention the neck is not the only place you can wear one — it’s just as chic on the wrist, as a headband or around the waist.
Photo by: Jenny Tsang
Thoughtful layering is the key to looking sleek and flattering for winter. Piling on several thin layers of body-conscious knits can provide just as much coziness as your favorite chunky, cold-weather sweater. Opting for a stylish shawl over a light cardigan will help eliminate arm bulk and tucking your pants into sleek boots will make for a clean look. As the things begin to warm up, take a cue from Clueless and give reverse layering a try. With the slip dress returning, now’s the perfect time to wear it over a sheer top or a patterned t-shirt for that spring-y, playful vibe!
Photo by: Anna Pogribnyak
The embodiment of elegance, unity and stability, moonstone is a shade of grey that creates of a sense of calm and relief from a chaotic world. It’s a mature and practical color that tones down the stronger, brighter hues, while illuminating those that are softer. Liven up neutrals with a cozy turtleneck, a trendy sweater dress or long, felt coats in this color. The pervasively gentle tone provides a sense of relaxation and composure, even in the most uncertain of times.
Photo by: Anna Pogribnyak
Bare shoulders and collarbones will be abundant on everything come spring, from workwear to special occasion dresses. Coming in the form of off-the-shoulder tops, asymmetrical necklines and cut-out gowns, the shoulder peek will be presented in a way that is mod and ultra-feminine. Romantic ruffles and frills will be the most common lining for off-the-shoulder, while asymmetrical necklines will appear with a single shoulder or in strange prints. Cut-outs will vary in color, design and style of cut, though primarily accompanied with long, flowing sleeves.
Photo by: Nina Schwichtenberg
Originally Published: LookBook.nu