University of Fashion Blog

Posts by: Shilpa Ahuja

Shilpa Ahuja is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She is also a designer, entrepreneur and fashion blogger. Shilpa Ahuja has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. She translates runway fashion into understandable style advice for her online fashion and lifestyle magazine, ShilpaAhuja.com. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys writing, travel and art.

From Boudoir to Runway – Luxury Loungewear is Here to Stay

- - Trends

It’s not that runway fashion is getting slouchier, but comfort has lately become as much a part of designer wear as aesthetics and sophistication.

Lululemon’s yoga gear in the late 1990s, gave way to new fashion category called athleisure-wear; casual, comfortable clothes with the added benefit that even if you didn’t go to the gym, you could still look like you did.

In 2008, atheisurewear subtly gave way to a new trend called luxury loungewear, pioneered by Dolce & Gabbana, featuring nightwear as daywear. Luxury loungewear is all about comfort. And, while athleisure takes active-wear out of the gym and onto the streets, luxury loungewear takes nightwear and loungewear out of the bedroom and onto long-haul flights, the street, the breakfast table and even to new-age workplaces.

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Alexander Wang

Luxury loungewear may or may not have athletic undertones, but it does have the air of relaxation and lounging (thus, the name). Brands like Alexander Wang and Chloé have taken the tracksuit and lounge-pants and given them a luxury cashmere and silk twist. Other pieces include crop hoodies, pull-overs, slip-dresses and pajamas.

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Chloé

This new trend is most definitely fashion’s answer to the rapidly changing lifestyle of women (and men). Compared to the last decade, women work more, travel more and have busier lives. Thus, this quick-fashion option is gaining in popularity, especially in the age of social media, where everyone from a Hollywood celebrity to the girl-next-door, documents and publishes her daily life and personal style for the world to see. It is also appeals to the ‘fashion disruptor’ anti-fashion statement driven by Millenials.

Towards the end of 2016, more and more models and celebrities have been spotted wearing loungewear, both at the airport and casually on the street. And judging by the number of designers who had luxury loungewear pieces in their Spring/Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collections during Fashion Week, we can say that this trend is here to stay.

Even fashion houses like Dolce & Gabbana and Dior, which are famous for their formal evening-wear, introduced pieces in collections that look too comfortable for parties! Here is a white suit by Dior paired with slip-ons.

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Christian Dior

From Dolce & Gabbana – a loungewear shorts and tee set in an ice-cream print.

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Dolce & Gabbana

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Dolce & Gabbana

Pajama stripes also emerged as a big trend. Here are two of Fendi’s pajama stripes : a shirt paired with track-capris and a satin shirtdress:

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Fendi

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Fendi

Versace, Moschino and Max Mara added loungewear to their collection with track-pants and track-suits.

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Versace

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Moschino

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Max Mara

Top 20 Looks from Fashion Weeks for Spring Summer 2017 Ready-to-Wear

- - Fashion Shows

The quickest way to understand the upcoming season’s trends is to take a look at the collections from the international fashion weeks – New York, London, Milan and Paris. The meccas of fashion – they set the mood for imminent style. The fashion weeks just ended, so it comes as no surprise that we pick out our top 20 favorite looks from fashion weeks for Spring Summer 2017 to mark the beginning of conversations about next season.

Some of the looks were about redefining everyday things. Let’s see two such looks by Alexander Wang and Versus Versace. The former look has pajama stripes and collar style to create an asymmetric wrap dress with a thigh-high slit. The dress is paired with white fringe sneakers, which the brand designed in collaboration with Adidas. The latter look is all about brazenness and shock. An orange bandeau top is designed like a belt, and paired with a matching jacket and pants.

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Versus Versace

Versus Versace

This trend brings us to the topic of athleisure. This look from Mugler SS17 RTW collection gives a party dress the cut of a sports-bra, mixing the theme of 70s glamour with it.

mugler

Mugler

The other athleisure look is by Versace. An asymmetric skirt held together with a buckle is worn over an energetic mesh and ultra-lightweight nylon dress, paired with heel-socks.

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Versace

Emporio Armani paired blue track-pants with a matching plunging-V-neck top, a red bag and earrings for a fun yet comfortable look.

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani

Art was another theme we observed in the SS17 collections. In a dress by Alice+Olivia, a painting depicting Italian towns and landscape takes center-stage.

Alice + Olivia

Alice + Olivia

Another gorgeous dress is this one by Valentino. Inspired by Italian medieval art, the gown has sketchy painting all over its white and pale pink fabric.

valentino

Valentino

Rahul Mishra’s novel machine-washable hand-embroideries feature flora and fauna. The black cotton dress with patchwork birds on it, paired with a zipper jacket with three-dimensional floral applique on the shoulders.

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Rahul Mishra

Another look by Fendi pairs a floral patterned ruffle-neck bodysuit with a sheer organza skirt.

Fendi

Fendi

Some of the collections had specific themes. Moschino, for example, had models dressed as paper-dolls. In this unmissable look, a crop top with a bra-print is paired with a pencil skirt that has prints of logo-waistchains, complete with paper-doll-like hair and makeup, and folding tabs.

moschino

Moschino

Dior had a feminist message in its collection. Maria Grazia Chiuri, the fashion house’s new Artistic Director made headlines with the tee shirt that proclaimed “We should all be feminists” – one of Paris Fashion Week’s most talked-about looks.

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Dior

Dolce & Gabbana took the theme of tropical Italy, focusing on Italian foods and music. This look is royal with a younger taste. An embellished black hoodie is paired with a tiara-like embellished headband and sheer knee-high socks.

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Dolce & Gabbana

Gucci’s 18th century-inspired look with ostentatious earrings, large Colonial hat and a floral silk coat and a bag with a contrasting message – Future!

gucci

Gucci

On the other hand of the spectrum, Chanel, with its data-center themed show, catered to the millennial generation with its candy-colored coordinated set and matching baseball cap.

Chanel

Chanel

In this tropical forest themed look by Max Mara, a forest-like skirt with large leaf print is paired with a fuzzy sweater that has a large lemur-motif.

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Max Mara

Gowns and evening dresses came as pretty, shimmery and embellished as ever. Our top three include this one by Alexander McQueen – an unconventional gown with a wave of silver sequins rising up from sea-foam-like train, and going up to the neckline.

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Alexander McQueen

This Marchesa gown is similar, but more red-carpet-suitable. Silver sequins cover the top half of a tulle gown that creates an uneven artistic texture, leaving the bottom-half sheer.

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Marchesa

The third one is a Monique Lhuillier gown in mint-blue that comes with a rose-creeper embroidery on shoulders and sleeves.

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Monique Lhuillier

This Elie Saab mini-dress has a 70s theme to it, but presented with a modern taste –pockets and full-slashed sleeves rolling up into the belt.

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Elie Saab

This Zuhair Murad cocktail dress in petal-pink is urban-royal with every inch embellished and three-dimensional rose-shaped sleeves.

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Zuhair Murad

Image Credits: Versus Versace, Alice+Olivia, Rahul Mishra