It’s been a season of a focused study of streetwear, extraordinary daywear and gritty glamour. Think of teaming your mom’s tweed coat with a pair of ripped denim shorts, or throwing on a varsity bomber over a pleated metallic skirt, or clashing a romantic lace blouse with old trusty jeans. It seems the trend going forward is to follow whatever you want: mix the sublime and ridiculous, the mundane with avant-garde, or combine all of them together. In other words, luxe dressing with lazy comfort pieces thrown in seems to be the winning formula at a time when the virus has once again pushed us inside.
Creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior set the template for this phenomenon when she clashed her couture craftsmanship with flourishes of activewear at the label’s Resort 2022 outing in Athens last year. Part sporty symbolism and part Greek mythology—pleated goddess dresses were teamed with trainers and crisp white shirts were worn nonchalantly with harnesses. She wan’t the only one, though.
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Hedi Slimane’s show notes in Celine fall 2021 line-up , which read “utopian parade and melancholic daydream of youth interrupted,” also indicated the growing affection for street-style glam. The show included looks like a camel coat layered over a hoodie, an asymmetrical crop top and jeans combo with a herringbone jacket, and a camouflage print puffer teamed with a midi-length dress. Designer Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino was also singing the same tune at the Resort 2022 show, with looks like a feathered sweatshirt worn with shorts and trainers, intricately embroidered broderie anglaise shirt worn with tailored pants, lace-up sneakers and a bucket hat. Basically, daytime couture served with eccentric flourishes. Even back home, Sher Bagh, a recent collaborative effort between label Raw Mango and luxury hotel chain Sujan’s co-founder Anjali Singh, was a collection of garments and textiles styled with safari caps, advocating for wildlife conservation and harmonious coexistence between mankind and nature.
It’s all about you
A reason for the growing popularity of streetstyle glam is that it allows people to express themselves better. Plus, the pandemic has made us realise that even in comfort, we can incorporate luxury. As designer Hemant Sagar of label Genes Lecoanet Hemant puts it, modern choices in clothing are guided by individuality. “And that expression can be multilayered and echo diverse styles. Street-style elements are a great canvas to do just that. Monochromatic graphics, luxurious prints and embellishments, elevated fabrics. All work very well with the street DNA,” he says. “We, too, have always been inspired to explore street-style but with a difference, like the panoramic views of snow-capped mountains on bomber jackets and the colourful Brasso print on a crisp shirt that brings a sense of whimsy.”
The new Gossip Girl series may have elicited a mixed response, but it was hard to overlook its overall styling, which was sporty, casual and edgy compared to the dressy, single-mindedly pretty aesthetic of the original.
Designer Nainika Karan of label Gauri and Nainika observes that brands across the board have stuck to their core DNA while giving it a fun and casual street touch. “Pandemic has changed the overall approach to dressing. Even though athleisure has been huge in the past five years, people are now itching for comfort-driven clothing. That’s why you see unapologetically glam versions of track pants and sneakers on the racks and in lookbooks. Couture today is being presented with a hint of comfort chic and a sporty touch,” says the designer, who recently showcased tulle dresses with biker boots.
“I have worn my own gowns with trainers that have platform heels. I could dance all night, as they were super comfy. Moreover, people have become tired of the singular idea of evening glamour. There’s a constant need to reinvent, which could be in the form of inculcating street influences or activewear,” she adds.
The glitz and glamour
Designer Gautam Gupta of label Asha Gautam believes that the street-style trend works simply because it breaks trends.
“The acceptance of one’s individuality also makes one more comfortable in their choices and of late that realisation has increased. And this I think has brought street-style more into the mainstream. The glam and glossiness is making space for itself in people’s wardrobes, much more than sequins and glitter, providing lit vibes and a lot of comfort. The graphic tees and quotes are a projection of the loud mindset people are adapting to after a long silence (because of the pandemic),” he explains. “Everyone wants to make the most of their life now, especially with all this news of Omicron now. The mindset is about making each day larger than life.”.
A perfect street-style glam look, according to Gupta, is a turtleneck top with graphics, along with loose fitted jeans and a jacket. Or, a printed crop top over a pleated skirt paired with a sneaker or boots.
A statement car coat could be a cool layering pick for the nippy weather as well, suggests designer Prreeti Jaiin Nainutia of label Nirmooha. “The monochrome metallic trench can be paired with a straight plain maxi dress for a striking streetwear shine.”
Clearly, no rule is the new rule as long as you can make it work. The defining lines between daywear and nightwear, street and couture, spring/summer and fall/winter have blurred, creating a chic utopia of individualistic styling.
Manish Mishra is a fashion journalist and content creator.
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