Diva is in the details
From tassel earrings to fanny packs, lessons from Spring/Summer runways on how to accessorize this season
Accessories are a bit like dessert. They are the little details that can elevate or undo an outfit. Little wonder then that nonagenarian style icon Iris Apfel advised putting your money into accessories to create “a million different looks". This season, runway looks emphasize on accessories that speak for themselves, be it 1990s-style mini sunglasses or clear heels. It’s an ode to glamour and standing out in a crowd.
Clear heels have been in the spotlight ever since 2017’s naked shoe trend found favour with the likes of Chrissy Teigen and Bella Hadid. In tandem with Spring/Summer 2018’s (SS18’s) sheer obsession, the trend goes beyond just heels. Models at Helmut Lang took the runway with transparent briefcases while plastic drawstring bags were spotted in the collections of Céline and Maison Margiela. At Chanel, transparency extended to jewellery, hats and rainwear too. Pick an item with a hint of colour or texture, like Giorgio Armani’s shimmering couture clutches and two-toned pumps.
Sneakers are anything but basic this year. Vivienne Westwood sprinkled her SS18 designs with 3D embellishments, the Fenty Puma line by Rihanna perched sneakers on platform heels and Loewe’s curled-up sneakers caught everyone’s attention. Knitted booties go well with dresses, as shown by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. Look for details like Louis Vuitton’s Archlight sneakers or take an East-meets-West road with Fizzy Goblet’s sneaker juttis paired with a sari or lehnga.
Here’s a trend Queen Elizabeth II would approve of. Long perceived as a dated classic, the silk scarf is enjoying its resurgence as a new power accessory. With mashed-up prints in vogue, printed scarves were the accessory of choice in the SS18 collections of Versace and Etro. Wrapping a scarf as a neck-cessory over your dress or shirt remains classic, but new updates to the trend include wearing these as turbans, hair wraps, wristbands and bag straps. Or take a cue from Dries Van Noten and drape the scarf—preferably in a contrasting print—artfully over one shoulder of a dress or tuck it in front of a pair of trousers.
Even before Kim Kardashian received an email from Kanye West to ditch her big sunnies, tiny sunglasses were on their way to topping the trend charts. Prabal Gurung and Prada showcased tiny shades in their SS18 collections that looked straight out of a Matrix movie set, while Rihanna sported a rectangular pair on the hallowed Cannes red carpet. Barely covering the eyes, these of-the-moment accessories may not be your best bet for UV protection but they sure make a statement. Swap Aviators and Wayfarers for small rimless geometric shapes, retro-inspired coloured frames and miniature cat-eyes.
Contrary to the notion that the 1990s obsession with fanny packs would never repeat itself, “bum bags" were ubiquitous on SS18 runways. Valentino upgraded the accessory with double straps while Ferragamo and Versace miniaturized them into coin purses. Rochas and Zimmermann elevated the design with new motifs while Balenciaga and, closer home, Label Ritu Kumar showed that a cooler way to carry any fanny pack is to carry it cross-bodied. Coordinate your fanny pack like you are mixing prints—find a common element in print or colour with your outfit and pick a small to mid-sized design for proportion control.
Long tassels adorned the bags of Proenza Schouler’s SS18 couture designs, Jean-Paul Gaultier coordinated fringed boots with his couture designs, and shoulder-grazing fringed earrings were baubles of choice for DSquared2 during the Milan Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018-19. Match basics and minimal outfits with tasselled earrings and bags for a bohemian twist—pick short fringes and tassels for the day and reserve statement accessories for special occasions.
Usually credited for utility value over sartorial potential, socks this season are too chic to be hidden inside trousers and shoes. As spotlighted in the SS18 shows of Missoni, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Fendi and Mary Katrantzou among others, it’s perfectly acceptable (albeit unconventional) to wear socks with heels. Light tulle and sheer fabrics make for summer-ready alternatives to regular knitted socks. Pair minimal outfits and workwear with bold-hued socks, as seen at Miu Miu, or take a cue from MSGM and spruce up regular socks with tie-dye or frill details. Socks with sequins, embellishment and shimmer are also big this season.
Pearl-encrusted hairpins, gold barrettes, rhinestone detailing, jewelled headbands—SS18’s hair accessories are unabashedly glittery, in keeping with the season’s fixation with shine. Dolce & Gabbana’s maximal aesthetics showcased itself in gem-studded headbands, ideal for weddings or the red carpet. For a more laid-back approach, opt for smaller pieces like Simone Rocha’s pearly and beaded numbers or Amrapali’s Victorian pins. Looking for basics? Models wearing scrunchies at Mansur Gavriel’s SS18 show surprised everyone—perhaps a sign that this old-school trend is ready for a comeback.