Just how much does your heart quicken at the thought of a leather trench coat? Or a masculine blazer cut just so? What about a light-catching silver sequinned dress? Or a pair of velvet mules with fluffy feathers on the toes? We ask because the clothes that have defined the past few seasons have been the epitome of elegance and restrained luxury. Runways and high-street stores have been packed out with an opulence of reinvented classics, wear-forever pieces and, the fashion editor’s favourite, truly wearable clothes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; anything that softens the blow of getting dressed for work on a Monday morning can only be a good thing and it’s hard to resist the aspirational allure of the seemingly effortless grown-up perfection of #oldCeline or Daniel Lee’s quietly brilliant new take on Bottega Veneta.
And yet. All that soft power dressing is all very well and good but there’s only so many elevated staples that a woman can buy, even if they are this season’s Loewe, before she gets a bit bored. Aren’t you starting to yearn for a bit more extravagance and excitement? Right now, designers and discerning shoppers alike are embracing the urge to get positively overdressed, to get joyfully carried away with more-is-more abandon and throw on clothes that are the polar opposite to all those sensible investment buys. These pieces are the perfect antidote to dark winter nights, the impending doom of climate change and political turmoil, fun-filled and feel-good clothes that are impossible to resist. Because has anyone ever had the time of their lives dressed head-to-toe in complementing shades of beige? They have not.
It’s true that this change in mood is neatly timed to coincide with the festive party season that’s about to kick off in earnest, but we see no reason why your flair for overdressing should be excluded from daylight hours. In fact, given that the most uplifting and enthusiastically received show of SS20 was the inspired and unexpected partnership between Dries van Noten and the undisputed king of gloriously over-the-top couture, Christian Lacroix, we’d say that trend is settling in for the long haul. So, you might as well surrender now.
The gear change from functional to fabulous requires a multitude of sequins, feathers and statement-making silhouettes so it’s lucky that your favourite labels are getting in on the act. Everyone from Gucci to Christopher Kane has conjured cocktail dresses and suits impossible to ignore. Then there are labels like The Vampire’s Wife, Rotate, Attico and Molly Goddard who have got high-impact dressing down to a fine art, whipping up enough frothy frocks, high-impact minis and 80s-inspired accessories to keep even the most die-hard maximalist satisfied.
And if you feel the need to anchor yourself in your comfort zone by tempering all that extravagance with a splash of denim then embrace the resurgence of the going-out top, something heavily sequinned, with huge puffed sleeves or covered in feathers that you can throw on with a pair of jeans and heels. Trust us: you won’t regret it.