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Spring Collection 2019 - Crotchet lace to florals
Sands Style / Fashion & Luxury

Spring Collection 2019 - Crotchet lace to florals

Winter is on its way out and so is the long seasonal obsession with the 80s. For spring, designers opted for a collective throwback to a string of major trends from the 70s – a highly underrated and mocked fashion era. But how can fashion stay true to its roots without employing its ability to endorse trends that were once ostracised for being too zany?

“For the longest time, the 70s were disregarded and completely written off as the era of embarrassing fashion. Flare pants, tie-dyed shirts, patchwork – people remember these looks as the musings of hippies. But that was two years ago. Summer 2019 is the biggest comeback season for 70s fashion, and designers have their own zesty interpretations,” says London-based fashion stylist and visual artist, Gilbert Braun.

From crochet to neon colours, this season was all about being as “extra” as possible; minimalism be damned. At Tom Ford and Coach, fringe details were cut into modern maxis and fashioned as easy daytime accessories. In Milan, Dolce & Gabbana had their models dolled up in bold floral-print dresses with headgear to match. Loewe added to the season’s exaggerated spirit with feathers, a trend echoed at Michael Kors and Kate Spade New York.

Over at Marc Jacobs, ruffles, taffeta and chiffon made for big evening wear. From New York and London to Milan and Paris, the big memo this season was: toss those crop tops and embrace tie-dye.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 70s looks, so you don’t have to.

California cool

A new crop of California cool emerged on the runways this season. Tie-dyes were the first to drop the hint, with a ubiquitous presence across major presentations. It starts with Prada, where preppy shirts are styled with buttoned-up shirts and accentuated with pops of colour and splashes of 70s’ tie-dye patterns.

The head-turning ensemble came in the form of a lime-green tunic offset with knee-high socks paired with thick-sole footwear. At Milan, surfing-inspired collections at Etro and Sportmax took the lead. “California style is not necessarily a trend. It’s a feeling. It’s about being carefree, and the 70s were a major moment for that approach. It’s also why we saw the departure of more conservative trends,” explains Braun.

Evening glamour

While blending colours and eye-catching patterns was a high point of the 70s, what further exemplified the era was the detail. Sheer, tulle, fringe and lace were a staple of the hyperbolic spirit of the time.

And designers had big ideas when it came to reinventing these materials for over-the-top evening wear. In its trademark playful fashion, Off-White adapted fringe details with lace inserts and with sportswear material for some after-dark glamour. Dinner jackets matched with bike pants, cycling jerseys paired with voluminous skirts alongside feather fringes – these were among the other hero pieces that amplified the brand's glamorous take on the era. OffWhite is available from Antonia at Shoppes at The Parisian.

But if that’s a bit too eccentric for your taste, Victoria Beckham blended the beauty and allure of lace into everyday block-cut shirts. Over at Burberry, the transition of lace and satin from a bedroom item to something worn on the streets is apparent by the attachment of gingham sleeves, accessorised with boots to highlight its street appeal. If there’s a clear message, it’s that the feminist movement of the 70s continues, with items from the private sphere being placed them squarely in the public domain.

Au naturale

Nothing was more representative of the 70s than hippy floral prints. This season, designers have been adding this element to everything from trousers, shirts and skirts to flowing dresses. Leading the way is Versace with a collage of flowers on chiffon, taking the theme all the way to sheer leggings. Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors carried this one step further to create matching pantsuit combinations, while at Marni, colourful blooms were imprinted on soft silk.

Hat tricks

What were the 70s if not a major moment for hats? This season was spearheaded by a simple decree: quirky headgear is a must. Also, a hat is an excellent alternative to tie-dye and neoprene wetsuits, if exaggerated colours and patterns are not your thing. From headscarves and groovy bucket hats to resort-ready headgear, colourful and beach-ready hats were everywhere. Valentino’s raffia sun hats emerged as the star of the season. Erdem evoked the Victorian era while Max Mara fashioned a chic scarf. Marc Jacobs imagined a rainy summer with waterproof headscarves. Take your pick!

Handy handicrafts

Away from all the big lace and floral drama, artisanal handicrafts occupied a storied spot in designers’ collections for spring. From patchwork crochet and fisherman weaves to macramé appliqué, the runway was full of crafty handiwork. Designer Sarah Burton, in her romantic installation of evening and day dresses at Alexander McQueen, laced her pieces with flowers – painted, printed and jacquarded.

Drawing inspiration from Celtic folklore, femininity and empowerment were at the heart of the collection, which found its most bold interpretation in an elegant black crochet dress. Burton told WWD backstage, “I focused on a woman’s journey, the moments that she experiences in life, so birth, christening, sisterhood, motherhood, friendship. The idea of expressing feelings and being empowered by emotion and vulnerability.”

Over at JW Anderson, the designer remained more loyal to the bohemian spirit of the era for his spring line-up. “I wanted something a bit more bohemian. A celebration of fashion. Everything with fluidity to it, and patchworked, somehow,” he told Vogue. His focus? To simplify complex fabrics and combinations for the Anderson woman, thus creating outfits that are both freeing and wearable. Handkerchief-point dresses, crochet-lace scarf shoulders and bib-fronted shirtdresses were thrown in with vintage tall boots, alongside summer suits with collaged cotton patches.