All or Nothing

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There is no denying fashion’s divisive quality. What may be considered as one man’s trash can be easily regarded as another one’s treasure. And as the Spring/ Summer 2016 trends slowly trickle their way down into our wardrobes, it would appear that this little mantra could be used to describe this season’s most compelling trends; minimalism and maximalism.

Deemed as complete polar opposites, those amongst the fashion community identify either as one or the other with minimum cross over between the two camps. Whilst minimalists side towards clean lines and no fuss silhouettes, maximalists opt for a more haphazard approach, mixing bold colours with a concoction of materials and accessories. Constantly battling out to see who comes out on top, it would appear that 2016 is the year when maximalists reign supreme. Catwalks were awash with maximalist styles and creations – think rich lamé skirts at Gucci, layers of tulle and organza at Chanel and embellished suits at Prada. Whether a seasoned maximalist expert or an embellishment novice, 2016 is the year to think bold.

This season’s champion of all things maximal was Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. Models sashayed down the runway in vibrant lamé skirts teamed with girlish bows and luxe bombers, or evening dresses in sequin and tulle finished off with large flower broaches. Michele’s penchant for all things quirky seemed infectious as other iconic fashion houses followed in quick pursuit. Roberto Cavalli and Tom Ford, both renowned for their out and out glamour and sex appeal, gave their nod to the maximalist trend with full on sequin dresses. Even minimalist heavy weight Calvin Klein, showed hints of maximalist embellishments with floor length sequined coats. Caped sequin dresses were also a highlight at the classic French power house, Sonia Rykiel, giving true kudos to the maximalist cause.

Another maximalist sub trend looked to Spain and Latin America for inspiration. Think the feathery ruffles of flamenco dancers or the capes and tassels worn by matadors in the bull ring. Proenza Schouler’s black and white off the shoulder top showed a subtle nod to the Latina trend, whilst at Oscar de la Renta, models were draped in ruffled capes in sumptuous reds, conjuring up images of a true Spanish fiesta.

For the romantics amongst us, whimsical dresses in feathers, ruffles, pastels, cream, chiffon and sheer details graced the runway, proving that romance is most certainly not dead. Valentino’s cream tulle gown would be fit for any fashion princess, whilst Sarah Burton added her usual sprinkling of gothic romance at Alexander McQueen. Paired with this season’s must have bomber jacket, romantic touches are given a modern makeover.

For those not quite prepared to convert to the maximalist side, there were still elements of minimalist dressing on the runway. Most notably, the return of the slip. Already seen on the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whitely and model of the moment, Gigi Hadid, the lingerie look is back with its simple silhouette and subtle lace detailing. Givenchy, Celine and Burberry all showcased these boudoir staples in off white tones, proving that minimalism is still very much in the fashion fore.

However, celebrities and fashion aficionados more renowned for their minimalist dressing are taking notes from this season’s bolder trends. Alexa Chung, perhaps the champion of understated chic, paired a vibrant gold skirt with a colourful striped jumper at a recent event. Carine Roitfield the harbinger of French easy going style was seen sporting a pink suit, suggesting that maximalist dressing can be worn by all.

As Instagram and street style sights become an ever increasing part of our daily lives, our desire to be seen and noticed has reached a new height. The drive to push the sartorial boundaries to the limits, constantly feeds itself into our psyche, pushing for the bigger and bolder.

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