This article is the second part of our comprehensive guide to Spring/Summer 2016 fashion trends. So make sure to also check out the 2016 menswear trends section here.
2016 is shaping up to be a lot of fun for fashion lovers everywhere. I say that because it doesn’t seem to focus on one decade in particular for inspiration but rather tries to expand concepts by successfully combining styles and patterns from different sources.
What’s Trending on the Runways?
Don’t worry the 70s are still a very popular muse so you will be able to incorporate the things you have from last year into your new look. But, like so many other elements, key features of 70’s fashion will be reutilized in fresh and innovative styles and outfits. So what are some of the key fashion trends to keep an eye out for in the spring and summer of 2016? Let’s have a look.
Elements from the Victorian Period
From ruffles and high-collar necklines to puffy sleeves, frills and lace, the Victorian Period is definitely influencing fashion this year. Several designers have drawn inspiration from the romantic Victorian features that we will no doubt love to rediscover in 2016.
Victorian era influences, ruffles, lace and frills are so in! And don’t forget puffy sleeves.
Collections such as those of Simone Rocha and Erdem featured fun creations with puffy Victorian sleeves and lovely lace appliques. Alexander McQueen uses the high-collar necklines and multiple layers of ruffles for a soft, romantic look. If you’re a fan of Victorian fashion, 2016 will be your year to shine considering how well these elements are incorporated into modern, fresh creations.
Left to right: designs by Alexander McQueen, Erdem, Simone Rocha.
Hints of Latin Influence
Ruffles and frills are some of the most popular trends for the spring/ summer collections of 2016 but they’re not all of Victorian inspiration. Many designs rely on Latin fashion and boast layers upon layers of ruffles draped down fitted fabric that accentuates the body’s curves.
Proenza Schouler chooses a black and red color scheme referencing flamenco dancers while Balmain’s designs boast curve-hugging fabrics intertwined with sheer, romantic ruffles and bare shoulders.
Left to right: designs by Marques Almeida, Proenza Schouler, Balmain.
Play around with ruffles. Designers are all about curve-flattering, beautifully-flowing fabrics in 2016.
Letting your lingerie shine
One of the most talked about trends this season was the fact that many designers chose to use lingerie as outwear. It would seem that next summer will be a great time to celebrate the lovely, delicate patterns and fabrics that sleepwear usually implies and… wear them outside.
Bringing our nightgowns out of the bedroom may be one of the best things to do in 2016 according to several designers who chose to play with the concept in their collections and mix together light, soft fabrics, lace appliques, slips and bra tops. And while Saint Laurent’s grunge princesses modeled some colorful patchwork, Calvin Klein’s collection featured satin, sheer or silky wedding dresses with strong lingerie elements.
Bold and playful designers are taking nightgowns out of the bedroom and onto the streets. Sheer and delicate.
Let’s not forget the shimmering, lace infused designs that Givenchy chose to keep short and sweet and the bra tops and colorful slips that Alexander Wang experimented with. So if you’ve got some gorgeous, delicate lingerie that you love and you’ve always wished you could show off, this summer might be your perfect chance to draw inspiration from that when you’re putting together your outfits.
Left to right: designs by Calvin Klein, Burberry, Alexander Wang
It’s all about those jeans
Yes, the humble denim was not overlooked this year and is still going strong, with many designers incorporating the fabric into their summer collections. Dries Van Noten opted for a more undone, asymmetrical look while Alexander McQueen’s collection showcased some gorgeous floral appliques and shredded fabric and, when it comes to Marques Almeida, it is all about the ruffles and the raw hems.
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You can never have too many pairs of comfy jeans for the hot days to come so have a look around and get inspired by the designs you love when putting together your new spring and summer ensembles.
Left to right: designs by Marques Almeida, Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten
Sparkle, shimmer and metal
If there’s one thing that the fashion shows didn’t lack in this year, it was sparkle (considering how many shimmering, shiny, glittery outfits graced the catwalks).
Spring 2016 is all about shimmer and shine. Be precious! Tweet this
You can certainly find a lot of previous fabrics in Marc Jacobs’ designs as the collection boasted some bold slip dresses with long, deep slits on the side while keeping in touch with the designer’s red, white and blue color scheme and displaying some playful patterns that accentuated the fabrics’ natural shine.
Metal and metallic fabrics were also popular, whether you’re bias to Paco Rabanne’s golden sparkle and shimmering silver or to Loewe’s whimsical designs, which show off some actual mirror pieces adorning the garments. One thing is clear, you shouldn’t be afraid to shine in 2016.
Left to right: designs by Loewe, Marc Jacobs, Paco Rabanne.
Keeping it off the shoulder
Another preferred feature designers gravitated towards for spring and summer collections, bare shoulders could be seen all across the catwalks during fashion shows this year. So if you want to keep in tune with one of the biggest fashion trends for 2016, look for the many different variations of the off-the-shoulder-style that can be seen in most collections.
Proenza Schouler features Spanish- inspired, revealing designs in black and white or black and red, keeping the color scheme classic but adding a modern edge to the outfits with some interesting geometrical cuts and shapes.
Some more romantic and soft looks can be found in the collections of Chloe and Paul & Joe, as well as Michael Kors, often times accompanied by frills and ruffles. And if you’re looking for that bit of extra edge, give a quick peek to the very low cuts used by Edun and Boss or the single bare shoulder revealed by Stella McCartney and John Galliano pieces.
I wouldn’t worry about finding something you love, since almost all of the collections featured bare shoulders for spring. If you want to find a new favorite outfit to show off your shoulders in, also browse through other noteworthy collections such as those of Versace, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Sonia Rykiel, Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Kane, Prabal Gurung, Antonio Marras, Francesca Liberatore and The Row. There’s an abundance of choices that you have in order to showcase the new trend come spring.
Left to right: designs by Chloe, Proenza Schouler, Edun.
You can’t help but love pleats, there’s something about them that makes every outfit feel chic and whimsical at the same time. Designers haven’t forgotten that and are taking full advantage of both pleats and micro pleats for the spring and summer collections.
We have to admit that there are some lovely pleated pieces out there, from Carolina Herrera’s short, simple but wonderfully structured design to Chanel’s fabulous mix of patterns and shapes and Gucci’s chic, colorful and elegant variations. Stella McCartney is the way to go if you’re looking for something bold, asymmetrical and flowing. No matter which style best fits your personality, there’s bound to be an outfit out there for you.
Left to right: designs by Gucci, Carolina Herrera, Stella McCartney.
Let’s be romantic
Spring and summer are great seasons for love, there’s no doubt about that. So it’s no wonder that designers have been showing off some romantic nuances in their pieces this year.
With so many Latin and Victorian influences it’s hard not to come up with some wonderful, romantic garments considering the amount of ruffles, frills, lace, floral prints and puffy sleeves we’ve seen so far. These elements can be found in lovely spring and summer numbers in several collections such as the ones from Alexander McQueen, Etro, Philosophy and Oscar de la Renta.
Feminine and romantic outfits are so in in SS2016! Tweet this
Left to right: designs by Philosophy, Alexander McQueen, Chloe.
Oxford shirts were very popular for spring and summer but we’ve seen many designers also emphasize white shirts in their collections this year. There have been some interesting new takes on the plain white shirt that can be easily paired with almost any skirt or pair of jeans you have for an easily accessible fashionable outfit.
And with so many Old English elements present in designs all across the fashion world for this season it’s no surprise that we can find some high collars as is the case with Stella McCartney as well as some puffy sleeves like those displayed by Fendi.
Vera Wang opts for oversized shirts while a bare look is the effect of the cut up sleeves we see at Issa and ruffles provide a more feminine touch in the case of Paul & Joe. Since they’re so versatile and stylish, white shirts should definitely be a serious option to consider for your spring and summer wardrobe this year.
Left to right: designs by Stella McCartney, Fendi, Issa.
Paper bag waists
All in all, the spring and summer collections have showed a more relaxed and playful approach this year. When it comes to a more disheveled, edgy look, you can’t help but notice the wonderful use of the paper bag waistlines this year. Since they’re a bit harder to pull off in your daily lives than they are on the catwalk, it’s great to see some of the options put forward by collections from Public School, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Tome.
The paper bag waist pants and skirts are in many cases paired with tighter, well-defined tops and are reined in just enough to make the look work but there have also been designers who opted for looser tops and managed to assemble a great outfit. So feel free to experiment with paper bag waists this year, since they’re pieces that will always make you stand out.
Left to right: designs by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Tome, Public School.
Transparent fabrics have been very popular with designers for the 2016 collections but when it came to netting, we just have to look at some collections that clearly stood out of the crowd. While it could be spotted on nearly every runway, netting was favored by the likes of Balmain and Dolce and Gabanna as well as Alexander Wang, Valentino and Marchesa.
If you’re brave enough to choose some of these skin baring designs, you should definitely browse through the aforementioned collections.
Left to right: designs by Balmain, Marchesa, Alexander Wang.
Covered in stripes
It’s no secret that stripes have always been a favorite for summer looks considering the obvious love so many have for the nautical theme and details inspired by it. This season won’t be an exception, it seems, as stripes are still going strong. Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani and Kate Spade New York all featured striped designs and played off the nautical colors and details in order to create their summer looks.
The love for stripes was also seen in the case of some 90s inspired pieces, which have also been popular this year. Creatures of the Wind and Zimmermann also featured striped creations in surprising combinations with elements such as long sleeves and sheer layers.
Left to right: designs by Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Max Mara.
Well, we’ve covered the most noticeable trends so far, but we’ve still got to look at what bags were paired with the lovely outfits and styles seen before. Every fashion lover knows just how important a great bag is to complete a look and define the individual styles that make us who we are.
So when getting ready for the warm days to come and trying to update our wardrobes in accordance to the new trends that will influence our spring and summer looks, it’s important to also take a quick peek at the stunning bags we’ll eventually fall in love with and just “have to have”.
So what did we see on the runways? There were a lot of bold colors, statement pieces and relatively small sizes and varied shapes. All in all, it seemed that bags were designed and desired to be more than just accessories, but rather important parts of the outfits themselves, often times used as accents to the proposed theme.
Outfits aren’t the only statement pieces in your arsenal. Bags are a fashionista’s best ally. Go for bold colors and intriguing designs this spring. Tweet this
For example we had a small, tack-decorated dark-blue bag with a metal chain for a handle and a large metallic zipper, complete with keys and a key chain for the Alexander Wang collection. There is also the very popular half-moon leather shoulder bag, also relatively small in a stunning shade of yellow as seen with Coach (though it seems that leather bags, in general, are something to look out for in 2016).
Proenza Schouler features a series of tiny rectangular handbags, also made of leather with metal handles. The bags come in many colors ranging from teal to white and black. Ralph Lauren shows off bold color patterns on some lovely multicolored bags that come in different shapes and sizes while Marc Jacobs prefers small handbags and clutches in bright nuances and embellishments. Tote bags were also a crowd pleaser.
There are some lovely, whimsical designs to be seen with Sophia Webster, where we have very small rectangular hard-case clutches that seem almost pop-art inspired and show off bold patterns and symbols in bright colors as well as colored, oversized plastic marbles disguising the closing mechanisms. One item making a lovely comeback is the expedition-inspired discoverer style backpack which can be seen in different variations in collections such as that of Burberry Prorsum.
For timeless, elegant designs you can always count on Gucci and Prada, which both feature classic bags that may seem simple but are always deceptively hard to get right. Versace mixes bright colors in handbags and backpacks alike while some of the small Fendi bags can definitely cater to your more whimsical needs with some of the decorated designs. If we’re trying to sum it up, don’t go for anything too big or clunky but be confident in choosing bold colors and patterns that will make you stand out and keep in touch with the current trends when picking out a new bag for the summer.
Let’s talk shoes
There is no such thing as too many pairs of shoes, so we can definitely be excited about the new trends for the upcoming spring and summer collections when shopping for a new and lovely addition to that department. And since styles have been so eclectic this season it’s no wonder that anything, from flats to high heels and platforms, has been seen gracing the catwalks at recent shows.
Since it is spring and summer we’re talking about we have to look at some stunning sandals. The theme with shoes seems to go hand in hand with the proposed bag designs we’ve seen so far. Shoes for this summer need to draw attention and stand out, no matter if it’s flats, high heels or platforms we’re talking about. Alexander Wang’s tack-covered metal stiletto heels with a clunky platform at the front are a very good argument to exemplify that idea.
The straps that we see here, held together by metal rings, are not an uncommon feature this season. We can see wide straps and laces everywhere, including with Rag and Bone’s ankle-wrapped flat white sandals and Michael Kors’ high platform beige sandals.
Proenza Schouler also features some straps on the pointy shoes with small heels and neutral tones that it shows off while Ralph Lauren chooses incredibly tall platform sandals with ankle-wrapped straps in bold colors.
On the more comfy side of the spectrum there are Calvin Klein’s floral pattern closed flats and Simone Rocha’s small heeled, whimsical transparent sandals, complete with the often seen straps wrapped around the model’s ankles. If you’re not a fan of sheer shoes but love the idea of flat comfy sandals Emilio Pucci may be the right choice for you, as the collection showcased some flat sandal models with stunning designs and details.
If you’re willing to suffer for fashion and are looking for some statement pieces that come paired with the highest heels, you can always look into some of the Gucci designs which featured powerful colors, metal tacks and spikes and striking appliques or try on the Fendi featured high-heel sandals that come with ankle-wrapped straps, colored beads, crystals, flowers and stitching as well as color combinations that are sure to pop.
However, if a closed shoe is more to your liking, there are some lovely Roberto Cavalli high-heel ankle boots that might fit your taste, since the designs are delicate, simple and timeless. With so many options you’re bound to find a few trendy new models to put on your wish list so don’t worry, just have a look at the collections and pick what works best for your individual style. With the cornucopia of influences designers have drawn from this season, you’ll have no problem working some new pieces into your stunning spring and summer look in no time.