Whether or not you live according to The Official Preppy Handbook or have strong opinions about popped collars, if you’ve been following the Resort collections, you’ll recognize that designers are championing polos in a major way. Of course, the ones they’re showing are anything but basic. Jason Wu paired a clingy knit style with a slit pencil skirt to sexy effect, while Derek Lam riffed on the sporty staple by adding military-inspired epaulets at the shoulders. A pair of sunny yellow piqué looks turned up at Reed Krakoff and Band of Outsiders, and Nicolas Ghesquière sent a flashy lamé version down his Louis Vuitton Cruise runway. Polos are turning up in the streets, too, on tastemakers like David Beckham and Rihanna, who was spotted courtside at a Clippers basketball game in Céline’s ribbed Spring ’14 dress. Take it from RiRi, you can and should mess with a classic.
In today’s social-media-fueled culture, modesty has become an overlooked virtue. While we admittedly got a thrill scrolling through endless Instagram posts exploring various angles of Rihanna’s butt crack following Monday night’s CFDA Awards, it takes a brave fashion icon like Rih to pull off a look leaving that little to the imagination. But for those women who still prefer to maintain an air of mystery, designers have us covered—literally. In recent months, we’ve noticed an upswing in full-on maxi dresses, which serve as evidence that high necklines and long sleeves can be sexy, too. Take, for example, Dolce & Gabbana’s billowing floral gowns for Fall (wind machine not included) or the body-veiling, mosaic-print numbers (complete with matching harem pants) featured on Chanel’s Cruise runway in Dubai last month. Adding fuel to the more-is-more eveningwear trend are the new Resort collections from Gucci’s Frida Giannini and Erdem Moralioglu, who presented curve-hugging column styles and floor-skimming guipure lace confections, respectively. For IRL proof that modesty and sensuality don’t have to be mutually exclusive, look no further than The Row’s Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen: The chic twins have been rocking maximum coverage ensembles for years.
With just four days to go until the 2014 CFDA Awards, the editors here at Style.com are placing bets on what Rihanna will be wearing on the red carpet and who will be taking home the big prizes. Many of the nominated designers already have a growing collection of CFDA trophies in their respective offices (Marc Jacobs clocks in at seven), so it’s the announcements of the three Swarovski Awards for Emerging Talent that we’re most eagerly anticipating. Whether they come out on top or not, all ten of these noms have already won the endorsements of influencers ranging from A-listers to industry insiders alike. Where would Shayne Oliver’s game-changing Hood by Air label be without A$AP Rocky’s early support? Or Rosie Assoulin without her pal Leandra Medine (and The Man Repeller’s 590,000-plus Instagram followers)? Our own award for best ambassador of up-and-coming brands goes to Lily Aldridge. At an amfAR event back in February, the model earned bonus points for rocking Assoulin’s ethereal, off-the-shoulder number in addition to a sculptural choker by jewelry nominee Marc Alary.
When Karl Lagerfeld rounded up the fashion set in Dallas for Chanel’s rodeo of a Métiers d’Arts show back in December, sending all manner of Lone Star-inspired embroideries and fringed suede (not to mention a Chanel No. 5 holster) down the runway, we figured we’d see a Western revival. Just weeks later, both Alexander Wang and Fausto Puglisi featured city-ready cowgirl boots in their respective Pre-Fall lineups. Not long after that, Donatella Versace went maverick with her Fall menswear collection, which boasted updated chaps, bolo ties, and sharp suits embellished with horseshoe, cactus, and sheriff’s badge motifs. And don’t forget Ralph Lauren. An original pioneer of the frontier style, he put his Polo women’s collection on the catwalk for the first time, and trotted out serape blanket coats and prairie skirts. The Americana movement has taken hold in the streets, too, with models such as Hanne Gaby Odiele incorporating old-school bandannas into their off-duty wardrobes. Stetsons and 10-gallon hats, meanwhile, have become a phenomenon in their own right: The wide-brimmed toppers have replaced fedoras as hipsters’ headwear of choice. But fashion isn’t the only industry romanticizing the Wild West. A new wave of Western flicks (including Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman, which debuted at Cannes over the weekend) will hit theaters this year.
Between last Monday’s Met ball, Spring gala season, and the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival (which officially kicked off yesterday), eveningwear has been at the top of our minds lately. But with all due respect to Charles James and the starlets who aimed to honor his legacy by donning Gone With the Wind-style gowns at the Costume Institute extravaganza, we’ve definitely had our fill of dramatic ball skirts. If there’s one thing we’d like to see more of on the Croisette this year, it’s actresses wearing pants. In our opinion, the coolest girls at red-carpet events are the ones rocking stovepipe trousers with tiny tops or sleek le smokings. Take, as examples, Cara Delevingne’s relatively casual Stella McCartney look at the Met or the crisp white Saint Laurent suit that Gia Coppola wore to her Palo Alto premiere. Standing next to one of them in a poufy dress would make almost anyone feel fussy by comparison.
Designers seem to be championing new eveningwear alternatives, too. Raf Simons’ recent Cruise show for Dior opened with a number of dressy pant looks. And we can’t get enough of the snazzy top-and-trouser combos spotted in the Fall ’14 collections of Joseph Altuzarra, Narciso Rodriguez, and newcomers like Rosie Assoulin, Maki Oh, and Isa Arfen. Considering these convincing options, we’re hoping celebrity stylists decide to take a chance on pants.