Is the high rise era over? For several seasons, designers have focused on the natural waist. Some incarnations, like dresses cinched to create hourglass shapes, were figure-flattering; others, not so much (see: high-waisted skinny jeans, Mischa Barton). Enter the new-again drop-waist silhouette. Miu Miu‘s flippy miniskirts and a clean Celine shirtdress had a touch of the sixties. At Marc by Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney, meanwhile, romantic frocks with relaxed waists evoked the twenties. Thakoon Panichgul (left) cited a new focus on ease and nonchalance as a reason for the down shift. “For me, it’s the attitude,” he told Style.com. “The drop waist has a laid-back jeans-and-T-shirt feel to it, so you’re able to get a mix of casual and dressy.” Who can resist a two-for-one deal these days?
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The Oscars are blink-and-you’ll-miss-it compared to the twelve-day marathon that is the Cannes Film Festival; the Croisette won’t clear until Sunday. This year’s big red-carpet stories? The splashy debut of a new line—Gucci’s couture collection, Premiere—which turned up on Salma Hayek Pinault and Naomi Watts, and the emergence of Emilio Pucci as the go-to brand for something short and super-sexy (see: Evangeline Lilly). Also noteworthy was the high-profile rejection of gowns: Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche both stepped out in—gasp—pants.
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If you’re planning on investing in some shearling come fall, you won’t be alone. Countless designers turned out fuzzy jackets on the runways, and top models were snapped donning covetable vintage versions backstage—all but guaranteeing the material will be a must-have when the temperatures near freezing again. Should you prefer not to wait that long, we suggest exploring the trend as an accent piece, à la Prada‘s detachable collar or Pringle‘s trimmed sweater, which designer Clare Waight Keller liked for its “rugged appeal.” At Hermès (left) and Trussardi 1911, shearling lent ladylike totes a similar outdoorsy vibe, even if the only air they’ll likely be exposed to is the kind between town car and town house.
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Of the hundreds of gowns at this week’s Met ball, the most striking were also the most restrained. Zoe Saldana and Diane Kruger looked chic in unadorned Calvin Klein Collection gowns; ditto Jessica Stam in long-sleeved Rachel Roy. Plenty of minimal eveningwear could be found on the Fall runways, too. “Less is more these days,” Yigal Azrouël told us. “People are tired of all the froufrou and are just craving simplicity.” The designer turned out long, sleek dresses notable for how covered up they were, as did Antonio Berardi and Andrew Gn. At Stella McCartney and The Row, meanwhile, hemlines were raised, but the silhouettes were just as streamlined.
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The popularity of floor-length skirts on the Fall runways suggests that the hemline index theory just might hold true, but Adam Lippes isn’t buying it. “Supposedly everything traces back to the economy these days, or Michelle Obama, but I think it’s just a reaction to all the hard looks we’ve been seeing for the past two or three years,” the ADAM designer told us. “It’s a shift to an easier way of dressing.” Lippes paired his billowy maxi dresses with chunky sweaters and slouchy boots, as did Richard Chai. Similarly, shoe-grazing slim knit skirts turned up at Michael Kors and Sonia Rykiel. And off the runway, meanwhile, photographers snapped girls toeing the line between winter and spring in long, bright numbers worn with cropped leather jackets.
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