Fargo Fashion | Spring 2016 Runway Trends

This spring, wallflowers are out. Designers displayed a flair for the dramatic with their Spring 2016 collections. After seasons of chic minimalist looks, they’re now embracing maximalism and giving us fashion with feeling. Eccentric, emotional designs were shown on runways from New York to Paris to Milan this fall and the bright, bold clothes are now starting to hit stores just in time for sunnier weather.

Brands including Balenciaga, Ralph Lauren and Mary Katrantzou featured dramatic ruffles, sometimes futuristically sculpted like at Chanel and other times feminine and flowing, as seen at Michael Kors. Tiers of fabric bounced down catwalks for Balmain, Proenza Schouler and Lanvin, while Oscar de la Renta’s red flamenco ruffles embodied the Spanish influence of the season. Designers at brands like DSquared2, Erdem, Zimmermann and Alexander McQueen took ruffles one step further with a very obvious Victorian era inspiration. They added in puffy sleeves, high cinched collars, elaborate florals and embellishments for a regal feel, but kept the looks modern and edgy with short hemlines, dark colors, leather accents and current silhouettes.

All that glitters also proved to be a must for spring. Sparkle wasn’t just an accent this season — it took the main stage. Gucci showed whimsical multicolored dresses fully adorned with sequins, Carolina Herrera layered jewel tone pailettes onto mini dresses and Loewe put broken mirror mosaics onto dresses and separates. There were silver sci-fi crinkled silk mini dresses at Louis Vuitton and shining ’90s grunge slips at Saint Laurent topped with tiaras. The all-over opulence is basically every wannabe rock and roll princess’s dream come true.

If clothes weren’t dripping with sequins, they were most likely covered in stripes. Bold mixed prints, exemplified by Mui Mui’s long sleeved mini dresses, were everywhere, but graphic stripes won out as the print of the season. But these weren’t your average sailor stripes. Designers from Dolce and Gabbana to Naeem Khan played with the pattern in every way except for the expected. Tommy Hilfiger’s Caribbean inspired collection was full of crocheted stripes in bright yet earthy hues. Missoni, who is known for the motif, used a mixture of thick and thin lines and defied color rules with their combinations. Dior, Prada and Stella McCartney chose bright primary colors in thick bands for a bold look.

Shoulders are officially the new erogenous zone for spring. Off-the-shoulder looks have been popular for a few seasons, but many brands gave them an upgrade. Boss featured tailored bands across the bust while Michael Kors added a bohemian ruffle. Cold shoulder styles provided an edgier twist. They were seen everywhere, from Preen and Christopher Kane’s angular cutouts to Prabal Gurung’s slouchy sweaters.

The real news, though, is the introduction of the X halter, which is essentially a combination of the halter and off-the-shoulders styles. Straps around the neck work with dropped shoulders to create an X-shape that leaves shoulders largely exposed for a sultry and artistic look. Proenza Schouler made the look chic in black and white while Givenchy exaggerated the style in embellished gold satin.

Inspiring new silhouettes and shapes were also seen when brands from Jil Sander to 3.1 Phillip Lim to Anthony Vaccarello sent new renditions of the classic white shirt down their runways, turning the wardrobe essential into a covetable fashion piece. Adding volume to sleeves and bodices, creating cutouts and exposing shoulders were just a few of the ways they made the tried and true basic fresh.

After seasons of mostly taking inspiration from the past, designers decided to pave the way for the future with unapologetically eccentric styles. They gave us nothing less than entertainment and inspiration with this season’s collections. As the collections make their way into stores and the trends trickle down into all levels of fashion, more theatrical styles will likely be ubiquitous both at the mall and on the streets. Let them inspire you to take more risks with your style and make a bold statement this spring.

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