Brown Thomas Showcases What’s in Store for SS18

Retro fabrics, modesty and reconstructured tailoring await

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Words by Tanya Grimson
January 19th, 2018

There is really only one show that makes you pull yourself out of bed even earlier than usual in the height of winter and that is Brown Thomas’s bi-annual fashion show. With most of the fashion flock ascended in store for 8am on Tuesday morning this week, there is always a sense of anticipation to find out what Brown Thomas will unveil as their defining trends to buy for the new season. It is also our first chance to get upclose and personal with the most coveted designer catwalk pieces that we would have fawned over in the fashion weeks four months ago.

The SS18 collections are, if I am being totally honest, a little bit of a mixed bag this season. It’s hard to really put your finger on one key defining trend that you think will dominate for the next few months. The season has a sense of defiance, but not in the zeitgeist sense but more of a creative defiance, where designers got to tear up the traditional rule book and created collections with a freer if not more avant-garde approach. Asymmetric sleeves, contrast paneling, deconstructed tailoring and mismatched prints replace the more linear.

Nostalgia features heavily as  the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s really take centre stage, from Erdem’s truly exquisite billowing floral maxi dresses that immediately evoke Woodstock vibes to the iconic ’80s white leather mini skirts āla Miu Miu. Patchwork was omnipresent blending retro print fabrics reminiscent of your grandmother’s curtains teamed with modern racing stripes to contemporary effect. Colours that don’t usually marry such as browns, purples and pinks were paired together to give another subtle ’70s reference point but with a distinctly modern colour block twist.

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Tailoring continues to be deconstructed/reconstructed as we see oversized shoulder focused blazers from Céline and precision draping, panelling and exquisite cuts that we have grown to expect and revere from The Row. Roksanda abandoned her traditional colour to showcase one of the most beautiful dresses from the show, a minimally cream dress with black asymmetric buttons running down the slanted bias cut. Tailoring was also not devoid of the retro touch as trousers featured flare cuts in variations of width and ruffles, suited dresses were accompanied by gold buttons giving them the ’90s power suit seal of approval from Givenchy.

The shirt is once again the staple du jour complementing pleated skirts with best effect for a continuously easy-to-wear smart casual look that is bound to appeal to the masses. Asymmetry is key from one shoulder dresses and blouses or partial shoulder cuts making the shoulder the obvious erogenous zone and on the back of Saoirse Ronan’s Golden Globe dress made by Versace, I predict this to be the dominant cut as the temperatures rise.

One of the most evident points to note was the overall lack of skin on show, this season is apparently very modest, with Victorian ruffle high neck blouses and long sleeve tunic dresses replacing the skinny strap of slip dresses last summer. Hemlines were either mini but with a very modest upper half or floor length enclosures as per Zimmerman and Erdem.

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There is no question that this season marries the whimsical, the ornate, the modern juxtaposition of unusual fabrics and colours in a way that is free and creative. It is a season that allows you the wearer the chance to explore new possibilities and to throw the rule book out of the window; to advocate the bohemian, the creative in you and to have fun doing it. And if this avant garde retro freestyle of styling is not for you, look to The Row for their incredible offerings of minimalist floor-length tailored cream dresses and matching blazers and maxi skirts. Alternatively seek out blocks of colour and use Delpozo as your guide. Once again, the king of cut and colour left me wanting more as stunning dresses in red, teamed with playful bow headbands concluded the show in the most exquisite of ways, wishing for the sun and dreaming of Delpozo.

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*New labels for the store this season include: Rosie Assoulin, MSGM, Ganni, Kendall & Kylie, P.E Nation, Perfect Moment, Palm Angels, PLAY Comme des Garcons, Dhela, Dodo Bar Or, Good American, Grlfrnd, Monreal.

For more information on the new collections and labels visit www.brownthomas.com