Emporio Armani dictates fashion trends for the year, Versace preached diversity and Sportmax made sportswear for non-sporting activities
Dissatisfied by being told how to dress by past decades, Mr. Armani set out to create fashion that authentically speaks of the 'now' in the Emporio Armani Fall 2017 ready-to-wear collection. His proposals for "the look of 2017" began rather sensibly with 30 odd monochromatic ensembles; some clean, others patterned. Then, look 34 subtly signalled the flamboyance ahead. A dizzying array of prints, florals, and colour blocking dashed down the runway in scarlet and blue, hot pink and violet. Sequins, fur and lace added to the frenzy while plastic—a nearly unmissable material in any context of modern design—made an appearance as an ankle-grazing skirt and a pair of trousers with what seems to be an updated version of gingham, and a completely transparent vinyl blazer. 104 looks later, 2017 seems like it is going to be quite a lot to handle. Quite accurate, hey?
It seems that the fall runways have become a podium for political and social expression in light of the unstable axis the world has been spinning on. At Versace, Donatella uses her platform—possibly for the final time, according to rumours of a certain ex-Givenchy designer taking her place—to spread an important message. 'Unity', 'Love', 'Loyalty', 'Courage': Spelled out in block letters, the single-worded implorations were smeared across every other piece of the graphic lineup. Diversity imbued her pieces as hinted upon on programme notes of the same title. Sporty tailoring gave way to fur trimmed outerwear and slinky skirts with thigh high slits. Barely there numbers of black tulle added the house's signature sex-appeal to otherwise street-centric looks.
Oversized and sleek: codes of modern streetwear were followed to a tee at Sportmax. Roomy outerwear with generously voluminous sleeves were balanced with tapered bottoms and fitted skirts. Pops of deep fluoro orange and a couple of navy looks punctuated the striking black and white palette. As much as the collection leans on sportif appeal—with the smooth nylon fabrication, on-theme carabiner fastenings and dynamic "Run" slogans—it's hard to deny that none of it truly belongs at a gym. Looks like athleisure is here to stay.