Although you’d be fooled for thinking it was summer recently, spring has officially sprung and with it, the eternally frustrating yo-yoing of temperatures. For this, there’s only one sartorial solution and it’s layering, layering, layering. Yes, in retaliation to the epidemic of indecent sun exposure and the mass allergy to clothing indigenous to this time of year, fashion has struck back with numerous renditions of artful applications of apparel of varying thicknesses to disrobe and re-robe at the whim of Mother Temperature.
Call it an extension of 70s mania if you will, or, rather the fashion industry’s love of an oxymoron; this season is all about layering 101. Read on for our essential how-to guide of looking cool whilst layering up.
Firstly the paradox of ‘springtime layering’ should be decoded. Though fashion and practicality are rarely synonymous with one another, we are not proposing that you suffocate under a mass of fabric, nor are we suggesting that you swelter for the sake of style. Rather layers are to be kept wafer thin with the intention of creating an ethereal silhouette that is relaxed, carefree and most importantly, well ventilated.
The resurgence of the long line tunic top and the continued pairing of skirts worn over trousers is illustrated perfectly in Dries Van Noten’s SS15 collection. No ensemble was without a varying hemline or exaggerated drape. This was a collection refreshingly devoid of denim or any concept of ‘basic’. Dresses erred on the oversized and were never without a contrasting kimono or wispy shrug; shorts peeked out from underneath thigh grazing shirts and barely there bandeau tops were counteracted with ankle grazing harem trousers and long sleeved jackets.From Van Noten’s example the key element of springtime layering is proportion; layers were kept long and lean as fabric cascaded down and around – never swamping. And though the ‘sun’s out, guns out’ mantra is sure to haunt our summer, a sliver of skin is encouraged (in moderation), as sheer fabrics emphasize the delicacy of the layers, whilst also highlighting the fact that there is actually a body in amongst the swathes of fabric. Look to Zara and Cos for staple layering pieces on the highstreet and don’t be afraid to contrast prints and patterns – free spirits don’t tend to worry about coordination.
To add further to the confusion that is springtime layering, never leave your neck bare of a scarf. Yes, the accessory of spring is one typically relegated to staving off the winter chill. However, this season, the scarf is a gossamer slither of fabric, so steer clear of anything knitted or remotely overbearing. Wear nonchalantly slung over your shoulders a la Tommy Hilfiger SS15, knotted as at Saint Laurent SS15 or as a neckerchief like those seen at Coach SS15.Though we can’t argue with you that pairing shades and a scarf is rather odd, we suggest you revel in the contradiction that is springtime layering. After all, no one ever said that fashion had to make sense. [LEAD IMAGE: L-R: Dries Van Noten SS15, COS, Saint Laurent SS15]