Spring/Summer 2017: This season’s stunning styles are going au naturel

Spring / Summer 2017

Spring and summer give the world’s most iconic fashion brands the chance to show off their latest styles. Taking the uncertainty of 2017 head on, the overriding theme this season is a bold return to nature. A riot of brash, vibrant colours are craftily incorporated into floral, nautical and tropical themes to create alluring combinations. Overtures of sportiness and the healthy glow of the great outdoors are also thrown into the mix, making for lively, enchanting ensembles.
This is also the first time one of our full-length fashion features also caters to the Gafencu woman. Hopefully these fresh creations will be a source of thrilling fashion inspiration!



Sporty and colourful are the buzz words that best describe Boss’s latest line-up. Described as an “athleisure” collection, the outfits are versatile and functional while retaining a fashionable aesthetic that would be perfect for watching a tennis match or heading to the beach. Some silhouettes are fluid with loose layers, while others are tapered for a more feminine look. This laidback style is delivered through a range of elements: internal drawstrings, adjustable straps, colour-contrast pleats, fabric belts and mesh layers. Each piece is beachy and vibrant, with dominant colours of electric blue, scarlet and forest green.


Bottega Veneta’s new Spring/Summer 2017 collection is a hark back to languid 1940s silhouettes. Charactersied by full pants and accentuated by soft-tailored outerwear, the line-up exudes an air of lush casual style with precise geometric patterns. The colour palette has a sophisticated earthy allure to it with saturated shades of green, grey, brown, burgundy and purple set against more neutral tones of stone and plaster, and crafted in materials that include matte and patent leathers, sturdy linens, cotton blends and sueded or coated cotton. Accessories include suede or crocodile saddle shoes and lace-ups in washed calf leather.


Cerruti continues to embrace a strong brand identity and the new Spring/Summer 2017 line is a clear evolution of its idea of masculine relaxed elegance. The collection is a creative balance of chic sportswear and innovative knitwear that exude a sense of refined passion and modern timelessness, through soft cuts and voluminous fabric.
New this season is the addition of a denim collection with a sportier and more casual feel. Accessories for the line-up include canvas and leather bags in camo-foliage motif as well as derby style shoes with crepe or white micro soles and hand-burnished leather sandals.


Chanel’s new collection is one that “allies the audacity of lingerie and the comfort of tweed,” according to the iconic French label. The house – headed up by the omnipresent Karl Lagerfeld – also had the audacity to create hitherto unlikely pairings, like tweed suits with baseball caps worn sideways. Chanel, one of the most classic labels, has suddenly become a lot more modern. It is also a decidedly colourful collection, with splashes of blue, red, yellow and neon pink. One standout piece is a provocative dress in a dazzling print resembling strobe lights; the dress splits at the waist to reveal a sheer, lacy slip underneath.


As Dior’s artistic director, Maria Grazia Chiuri  can’t get enough of translucent dresses and fluffy tulle skirts. If Carrie Bradshaw weren’t just a fictional character from Sex and the City, she would be all over this collection. The pieces aren’t all soft around the edges, though. Delicate, feminine elements are given a stylish edge when paired with a red leather jacket, or calf-high sneaker boots. Undergarments that sport self-referencing puns, like “j’adior,” are confidently shown off underneath sheer, silky skirts and dresses. Jackets inspired by the sport of fencing and the zodiac are also featured in the designer’s debut collection.


If Frida Kahlo, a drum major and a 1950s housewife got together and brainstormed a line of clothing, it may look something like Dolce & Gabbana’s latest collection. Playful and vibrant, this collection puts the fun back into fashion. Said to be inspired by the tropics, it also has distinctly Italian motifs, as seen in pieces imprinted with images of pizza, pasta, kitchen utensils, cannoli and what appears to be Roman Catholic patron saints. The range of styles is equally diverse. Girly, vintage-style sundresses, militaristic jackets, drum-shaped bags, flower headdresses and modern T-shirts are all thrown into the mix.


The pink glittery runway was the first sign that Elie Saab’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection would be a bedazzling spectacle. Eye-catching ensembles in tulle, lurex, leather and silk mousseline carry an electric energy that would not feel out of place on a discotheque dance floor or at a trendy gala. One standout piece, a metallic gold pantsuit, was paired with a blouse and bag in a technicoloured print. Of course, it wouldn’t be a star-studded occasion without some stars in the collection, making an appearance on appliqués, embroidery and prints. Sexy, shimmering gowns take on a more rebellious, urban look when paired with a matching ball cap.


The Ermenegildo Zegna Spring/Summer 2017 line is a breath of fresh spring air. Drawing on inspiration from the 50s, the collection is the epitome of Italian savoir faire and is ideal for the gentleman who appreciates the importance of personal style. Casual and classic, the line incorporates a range of unique fabrics, from seersucker, hopsack, ottoman and etamine to pure silks, hemps and light leather and suede. Awash in an earthy cinematic colour palette of tobacco brown, mauve, burgundy and blues with accents of ivory white, the collection has an unmistakeable air of timeless elegance.


Leave it to designer Karl Lagerfeld to find a way to work nautical stripes, colourful sock booties and feminine floral patterns into Fendi’s latest collection. Somehow, these disparate elements pair well together to create a seamless finish. In several of the looks on display, lingerie plays an integral role in the overall outfit. One-piece bodysuits and bralettes coquettishly peek out from sheer skirts, aprons and ribbon-tied gowns. Floral and bow appliqués on trousers and trench coats lend a delicate touch to the collection. Athletic touches can also be seen in Fendi’s striped knit sweaters and trainers laced with grosgrain ribbon.


Blue hues, tranquil prints and flowing silhouettes are spotlighted in Giorgio Armani’s newest collection, which was inspired by the world’s rich ethnic heritages. These influences are evident in the sarong skirts and trousers made from diaphanous veils. From a distance, the pieces appear to flow like water when the models set into motion, thanks to the harmonious mélange of blues and purples and maritime-themed floral prints. Armani finds the perfect balance between reserved and provocative, creating pieces that unveil the body only to cover it again.


Each piece of Givenchy’s latest collection is distinctly feminine, inspired by the spirituality of nature. “Women are fighting for power, not only in America, but everywhere in the world,” said Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci. “So I wanted to do something more sensual and more powerful, and for me, that’s tied to nature.” Whereas last year’s collection featured black-and-white pieces, this year, vibrant colours straight from nature are on display. Jersey and silk feature prominently in this collection, which includes sleek pantsuits and multi-layered dresses in playful prints and polka dots.


Emblazoned with the logo “Modern Culture,” the new Gucci collection is a wonderful potpourri of cultures and references, thrown together with almost reckless abandon to create a feeling of foreign fantasy and escapism. A magical scrambling of place and time sees a variety of patterns, embroideries and references all represented in luxurious fabrics and whimsical colours. Aesthetically striking, the collection teases visions of 13th century China mixed with futuristic urban glamour. To pigeon hole this collection with a theme would be to do it injustice, such is its sense of adventure.


Showing how to perfectly execute high couture, this Hermès collection once again emphasises the artistic talent behind the French fashion giant. With the smallest hint of 80s power dressing, each look is designed to accentuate, predominantly through the tailored waistlines. Oversized coats, flared trousers and defined shoulder lines give the collection a work-wear feel, although bold hues and tassels add an element of playfulness. Stand-out looks include a smocked waist trench coat in fuchsia paired with a full body suit in silk knit, plus an imperial lemon-yellow dress with silk cigaline.


On Lanvin’s most recent collection, Bouchra Jarrar, the brand’s creative director, says, “I’ve been exploring paths of sensuality and intimacy. I love to dress women, to reveal themselves to themselves, to sublime them.” Little wonder, then, that the collection is a harmoniously beautiful ensemble that manages to both subvert and beguile. The fabrics speak for themselves: dipped lambskin, lacquered fur, silk chiffon and organza, to name a few. A nod to the androgynous trend – namely with a long pinstriped robe and tuxedo pairing – keeps things decidedly current.


There’s a distinctive look about Loewe’s new collection: tribal. Dramatically executed, the overall effect is one of rich culture and feminine silhouettes. The theatrical, voluminous designs come in the form of balloon blouses and peasant shirts with wide-cut sleeves, while futuristic touches are found in the bold, brightly-hued accessories. Alongside sit tassels, lace, fringing and ruffles. It is the attention to fabric that creates authenticity, though. The formidable inventory includes linen, burlap, patchwork, nylon, cotton, jersey, plissé and leather. The jewellery, which features a beautiful ceramic necklace, adds the finishing touch.


No city is more fitting for one of France’s finest fashion houses than Paris, where Louis Vuitton unveiled its new collection. Held on iconic Place Vendôme, fittingly home to the brand’s newest flagship store, the collection sought to capture the very essence of Parisian glamour. Showcasing sophistication with attitude, the brand’s elegant tailoring is reminiscent of its previous collections, notably the bold cut-outs. With loosely clinched waists, statement prints and the occasional hint of military precision, each garment exudes a certain je ne sais quoi. Glitzy fabrics add a surprise touch of glam rock.


Romantic yet sultry, enigmatic yet flirty – these are just some of the contrasts Michael Kors’ latest collection evokes. Ultimately, the pieces pay tribute to the season, with pretty floral patterns boldly printed on many garments. Complemented by elaborate embroidered flowers, the colour palette is decidedly timely: Tangerine, aqua and azalea are all featured. Fluid, floating dresses, casual trousers and peek-a-boo, split-thigh skirts contrast with clinched waists, trench coats and pullovers. Off-duty wear comes in the form of a crop top and midi skirt combo, while a fitted black dress is a red-carpet-worthy affair.


Heavily inspired by the nomadic lifestyle of a seasoned traveller, the new Roberto Cavalli collection is best described as rock n’ roll chic with a libertarian nod to the 70s. The luxurious line-up is permeated with artisanal influences such as Japanese kimonos, Moroccan djebellas, embroidered tunics, ponchos, clogs, Turkish bath cloths, washed and patch-worked denim and fringed leather jackets.
“It’s an iconic rock star’s wardrobe,” explained designer Peter Dundas. Indeed the collection is ideal for the man or woman with a true sense of personal style and a desire for adventure and the uninhibited spirit of excess.


“The end of the journey coincides with the start. It is women, represented in the plural: as individuals, not characters. A punk idea of humanism.” This is how Valentino enigmatically describes its new collection, in a nod to both traditional style and contemporary flair. The looks summarise this ethos, with floating, 20s-esque dresses, embellished with beaded detail, featured alongside provocatively transparent 90s-era gothic gowns. There’s a definite Edwardian theme too, thanks to high necklines and empress cuts, but this is interspersed with loose, cargo-cut trousers and wide, prairie sleeves. The effect is one of nostalgic and ephemeral grace.


Versace’s new collection has upped the style stakes once again, with feisty athleticism reigning supreme. Outdoor wear features heavily, with anoraks, nylon pockets, sportswear-style tees and flat-form sandals a common theme. The confidence of each outfit, from the hues of deep purple and rich green, to the billowing, oversized hoods, keeps things vibrant, as does the occasional splash of asymmetric print. It’s also versatile: A figure-hugging pencil skirt and crop top pairing could be worn around town, while a more demure high-necked, drop-waist pleat dress is an office-worthy look.

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