In this strangest of years, you’d be forgiven for thinking that autumn/winter 2020 trends have become obsolete. After all, events have been cancelled, we’re working from home and we’re socialising online. However, if one item of clothing can perfectly sum up the season’s ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go’ mood, it’s the new day dress.
While glamour certainly isn’t off the table – we just need to take one glance at Chanel’s choux pastry puff sleeves or Tom Ford’s glistening gowns to see the optimism for an exuberant festive season – the day dress in question sauntered down many a runway in March, elevated from the usual throw-on-and-go styles to sophisticated silhouettes for all occasions. Think playful prints, a smorgasbord of accessories and styles to suit most body types, this is a return to elegance in a more upbeat manner.
“Although dressing up means something different now, there are still opportunities to wear something a bit more glamorous,” explains Natalie Kingham, buying director at MatchesFashion. “As our customer spends more time at home, they are taking a more effortless approach to dressing up, and that is where day dresses from brands such as Kalita and SIR work so well – comfortable, elegant and perfect for a more relaxed occasion.”
Gone are the days of an acid-washed denim jacket thrown over a simple floral dress and ballet pumps. Proof can be seen at Chloé, where Natacha Ramsay-Levi paired high-collared feminine dresses with heavy black military boots, or at Altuzarra, where models stormed down the catwalk in graceful floral shirt dresses inspired by Joseph Altuzarra’s Chinese heritage. “Romantic dresses provide an element ofescapism and are an evolution of the easy, throw-on-and-godresses we have become so accustomed to,” adds Kingham. “They feel nostalgic and uplifting but at the same time are modern and sophisticated.”
If the romantic vibe isn’t your thing, then look to Isabel Marant,whose ’80s-inspired day dresses came crafted in mutedcolours and oversized silhouettes. Her trademark styling trick,in which a belt is used to cinch-in voluminous jackets, was in full effect here too, teamed with dominating bags held as clutches for extra style points. If you’re insistent on dressing up, Celine’s sumptuous gold day dresses were minimalist in shape yet given a Studio 54 makeover with metallic materials and statement ruffles – the best of both worlds.
It’s this versatility of the day dress that is making it so popular right now, says Kingham. “There are different interpretations of the day dress that can appeal to many different personal styles, whether you opt for a dreamier style from Cecilie Bahnsen or prefer a more minimal lookfrom brands such as Co, or Three Graces.” And that’s before adding accessories, which will take you from day to night with the switch of a shoe.
“Style with a chunky boot for amodern look, a hiking sandal or pair of trainers for somethingmore casual, or if you want to feel more elegant, you could pair with some fine jewellery and a pair of ballerina flats. The beauty of these types of dresses is that they can be dressed up or down so easily, which fits perfectly into ourcustomers’ lifestyle right now.” Sounds like just what we need.