Trend Report: Tough Exteriors

4 min read

Coperni Spring Summer 2024

Words Graciela Martin

Photos: Spotlight/Launchmetrics

Gone are the days when metal armour was donned for battle and jousting tournaments. Today, brands and designers are moving beyond traditional styles, embracing extravagant hard shells, robust corsetry, and chainmail-inspired looks reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

The modern version of this trend has been developing over time. Notably, Jonathan Anderson’s SS22 collection featured dreamy, sculptural metal shapes. Meanwhile, Ford’s Spring 2020 collection included glossy breastplates that adorned models like futuristic versions of Roman or Greek gladiator armour. This style quickly gained popularity; Zendaya donned a pink version at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards, breaking the internet (as usual!)

Moreover, the trend has been amplified by the endorsement of A-listers over the past years. Take for example Elle Fanning, who sported a Balmain Spring 2022 embellished link crop top at the 2021 InStyle Awards, who other than Kim Kardashian making a statement with a Schiaparelli corset gown resembling ab-clad body armour for a pandemic Christmas in 2020.

Loewe Spring Summer 2022

Does this trend serve as a metaphor for shielding oneself from a harsh world or does it mirror our current turbulent times? Either way, it delves into the fascination with body armour, a choice that demands courage.

This year, designers have ventured into diverse approaches, from toughly crafted corsets at Balmain and Alexander McQueen to exaggerated proportions at Duran Latnik and, naturally, chain mail at Paco Rabanne.

Here MOJEH takes a look at some of the most striking catwalk proposals for the Spring and Fall seasons of 2024