Once, in the vague past, say all the way back to 2010, if you were not dressed to the hilt, you were a nobody on the front row of a fashion show. Eveningwear was quite conventional at 9am, fashion design was a major deal, and 5in heels were the least possible obligation. Forward to the autumn/winter 2013 shows. Fashion editors ran from one show to another wearing high-top trainer, while the unpretentious sweatshirt was favored over any ball gown. Fashion has relaxed, and you can forgo the extreme high heels and evening dresses. AirMax trainers, and Givenchy sweatshirts are now the A list items and the tomboy – as illuminated by Cara Delevingne – has replaced glamorous as the feminine epitome.
Replacing the space left open by ostentation comes skater trends. Surf style was in fashion a couple of seasons ago, now it’s the time for urban fashion. The trend goes back to the questionable fashion revolution of the skater shoe (a slip-on first created by Vans), thanks in part to Phoebe Philo at Céline last year. Top fashion designers Thomas Tait and Richard Nicoll gather muse from the urban fashion that encompasses skate this season, showing sportswear shapes, bursts of neon, skater inspired shorts and boxy tees are featured in their collections. On the high street, Topshop and Asos have incorporated the look and Sandro has teamed up with photographer Hugh Holland, who exalted the 70’s California skaters in his book, “Locals Only”.
Look for the skater look to follow into the fall shows as Hood By Air was the sizzling show at New York fashion week. Top fashion designers, Stella McCartney presented silk separates showing skaters performing tricks in the print and Giambattista Valli, the utmost lady like brand showing skater shoes in the loveliest pink to match the gowns.
While hoodies, trainers, bold logos, and baggy silhouettes have been the attire of skaters and urban fashion for years, it’s the first time since the 90s when an asexual style was in favor and top fashion women’s wear has embraced them. “I have all these beautiful Alaia dresses in my closet but I haven’t pulled one out in a while,” says Yasmin Sewell, retail consultant and fashion blogger favourite. “I’m much more drawn to great trousers and an oversized T-shirt.” The fashion way of wearing skate style differs from the way skaters wear it, of course. Sewell’s is worn with a heel while Vogue’s style editor Emma Elwick-Bates wears Vans for evening “with skinny tux trousers or a long sequin skirt. To paraphrase the Dogtown boarders,” she says. “I like to ‘cultivate an air of unpredictability’.”
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