Go Mad For Maximalism
Any woman who favors patterned, embellished and colorful clothing may have experienced a sense of dread when reviewing past seasons' collections -- namely that she and her closet of high-decibel clothing were about to be flushed right out of fashion's in-crowd.
I can relate. As a lifelong maximalist dresser, I'm more comfortable in noisy clothes than I am in well-mannered uniforms that whisper. At times I have felt like an endangered species -- or at least a very exotic one.
But then the 2014 spring collections happened. Suddenly, it seemed as if every brand was proposing clothing that shouted even more loudly than anything my maximalist sisters and I would consider wearing. Even Celine's Phoebe Philo -- the woman who re-birthed minimalism for 21st-century women -- pushed rasta-bright graffiti prints and pieces like a lemon-yellow belted coat covered with splashes of royal blue.
'It's decoration pushed almost to the edge of kitsch,' said Paula Reed, creative director of online retailer Mytheresa. 'It's all about color, detail and decoration. There's a baroque feeling for fabric and texture that we haven't had around for a while.'
The band of forward-thinking London-based labels that pioneered the dizzying digital print over the last five years turned its energies to textile innovation this season. Christopher Kane pierced his acid-hued lace dresses with PVC-framed teardrop cutouts; Peter Pilotto overlaid his abstract-print skirts with colored floral lace; and Mary Katrantzou iced her eye-popping printed fabric with sugary tufts of crystal and ribbon embroidery.
In Milan and Paris, hardly a piece of clothing wasn't made of blindingly shiny lame, printed with lively motifs or scattered with winking jewels and crystals. Or so it seemed. If all that embellishment wasn't bold enough, Miuccia Prada offered wild intarsia mink coats emblazoned with childlike rainbows and painterly faces borrowed from mural artists. Elsewhere, she affixed hunks of crystal beading to bustier tops that were worn layered over mural-print dresses.
Marni designer Consuelo Castiglioni generously covered her bomber jackets and neat pencil skirts with huge, crunchy 3-D stone embroideries. 'I still like clean and geometric shapes,' said Ms. Castiglioni, who has leaned toward sharp silhouettes and unadorned fabrics for the past few seasons. 'But I like the unexpected touch of decoration, details or accessories.' She added: '[With maximalism], there's a much greater joy and energy to the clothes.'
Fun factor aside, the reality is that richly detailed clothes look rich. That's a point not lost on designers who continuously battle the relentless churn of look-for-less copycats. 'Designers are trying to make ready-to-wear feel like a proper luxury offering,' said Mytheresa's Ms. Reed.
At Celine, Ms. Philo -- arguably the most copied designer in the industry -- attempted to foil the knockoff artists with a cacophony of striped micro-pleat skirts, tunics painted with colorful brush strokes, leather booties with silver orb heels, primary-hue-painted bracelets and colorful leather bags with metal portholes. Sometimes all in a single look. But if such an ensemble gave even me pause, what effect will it have on the Celine faithful and other similarly low-key ladies with closets full of neutrals?
They could certainly always temper the excess. 'I would pair a printed skirt from Celine or Chanel with a plain belted cashmere sweater to tone it down,' said Caroline Issa, the London-based stylist and editor who is known to sport classic ensembles with a single striking element. 'For me, it's about pieces rather than a full look.'
In fact, there are many ways to inject bits of the season's exuberance into an otherwise sober outfit: Layer a zany printed Kenzo shirt under a tailored pantsuit; hang one of Rochas's eccentric crystal-encrusted coats over a pale slip dress; or wear Marc Jacobs's jet-bead-strung leaf-print tunic with a simple black midi-length skirt.
'It's a good time to punctuate your outfit with details,' Ms. Issa said. 'But you won't find me wearing it head to toe.'
“这种装饰几乎迫近媚俗的边缘，”在线零售商Mytheresa 的创意总监葆拉·里德(Paula Reed)说。“重点全部都在色彩、细节和装饰。面料和质感都是我们许久未见的巴洛克风。”
那些富有远见的伦敦品牌过去五年里都致力于开发炫目的数码印花，这一季则将精力投向了面料的革新。克里斯托弗·凯恩(Christopher Kane)给酸染蕾丝连衣裙加上了水滴形的镂空剪裁，并用PVC镶边；彼得·皮洛托(Peter Pilotto)在他的抽象印花裙上加了彩色花朵蕾丝；玛丽·卡特兰佐(Mary Katrantzou)在她抢眼的印花面料上加入了成片的糖果色水晶和丝带绣。
玛尼(Marni)的设计师孔苏埃洛·卡斯蒂廖尼(Consuelo Castiglioni)大手笔地在短夹克及简洁的铅笔裙上覆盖了大块叮当作响的3D珠绣。“我依然喜欢简洁的几何形剪裁”，卡斯蒂廖尼说。她在前几季更倾向于清晰的轮廓和 素的面料。“但是我也喜欢装饰、细节和配饰所带来的新鲜感。”她还说：“极繁主义之下，时装有了更多的趣味和能量。”
事实上，想要在 素的造型中加入本季的繁复单品有很多方法：在合身的西服西裤套装里搭配一件有趣的高田贤三(Kenzo)印花衬衫；将罗莎(Rochas)缀有水晶的外套搭在浅色吊带裙外面；或者把马克·雅各布(Marc Jacobs)黑色串珠树叶印花上衣与简单的黑色中长裙装相搭配。