Fashion is never complete without a round-up of sorts, and the end of 2011 is perhaps the best time to do so. As always, fashion trends came and went, with some making more of a lasting impact than those that fizzled out as quickly as it became popular. From intricate antique lace detailing to the clunky “flatform”, and to the new skirt length – the midi – here are the top 10 trends from 2011.
SEEN AT: Jil Sander, Prabal Gurung, Gucci, DKNY, Preen, Diane von Furstenburg, Lanvin
The basic rule of this trend is simple; take two (or more, three is ideal) contrasting shades and wear them together in one outfit. Most brands channelled audacious pairings, with Gucci going for rich jewel shades like aubergine alongside turquoise and tangerine for its Spring/Summer showing. Jil Sander also gave this trend a new lease of life in a decidedly fun way, adding exaggerated peplums and flouncy pants to the candy-bright shades it adopted on its Spring/Summer runway.
SEEN AT: Chloe, Derek Lam, Christian Dior, D&G, Jil Sander, Lacoste
The fashion cues from the hey-days of the 1970s really made waves in 2011, but the most prominent influence from the decade on the runways belonged to wide-legged floor sweeping pants. Worn with flatforms (see trend no. 10) or wedges, these wide-legged pants (also called palazzo pants) went either extremes in the use of fabric. Chloe, D&G and Derek Lam opted for denim while Christian Dior, Jil Sander and Lacoste picked a softer silk or satin material for their take on the Bianca Jagger-worthy pants.
SEEN AT: Blumarine, Just Cavalli, Burberry Prorsum, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Salvatore Ferragamo
Animal prints continued to dominate the runways this year, with leopard and reptile prints coming to the fore. At Givenchy, the leopard prints were blown-up and magnified; while at Blumarine they were reinvented in shades of blue, orange and pink. Over at Burberry, the animalistic slant was obvious, with reptile skin biker jackets worn over edgy leopard print dresses. An interesting take on the trend belonged to Louis Vuitton, which chose to go for an off-kilter version of the zebra print by dousing them in zany neon colours.
SEEN AT: Jason Wu, Rodarte, Theyskens Theory, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Richard Chai, Marc Jacobs
Loose, gauzy see-through pieces seen on the runways this year transformed the skin-baring trend of 2010 into something quite different and subtly sexy. From semi-sheer maxi skirts to décolletage-exposing tops and to full out sheer dresses worn with a slip, the trend was kept low-key and minimalistic in neutral shades of sand, crème, white and black, at times with feminine details like lace, especially on the Fall/Winter runways at Jason Wu and Rodarte.
SEEN AT: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenburg, Proenza Schouler, Moschino Cheap & Chic, Fendi, Gucci, Jonathan Saunders
Significantly more practical than the maxi skirt which was all the rage last year, this year’s midi skirt seemed to reference the inclination towards classic, ladylike dressing all designers were feeling. Designers such as Marc Jacobs worked the midi skirt into both his labels, showing a softer, more youthful style at Marc by Marc Jacobs, and a tighter, pencil skirt-like silhouette for Marc Jacobs. Proenza Schouler however, worked the midi trend in a slightly different angle, making it a calf-length printed silk dress instead of a skirt.
SEEN AT: Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabanna, Louis Vuitton, Collette Dinnigan, Diane von Furstenburg, Paul Smith
Another print that caught everybody’s eye is the humble polka dot. The polka dot trend for 2011 kept mostly to its whimsical and dainty roots, appearing in the traditional navy or black-and-white variety. At Stella McCartney, circular discs were McCartney’s unique interpretation of the trend, while abstract blue and black dot patterns shone on the Fall/Winter Collette Dinnigan runway. Generally however, tiny, petite dots prevailed, as seen on the Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Paul Smith runways.
SEEN AT: BCBG Max Azria, Jason Wu, Emilio Pucci, Erdem, Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino
Lace has always been on the periphery of fashion trends, but this year, it finally hit the spotlight, with big names championing the oft-ignored pattern. This time, it took on a more delicate nature, think antique Chantilly lace as seen at Jason Wu and Bottega Veneta, or as all-white, romantic styles that Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino put down the runways. The biggest proponent of this trend however, had to be style icon of 2011, Kate Middleton, who showed her love for lace both on her wedding day and also on her first royal trip overseas, where she stepped out in a navy Erdem number.
SEEN AT: Fendi, Gucci, Moschino, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, Loewe, Louis Vuitton
Move over oversized bags, small cross-body bags were all the rage for 2011. Hardly big enough to put anything more than a few key essentials, these were cutely available in bright, bold summery shades and had a distinct 1960s vintage vibe, like those from Louis Vuitton, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Gucci and Diane von Furstenburg. Straps were also kept deliberately long and sometimes non-adjustable, like the chain and leather straps on Chanel’s Boy bag, so that they had to be worn across the body instead of only on one side.
SEEN AT: Chloe, Balenciaga,Celine,3.1 Phillip Lim, Jill Stuart, Marni, Fendi, Loewe
Leather jackets fell out of favour on the runways this year, with leather turning up instead on shift dresses, body-con skirts, city shorts and tunic tops. While Celine and Marni’s leather craftsmen managed to somehow make the unwieldy fabric cut a nice, clean shape on models’ figures, 3.1 Phillip Lim went down the slightly easier route and chose instead to focus on leather sleeves in his Fall/Winter 2011 show. This trend really pervaded the market, with various labels churning out variations on the leather-sleeved top or dress.
SEEN AT: Prada, Chanel, Michael Kors, Derek Lam, Vena Cava, Band of Outsiders, Karen Walker
The term “flatforms” was coined in 2011 when these shoes, a hybrid of the platform and flats, appeared all over the Spring runways. They caught on almost instantly, because these gave women some height, without sacrificing on walkability. Most flatforms consisted of a wooden base, like those seen at Vena Cava, Michael Kors and Band of Outsiders but the one flatform that was on everyone’s wish list (and later replicated everywhere) were the Prada brogue flatforms that literally took the fashion world by storm.
- 10 hottest fashion trends
- 3.1 Phillip Lim
- animal prints
- Band of Outsiders
- bcbg max azria
- bottega veneta
- Burberry Prorsum
- christian dior
- Collette Dinnigan
- colour blocking
- cross-body bags
- derek lam
- diane von furstenburg
- Dolce & Gabbana
- emilio pucci
- jason wu
- jil sander
- jill stuart
- jonathan saunders
- just cavalli
- karen walker
- louis vuitton
- marc by marc jacobs
- marc jacobs
- michael kors
- Moschino Cheap & Chic
- paul smith
- Polka dots
- prabal gurung
- proenza schouler
- richard chai
- salvatore ferragamo
- Stella McCartney
- theyskens' theory
- Top 10 Fashion Trends of 2011
- vena cava
- Wide-legged pants