Previous seasons introduced a host of metallics on the runway. Isabel Marant showed metallic skirts, jackets and pants back in Fall 2010. Balmain mixed heavily studded motorcycle styles with metallic red and silver leather trousers in Spring 2011. Models accessorized with shiny metallic silver loafers, sandals and clutches at Alexander Wang’s Fall 2011 show. In the prior season, Wang printed copper foil on some of his dresses and knits. However, this season, metallics dominated the runways across the board.
Gold reigned over many runways this season. The newly appointed Olivier Rousteing showed gold encrusted jackets and shirts at his first show for Balmain. He referenced toreador costuming and the “glamour of Vegas” with intricately embroidered and foiled styles. Paul & Joe featured plenty of lurex and gold leather in the form of shirts, pants, and skirts in Sophie Albou’s luxury-inspired collection. Gold held an obvious importance at the Topshop Unique show that referenced “the glamour and opulence of ancient Egypt” and Cleopatra. Gold was liberally printed on tunics, lined jackets and colored up hoodies, shorts and bustiers. Gucci showed lavish gold beaded pieces, but the showstoppers were Frida Giannini’s gold beaded flapper dresses. Gold wasn’t always limited to the clothes either. Even eyelids were foiled with gold leaf at Fendi.
Gold was not the only foil, but silver and copper made appearances as well. Sarah Burton showed an abundance of gold and silver lace confections at Alexander McQueen. She also featured copper, silver and gold Fortuny-pleated organza to mimic sunken treasure in her oceanic themed show. Alessandra Facchinetti used silver piping and pocket flaps on otherwise simple military shirts at Uniqueness. Marc Jacobs broke up his mostly white silhouettes with silver accented shoes at Louis Vuitton. Silvery painted python squares were pieced together at Paco Rabanne to form the most intricate dresses of the future.
The most exciting use of metallics was the iridescent metallics that surfaced this season. Manish Arora’s Paco Rabanne showed a multitude of iridescent organza dresses that took the breath away. Iridescent metallics were laser cut into tanks at Theyskens’ Theory. Olivier Theyskens also cropped leather pants and treated them with a holographic film to effect a cool futuristic, but insouciant, neo-grunge look. Sophia Kokosalaki showed green foiled iridescent pieces to add extra edge to her collection, which shared the runway with gold and silver metallic looks as well.
These metallics will integrate seamlessly with any winter/pre-spring wardrobe and provide a great antidote to the florals also taking spring. As metallics are timeless and any investment in metallics will provide wear for years to come. Most of all, they add an edge and some fun to any look so don’t just leave this look to the runway. That would ruin the fun.