Resort 17 trends – Dresses: the three key shapes

Dresses Resort 17

The dress is a staple of the summer season but for next Spring three clear shapes emerged from the Resort 17 collections that can be adapted to suit a range of age profiles, occasions and price points. Trend expert Sandra Halliday take us through her power trio.

Dress for success: The new power trio 

There are three key dress directions that go from ultra-full and get progressively body-conscious, although bodycon as most of us know it largely off the agenda.

SS16’s favourite, the slip dress, is still with us, of course, and looks set to retain the commercial spotlight for some time yet. But newer (and surprisingly versatile) is the volume trapeze. Found at all lengths, it’s all about masses of material and for the most part, fluid fabrics. It’s also a great vehicle for pre-summer’s multiple print directions. But while these collections are labelled pre-summer, this trend plays out perfectly for a high summer dress edit and also feeds into a beach cover-up collection.

Designers have also created a more formal version of the volume trapeze with heavier materials and more structure. Cut shorter, this version is more likely to come in a solid colour or colour-blocked, perhaps with hem detail such as asymmetry or a simple frill or insert, it offers an alternative to the classic shift for formal/occasion dressing.

Next up for our power trio is the waisted dress. A strong option for warm weather formalwear, it also comes in some surprisingly casual incarnations with gentle gathers or elastication at the waist offering up a comfortable take on the trend. Either way, this is great vehicle for the season’s key knotted belt. Ballerina-length or knee-length, it’s the full skirt/fitted bodice that’s key to the look. But there is an alternative, a slimmer-cut dress with a hint of 1930s influence that’s a strong option as part of a careerwear offer.

Number three on our dresses hit list has a more youthful edge linking the sexiness of a fitted mini with the sporty vibe of Fred Perry styling, with military-influenced colour panelling or jeanswear-influenced white cottons. These dresses look great with vertiginous heels but will also be worn with pre-season’s heavier flat stomp boots or practical sandals. Think of this look as key for the boohoo.com or River Island shopper as much as the woman who buys her clothes from Versace or Louis Vuitton.

Image credit: L to R: Fendi, Delpozo, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Bally, Fendi, Elizabeth and James, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Diesel Black Gold

Read more Resort 17 Trend Reports

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Jackets: the bomber and biker go into battle

Ankle boots: the key updates

Details: a frill a minute

Trends: designers say Relax!