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SS17 key trend: Drawstring drama

Sandra Halliday
11 October 2016

Parachute styling. Big in the 80s and making comeback every few years ever since. Well it’s back again for SS17 and in a season when the 80s are very much on our minds (with all those big shoulders and almost-ra-ra skirts, how could they not be?) it’s clear the ‘new’ parachute styling owes more to the Dallas and Dynasty decade than it does to the grungy utility looks of the 90s. So think dramatic, not dressed down.

The 80s had a way of taking every utility look and making it faintly (or totally) glam. So in the 80s spirit, SS17 gives us volume pulled in and shaped by parachute drawstrings to define waists, shape shoulders, reveal (or conceal) legs or simply add interest to details like pockets. The cuts on the runway were undeniably complex but translated to high street level, they’ll be simpler.

At times, the look leaves its functional roots behind and simply morphs into ruching, which should be a key look come party season next year (but let’s hope it doesn't morph further into the tackiest 80s extremes). The detail completely transforms skirts and slips and works well in shimmer fabrics as well as silk taffetas or synthetics and - of course - parachute silks.

Of course, there’s a subtle side to it too. You can simply forget drama and choose casual instead to get a hint of the look. In that case, avoid ultra ruching and just add a drawstring to a casual jacket, a pair of trousers, a skirt, a dress, a sleeve cuff, a hood. Plenty of designers did that on the runways last month and showed just how versatile a drawstring can be, whether performing a task or just sat there as a decorative detail.

And although this is a summer season, outerwear is never far from the top of the priority list, especially in markets like the UK, Northern US and Northern Europe. If you’re looking to update a summer raincoat, or help the parka to move on, decorative and functional drawstring details are a gift.

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