Dress-over-pants…, seems like a complete out of the box concept, but is gaining immense popularity with designers lately. The recently concluded Resort 2017 runways shed light over this trend as being one of the top fashion styles. As an ideal transitional piece, long and lean silhouettes have continued being major fashion influencers since the last few seasons, and dress-over-pants is the next level of this long on long silhouette trend. Tunics, midis, maxis, long dresses with slits were always the unrecognized heroes of traditional dressing, but with extended overlapping between summer and winter, these styles have paired with varied types of trousers giving out an experimental look which is popular with the buyers as well. Aware of the trend, exporters in India are also running parallel and are developing dresses with pants in distinct ways…
Taking inspiration from previous Spring/Summer fashion trends of long on long silhouettes, designers have transferred the same into their Resort 2017 seasonal collections as well. Ensuring that the dress is matched with distinct pant styles, the makers keep an eye on every single detailing. The emergence of this ‘dress-over-pants’ fashion also proves that the ’90s mania from the summers has not yet died; making us witness runways full of layered separates. The layered look has been a popular trend in recent years, and this season, trendsetters are taking it a bold step further with the dress-over-pants.
Speaking of dresses, the interpretation of a dress-over-pants isn’t just for mini dresses. Midi dress with skinny jeans, or slim-fitting trousers, a knee-length dress with cropped denim, etc. are major versions as well. As what is trending now, designers are choosing longer hems that sit just above the knee or midi lengths for a street style edge. Neutral shades like black, white, camel, khaki, navy, or grey are the most utilized colours for this trend. Long shirt-dress in solid neutral worn over skinnies is extra-sophisticated with an even longer coat.
Opting for the dress-over-pants fashion means you have to think of the proportion. Designers and exporters put a major concentration on this point while working on this trend. A mini or short dress that hits around mid-thigh is paired with slim-cut trousers to create a balanced silhouette. Another silhouette catching maximum popularity is the maxi dress with streamlined pants. Vijay Sanon, Proprietor, A.P. Handicrafts says, “A maxi with very high slit that extends above the waistline is the best choice for creating flow and lighter effect.”
Jil Sander, Peter Som, and Chanel championed the skirts-over-pants trend on the Spring runways, and now designers like ALC, Cedric Charlier, Ellery and Osmantook the look to the Resort collections as well. The dresses of varied lengths are paired with jeans, culottes, leggings, pyjama pants, etc. Some designers are also making conscious efforts to make matching sets out of this trend to continue with the head-to-toe fashion trend from previous seasons.
Speaking of proportion, skinny jeans or jeggings make the best match for most dresses. Other slim-fit trousers such as linen pants, cigarette pants, crop pants, even yoga pants look neat with mini-dresses, midis or dresses with asymmetrical hemlines. Tunics teamed with straight pants, jeggings, and funky tights have turned into all-in-ones. Christopher Kane and Alexander Wang opted for elegant maxi versions in silk with a slit with denims underneath. Shalini Singh, Assistant Merchandiser, Joyline, a buying house dealing with brands across US and Europe, avers, “High-low asymmetric hems gave a new twist to the dresses and were later more accentuated by slim fit trousers.” Rebecca Taylor layered her printed body-con dress with a patched denim version keeping the look casual, whereas, Suno went for cropped denim culottes with an off-shoulder checked dress.
Culottes in different lengths and varied guises are entering the industry to suit the sartorial styles of women…, and if the trend is demanding getting layered with dresses, then why not? Cendric Charlier showcased denim adaptations of wide-legged calf length pants with flowy sheer tunics, whereas, BCBG Max Azria and Carven presented formal looking wide hem cropped culottes in heavy weight taffeta and pinstriped fabrics with ruffled dress. Culottes are officially termed as the ‘must-have’ pants for incorporating with dresses. Aditi Talwar, Assistant Merchandiser, Orient Craft India, discussing the variations in their collections said, “Culottes are being developed for the season with matching dresses. The fit has loosened a little bit to come in line with dress hem.
Dress-over-trousers variant, seen at Hermès in cool cream, as frayed fatigues at Chanel, and in silky guise at Dries Van Noten. Kenzo’s oversized coat was almost swamped by mega-wide palazzos – an oversized sweater would be a worthy substitute. Team a long dress with loose trousers and an even lengthier vest, seems to be the message. Following suite, this summer, most of the casual wear collections are inspired by nightwear, making the complete look very cosy and comfortable. Alberta Ferretti featured linen trenches and pyjama-like pants with long dresses, and Calvin Klein’s loose pyjama pants in black and white have paved the way for teaming softer versions with maxi gowns. While Alexander Wang cashed in on the innocent look with flowing pyjamas and asymmetric slip dress, Karen Walker added prints and drawstrings to give a college feel in their designs tapping a younger teen market.
Using prints as a medium to define their matching tops and bottoms, Antonio Marras garnished his dress and a pair of flared trousers with pleated floral print. On the other hand, Emilio Pucci prepared an array of stripes in assorted colours to showcase the popular patchwork-effect. The collection mesmerized us in a kaleidoscope of colours that moved in vertical bands from shoulders to feet. Taking calligraphy art too seriously, Kenzo adorned his dress and trousers with white on black African inspired elements. Rupa Dutt, Vice-President, Lady London elaborated on the trend, “Dress-trousers sets are in demand, continuing from the summer season with matching pants. The upper could be a long T-shirt, mini dress or a maxi with a slit.”