The new silhouette trend of mid-calf length skirts or dresses or midis as they are commonly called, is dividing the fashion world. Owing to its aesthetic appeal, simplicity and reservedness, midi has become very popular length in womenswear skirts, dresses and many other articles around the world. First noticed on the runways in terms of cropped pants and calf length culottes, the calf-length now seems to be the trend to stay. Midi lengths is fashionable and at the same time a conservative answer to women of all age groups and sizes, making it a saleable item. Witnessing the same, exporters are making a conscious effort of producing products in line with this ongoing trend, making midis as the ‘must-have’ technique for summer collections…
A midi is a skirt or dress with a hemline which ends at mid-calf. It is the epitome of lady-like-silhouettes. Dubbed as a ‘trans-seasonal dressing piece’, the midi skirt is the perfect style for the industry’s silhouette requirements. Similar to many other current mainstream trends, Alexa Chung and Gucci turned the midi-length skirt into an ‘It’ piece last season. The midi skirt is elegant in a subversive way. The midi skirt was a popular length in the 1940s, a fashion decade known for its elegance and grace. The midi tried its best, but its reincarnation in the 1970s was a flop and not so stylish. Thankfully, designers have injected new life into this trend for 2016, highlighting its ladylike attributes and flexible wearability with a range of fabrics and creative styling to suit just about anyone.
Meanwhile, online fashion retailer ASOS reports that sales of the midi, which is on the front page of the site as a “right now piece”, are up at least 200 per cent over last year. Part of the midi’s success lies in its appeal across the fashion generations. Women in their 20s are wearing the hemline, as are forty something women looking for a more grown-up look for the coming summer. Enhanced with added embellishments and value additions, the trend charts have consistently witnessed the presence of the midis for quite a while now, showcased in different looks world over. While denim prints and collars add a modern edge, a minimalistic shift dress makes a statement all on its own with little need for eye-catching accessories. Midis could vary in silhouettes, and also be redefined as a dress, shirtdress, or a skirt.
Among the various inspirations, pleated midis are an upcoming trend for S/S ’17 and A/W ’17-18. The look has been spotted on the runway of Fall ’16 multiple times and has already made its way to the mass market through popular retail brands such as Forever 21, And, ASOS, and Vero Moda. This trend is both functional and fashionable and may suggest a consumer shift, placing more value towards garment utility in addition to aesthetics. An exporter of readymade garments Pankaj Sanon, Manager, A.P. Handicrafts thinks that refined fabrics, strategic draping, and added embellishments are transforming the traditional midis into alternatives for elegant eveningwear.
While designers moved on from the short dress to the midis, they have meekly borrowed all the possible fabrics from other silhouettes. Stella McCartney, Roland Mouret and Alexander Wang are among a few who experimented on these lines. Street style fashion is also showcasing midis in denims, suedes, leathers, wool, tweed, cottons and even silks. There are only a few exporters who have shifted their focus from the value addition on midi to its base fabric. Rajesh Kumat, Director of Ganga Exports Pvt. Ltd., exporter of readymade garments, throwing light on their collections, which is in line with the trend, says, “Fabrics such as cotton, cambric, poplin and viscose modal are present in our womenswear pieces this time. It’s not about developing midi styles, it’s about developing the midi style in various fabrics.” There is an increased use of mélange, broadcloth and dobby patterned fabrics too.
Fabrics have indeed made this new exotic versatile apparel a round the year garment, be it in sheer, soft fabrics, voile and cotton, or heavy woolly fabrics for winters. For evenings the same silhouette in silk can add that extra shine making it suitable luxury, agreeing with the same, Karthik Gupta, Partner, Aadi International shared that they are also working with cotton poplin, Egyptian cotton and stripes for the coming season.
The A/W 2016-17 runways showed a clear arrival of midi skirts venturing into the realms of bottom wear. Needless to say, the collections were less obvious as they did not only toy around with the length of the garment, but worked on details to make their midi stand out.
The A/W ’16-17 runways showed a clear arrival of midi skirts venturing into the realms of bottom wear. Needless to say, the collections were less obvious as they did not only toy around with the length of the garment but worked on details to make their midi stand out. While Hugo Boss and Rochas used button detailing on straight coat dresses, Louis Vuitton made use of patching with a zip running down its gleaming A-line version. Then there were designers who used double front flap pockets – on a belted midi length coatdress in 3.1 Phillip Lim’s case and a metallic version in Saint Laurent’s. While speaking to exporters on whether this trend has caught on to a wider audience, the response was absolutely on the positive side. “The basic reason why this look is always in fashion, is that women world over have been embracing this garment in their wardrobe with grace. With the capability of being produced for petite, larger sizes and also plus sized women, this is practically one of the only silhouettes which are as basic as a T-shirt or a trouser and can still look like a magnificent couture piece,” said Sanjeev Khurana, Proprietor, P. S. Designs, an exporter of readymade womenswear.
Exporters also make a strong point by saying that, midis in geometric prints, patchwork, mix-and-match and using two-three different prints in one single style is what is getting picked up by buyers these days. Sheer midis are going to be more important in comparison to the other fabric versions, predict many. “We are making the product in animal prints and shades like peach, lilac and orange which are apt for the summer,” further adds, Karthik.