I don’t know if it’s the emerging feminist fighter in me or my love of tailoring and boxy masculine silhouettes, but this urban utilitarian wave has definitely grabbed my attention. This revitalization of decades old styles truly has the potential to put a polished urban spin on your summer style.
The SS17 collection from Marni served as an excellent ear mark for utilitarian looks this season. Castiglioni isn’t afraid to drape the female body from head to toe in an attempt to redefine conventional femininity and there’s something to be said for that. Her oversized shapes and utility belt add-ons with larger than life pockets resonated in each print and hue that graced the runway. Meanwhile at Chloé, Clare Waight Keller played with urban themes in a way that only she could using ties, buttons and lace ups to drive home her theme. Aside from reinforcing her toughened aesthetic, these features also served as functioning tailoring elements to cinch and gather the wider silhouettes, making them all the more desirable.
This utilitarian trend is really all about the details and the fit. Great examples of that are pieces like the corset vest from Zimmerman and the Ulla Johnson lace up trousers. The wide leg gauchos are an easy alternative to traditional chinos and the fitted corset vest can be used to layer or wear as is on a steamy summer day. Also keep your eye on button detailing like The Throop dress from The Great and the Chloé double-breasted top. Or slip on and zip up Rachel Comey’s Paz cotton jumpsuit with your favorite mule of the season and you’ve got a new uniform. Breathable neutrals will be essential to surviving the humid heat wave on the horizon. And because new denim options are always welcomed, I have a special appreciation for the Y/Project high-rise bootcut jeans with pronounced buttoning along the sides which you can use to cuff as you like. It’s like several pairs in one!
I was drawn to this utilitarian inspired trend for a variety of reasons. Most styles are designed with natural fabrics such as linens, cottons and poplins in mind, which speaks to their overall practicality and accessibility. And I especially love how the palette of washed neutral tones softens the hardness of the somewhat boyish shapes. Whatever the reason, I highly suggest trying a utilitarian spin this season.
Brands we love: Sportmax “Giava” Jacket, Chloé Double-breasted Cotton-poplin Top, The Great “The Throop” Long-sleeved Dress, Rachel Comey “Paz” Zip-through Jumpsuit, Valentino High-waist Tailored Shorts, Sonia Rykiel Oversized Linen and Ramie-blend Jacket, Chloé Corduroy Jumpsuit, Zimmerman Corset Vest, Ulla Johnson Gaucho Lace Up Trouser, Ann Demeulemeester Asymmetric Tank Top, Y/Project High-rise Bootcut Jeans, Y/Project Cropped Checked Shirt, J.W. Anderson Canvas-trimmed Sweatshirt
By Ariel Serano