Shapeshifter

The switch of the seasons brings forth striking silhouettes that reimagine sartorial staples into Spring’s definitive must-haves.

Fashion looks ahead into the new season by taking a page from the past. The mood of the Spring/Summer 2011 is all about the 70s with a plethora of certified hits such as maxi dresses, wide-leg trousers and jumpsuits making another much-awaited comeback. Tagging along are the perennial favorites such as nautical, tribal and floral with a reboot taking inspiration from all things retro. The recurring themes on a roundabout inspire a sartorial déjà vu while designers kept the look fresh with surprising modern executions of shape and silhouette. Whether for a breezy day at the beach or a humid afternoon in the city, the key to the new season’s look is all about the cut. We explore the shape of things to come and suggest the new must-haves for the retro look du jour.

TOPS & COVERUPS

The most distinctive shape up top offers an emphasized volume paired with contrasting silhouettes. Prada dictates tubular-sleeved cropped tops for a chic new take on sportswear. While the boxy shirts gets an all-American makeover by way of country-chic blue denim at Celine. These looks are better worn with no-fuss streamlined bottoms such as straight cut trousers or a pencil skirt with demure shoes for sleek transitional dressing for every occasion. For cold summer nights, warm up with light-weight toppers in varying styles which have been made with tropical weather appropriate fabrications. First there is the ubiquitous trenchcoat which has been updated with domed shoulders and punk detailing as envisioned by Burberry. Balmain’s version of a rock-infused topper is meant to be worn with distressed denim shorts that show off mile-long legs. Another cover-up alternative from Louis Vuitton is the oriental blazer in soft silk satin and a relaxed baggy fit. Essentially a pajama dressing key piece with an eastern twist, the lush fabrication of the jacket paired with pristine tailored trousers creates a chic menswear-inspired dinner attire. The traditional classic blazer takes on a new proportion at Hermes with a belted waist for a curvaceous equestrienne figure. Made of butter-soft light-weight leather, the belted blazer looks best with short hemline bottoms.

Where to buy: Edgy streetwear designers such as Don Protasio and Kermit Tesoro make urban-cool voluminous tops whether sportif or sci-fi influenced. Slightly more affordable alternatives can be found at Oxygen and The Retail Lab. Cool coverups can be custom-made by edgy menswear designers such as Bang Pineda and Frederick Policarpio. Mid-range options can be found at high street chains like Zara, Mango and Topshop.

JUMPSUITS & TROUSERS

Continuing on the 70s throwback, the retro classic jumpsuit brings out the carefree side of season. Bold colored and printed versions from Marc Jacobs provide a nice contrast to sun-kissed kin and are suitable for a quirky Sunday barbeque. Wear with a wide-brimmed hat and geometric sunglasses for a sassy look. While Diane Von Furstenberg suggests a hooded slinky number in a rich hue perfect for a standout entrance at summer’s most glamorous events. Another sartorial comeback caused by fashion’s retrospective is the wide-leg pants. Now more than just for the business-serious, wide-leg pants are a wise investment into your repertoire. Take cue from Dior and opt for sailor pant version matched with a frilly top and cherry red lips for a pin-up girl flair. Finish off the look with sky-high platforms for a lengthening effect.

Where to buy: Custom-made jumpsuits by Eric delos Santos and Martin Bautista ensures proper proportions appropriate for different body types. Retail options are also available at SM Department Store and Tango. Menswear designers such as Joey Samson and Jerome Lorico do the best bespoke trousers. While Ensemble, Memo and Maldita offer a wide-array of inexpensive styles.

DRESSES & SKIRTS

The new idea of luxury is all about the disco revival. Invest in a fluid goddess dress reminiscent of the decadence of Studio 54. Halston did a sartorial reboot with a version featuring thigh-high slit which can be worn an ultra-chic beach coverup perfect from cocktails by the shore or candlelit dinner on the roofdeck. Sportif influences like scuba diving and cycling provide another innovation. The colorblock dresses with panels of sharkskin neoprene and light-weight synthetic fabrics at Ohne Titel sculpts the silhouette and accentuates the curves injecting a surfer girl vibe into the it-girl closet staple, the body-con dress. Of course, Spring wouldn’t be complete with the ever-present floral dress. As re-imagined at D&G, blooming frocks are short and sweet with a voluminous skirt and mixed with contrasting country checks. The new floral mini dress is dainty enough for a lovely picnic on a breezy morning or a Sunday afternoon trip to the bazaar. Another recurring summer essential is the free-spirited nature of the bohemian persuasion. This season the hippie-chic aesthetic comes by way of Roberto Cavalli’s low-slung maxi skirts. The floor-gazing muted toned skirts are toughened up with exotic prints and embellishments while keeping a sinuous appeal with the fluidity of sheer fabrication and bohemian frills. Put focus on a standout maxi skirt by wearing a basic cotton tank in a complementary hue and amplify the look by accessorizing with high-glam statement neckpiece. The classic mid-length skirt is updated at Versace with blast of colors that add a contemporary neo-mod look to the closet staple. Choose to wear a brightly colored mid-length skirt over a maillot for an instant beach party dress. Vera Wang played with volume execution with peplum skirts that put emphasis on the hip area. Rendered with luxurious eastern elements, voluminous shape gives a visual interest to classic cocktail ensembles.

Where to buy: Whether for galas or beach parties, dresses are a safe bet for a quick fashion fix. Ultra-femme goddess dresses are best bespoke by Jun Escario and Vania Romoff. While Charina Sarte and Arleen Sipat have mastered the art of body-con beachwear. For blooming frocks check out the multitude of choices at local retail brands such as The Ramp, Plains & Prints, Penshoppe and Jellybean. Tina Daniac and Marlon Rivera create beautifully fluid skirts in wide-array of interesting colors and prints. For voluminous options, choose to have made-to-order looks by Ivar Aseron, Chris Diaz and Joel Escober. Several Multiply brands such as Co-Exist, Glitterratti and Moonshine also offer affordable selections.