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The New Romantics

By Anna Timoney

It’s tough-love for satin, ruffles and girly accoutrement, as romance gets edgy

We’re oh-so-familiar with fashion’s softer side.

New Romantics THREE basic magazine

Balenciaga Fashion Show, Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2016 in Paris

New Romantics ONE basic magazine
New Romantics TWO basic magazineFlouncy, ethereal pieces in brushed-pink and whiter-than-white are a perennial favorite. Like floral-print they seem to herald the arrival of spring. It’s always a vaguely coquettish look, encompassing frou-frou frills, wispy hair and just-run-around-a-meadow blushed cheeks.

Now, don’t get us wrong. We enjoy being girly-girls. There is a simmering sensuality to be found in buttoned-up lace and cascading folds of silk. But sometimes we want to unleash something a little wilder. Our inner bad girl if you like. And when pretty pastel pieces are crossed with clodhopper boots and dominatrix leather? That is a match made in heaven. Part 90’s Courtney Love, part winsome Sandra Dee, this trend marries in-your-face rock and roll brashness with demure fabrics. It’s sweeter than light with a whole lot of spice. And, when you think about it, so is femininity. Catwalks sizzled with this striking contrast – and we’re head over heels for the new romance.

Tiered, prairie dresses at Alexander McQueen were toughened up with naughty black lace and cut-away panels. The look was one of wayward cowgirl – high-blouses in sheer material, off-the-shoulder floral dresses with long, languid silhouettes and lots and lots of peek-a-boo tailoring.

New Romantics Givenchy TWO basic magazine

Balenciaga gave feminine dressing some serious street cred with satin track pants, satin bum-bags and underwear as outerwear. This vibe of badass boudoir shimmered in a palette of pearlescent creams and pristine whites.

New Romantics Balenciaga ONE basic magazine

Balenciaga Fashion Show, Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2016 in Paris

Celine and Givenchy sexed up simple slip nighties with flickers of black lace or grid-like latticing. Meanwhile Simone Rocha’s pink cupcake-like dresses with voluminous sleeves featured stand-out black piping. Beautiful. And as for Proenza Schouler? Here, calf-grazing dresses with risqué thigh-splits and bare shoulders were softened by big, cute bows.

New Romantics Givenchy ONE basic magazine

So, want to take your girly look to the dark side? Pair whimsical summer dresses with leather boots, off-the-shoulder ruffle tops with kick-flare jeans and devil-may-care attitude with everything. Go forth and conquer, you unbridled seductress.