I had a hard time compiling this list for various reasons. First of all, the lines of "ready-to-wear" are quite fuzzy. Basically, this list is of styles I recognize as having street practicality on some level. Also, I'm quite an indecisive person, so picking a few designs is quite difficult- though this list is still fairly long!
Just because this collection includes florals, stripes, and vintage inspiration, by no means does that make this line a cookie-cutter trend. Rustic coral and royal blue makes for an edgier look that standard vintage designs. High waisted pants, professional blazers, and sheer blouses make for great everyday pieces. Did I mention that Woudenberg makes her own jewelry? I'll take bold beads on a chain link any day.
Knits, crochets, and wool, oh my! I was very impressed with ica watermelon designer Julia Knupfer's ability to create intricate knit pieces. These bulky weaves and coils are definitely not something I normally see in stores. Classic cable knits are one thing, but these designs take hand-woven techniques to a new level. I hope to see more creative knits like this in mainstream fashion. Knupfer counters any thoughts about eco-fashion being boring with these upbeat fashions. Yes, her collection supports green fashion and sustainability!
Now this is swimming with style. With cute polka dots and bright stripes, Wallace Playford brings a retro collection mixed with flirtation and fun. Let's not forget about the non-swimsuit items though. Frilly shorts that resemble bloomers and lace trim stockings were a great addition to the outfits. Strawberry marked A-line skirts and dresses finalized the deliciously summer feel. The swimming caps and goggles worn by models also gave a classic charm.
This femininely vintage collection offered fresh looks of florals, lace, and soft hues. Before you can say "been there, done that", CMichelon differs from other designs that use this trend with its unique cuts. With modestly puffy shorts and high-cut necklines, this collection brought a distinct authenticity; rather than being a direct imitation of items already in stores. In a rather oxymoronic make, boxy pieces were quite form-fitting and styled to accentuate figures.
Straying away from the generally vintage trend that I've been keen on is Toxic Vision. This punky collection caught my attention with its bishop-like headbands and metal-plated bustiers. The outfits were laden in studs, spikes, and fringes in great extravagance. Galaxy-like print was a welcomed addition. What I also like is their use of colour. Goth/punk doesn't mean all black and depressing tones. Touches of sea green and soft pink were great additions to this fierce line. While I might not go out in these outfits personally, I can see aspects that would be worn on a daily basis by others.
At first I thought this collection was a standard preppy menswear line...not that that's a bad thing. But it proved that it could also make casual look coif. Guys in cardigans and striped shirts are one thing, but making sweats looks pretty is another. This line combines preppy nautical inspiration with soft ruggedness from its use of cargo pants and work boots. With most pieces bearing the Loft 604 logo, this collection looks like it could have already made it to mainstream stores.
This collection may not be what many people call 'ready-to-wear', but I would love to see the urban manskirt become something acceptable and popularized. Straying away from typical trends, this line uses a combination of military and renaissance appeal with draped fabrics and subtle sheen sheers. While this collection is meant to offer clothing for both men and women separately, I dare to call it unisex.
Now, excuse me while I go shopping.
All images via Steve Alkok's Facebook.