Echoing runway offerings, assortments at UBM’s MAGIC trade show place strong emphasis on sleeves for fall. Dramatic shapes and fresh details make arms key focal points, with volume reigning supreme and tweaked constructions providing edge and interest. With designers like Chloé, Carven and 3.1 Phillip Lim fueling their momentum in recent seasons, bell silhouettes have now gained prominence at MAGIC and are leading garments in the bohemian direction that’s beloved by juniors and young contemporary markets, while evoking retro Sixties and Seventies aesthetics. A key look for resort and one that’s sure to dominate next summer’s music festivals, flared sleeves appear on dresses, jackets and tops — knit or woven, with updates ranging from tiers created by drawstrings, as featured on a crepe number by Evidnt, to pleating at the elbows of a Free People blouse.
For shoppers who gravitate toward delicate aesthetics, large flounces soften button-ups when placed along dropped-shoulder seams and oversize ruffles are reshaped into billowy, poet-style poufs. While speaking to current tastes, these sleeves are also classically romantic and appeal to feminine women of all ages.
Texture now replaces color as designers’ blocking method of choice, which translates into sleeves in contrasting fabrics or knit patterns. Tactile surfaces, as well as volume, are also accomplished via rows of ruffles or fringe — a more directional approach to please daringly playful dressers.
Meanwhile, extra-long arms, like those attached to a ribbed sweater by youthful label JOA, cater to hip streetwear-driven consumers and mirror styles presented by forward designers like cult favorite Vetements. This trend is least intimidating on knitwear, as elongated sweater sleeves evoke familiar borrowed-from-the-boyfriend pieces as much as they do avant-garde runway offerings.
For denim, sleeve interest comes in the forms of split seams, cutouts, frayed edges and/or embellishment. Evidnt offers a jean jacket for fall that achieves a deconstructed yet polished look, thanks to sleeve panels that are only semi-attached, but have finished edges.
By Whitney kessler
fashion, beauty and retail
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