Every year, there’s always this one style that no one can get enough of. Last year and this year (unfortunately), it’s the off-shoulder trend. Believe me - I understand the allure. The striking thing about it is how it makes you feel sexy without revealing too much. It fits almost everyone’s personal style - whether it’s contemporary, bohemian or even traditional. It is a simple yet striking silhouette.
It started when luxury brands such as Chloe, Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung showcased their Spring Summer ’16 collections. And as expected, high street giants like Zara and Topshop caught on and made the trend go ‘viral’. And even in India, designers Manish Malhotra, Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla and Anushree Reddy have experimented with the style in Indian wear and bridal wear.
I haven’t seen a trend get this much attention in a really long time. Sure, peplums and ruched sleeves both enjoyed the spotlight for a while but those trends were short lived. It could be because they didn’t flatter a lot of body types - the shoulder-baring trend is all-inclusive and sexy. Although, for me, it feels a little over the top. I have been trying to stave off the trend for almost a year, but after a point, the racks in every store, at every mall are stocked with it - so I admit, I end up giving in.
It’s come to a point where the trend is no longer a choice but a compulsion because everyone’s wearing it. Bloggers, celebrities, college kids, stylists… can you think anyone who’s never worn an off-shoulder? It’s in the movies, it’s on Instagram and it’s in every store - from bridal wear, high street to thrift stores. Topped with the 90s nostalgia attached to the off-shoulder trend, the style conscious millennials are obsessing over it like never before!
As a Fashion Writer, my job requires me to constantly browse through lookbooks, online stores, magazines, blogs and social media. I am always on the lookout for something cool, something off-beat, something that stands out. And you can understand my disappointment at the fact that we’re just NOT able to move past this trend. Even when I am recommending products from a range of brands, it’s a hard task to find a dress that has the right cut, silhouette and isn’t an off-shoulder. The cold-shoulder is an extension of the same and isn’t offering anything significantly different or new. It's also because a lot of women aren't too comfortable wearing sleeveless, so sporting the cold-shoulder is perhaps like finding a common middle ground. Maybe seeing this trend so much has put me off, or maybe as a person from the industry, I am greedy for change.
Are you wondering if not this, then what? Well, a few micro trends do have the ability to blow up big. Currently, origami pleats, sexy cut-outs, and baby doll frills have potential. Especially origami pleats, they have so much room for design innovation there; also because it has an emotional connect with the millennials. Origami resonates with almost every millennial’s childhood… Yes, I’m talking about the paper planes and boats. Plus, there’s room for exploration, experimentation and surface innovation too.
While the world still waits to switch over from off-shoulder, it’s probably time you defy street style diktats and cross the road to find freshly-brewed trends waiting for you.