NYFW: DESIGUAL S/S 2016

Desigual S/S 2017
Desigual Spring/Summer 2017 Photo credit: Guillaume Rojas

We’re only two days in to this New York Fashion Week and I’m already tired of tan. I don’t mind some tan here and there, but we’ve already seen enough tan collections over the past two days to call for an immediate cease and desist in the use of the color as a head-to-toe concept. Tan should be a contrasting color, not a never-ending solo.

At moments like this, I look forward to shows like Desigual because they have a reputation for being bright and lively. Desigual is all about happiness and living life to its fullest. Spring/Summer is typically their brightest collection, so I put on my shades and prepared myself to be blown away by the color.

What comes down the runway? Dark, dreary, military green. Urg.

Okay, at least it wasn’t tan, right? And the incredible embroidery was bright red, wasn’t it? And what about those blinged out ball caps and the rainbow butterfly appliques. There’s a lot more to this collection than putrid green!

Yes, if you take the time to do a comparative analysis (no, we didn’t) one  would probably find that just about every color within the visible spectrum is somewhere in this collection. There’s color everywhere. The difference between this season and every other Desigual collection I can remember is that the base colors are dark. The green is followed by a dark blue, often represented in denim. That blue holds on through a lot of the collection and even when the color itself turns light the weight of the fabric holds the ensembles to a more somber aesthetic than what we normally expect from this label.

I’m sitting here thinking, “Where’s the party?” I just tried watching three fashion shows at the same time. I need a party.

As the collection proceeded into knitwear and creative yarn crafts, there are a few very bright pieces and, holy-next-to-nothing, color is about the only thing left to notice on those bikinis. I’m not entirely sure those are legal in Indiana. Oh, and we can’t forget the multi-colored butterflies and hummingbirds appliqued onto the white crocheted dress! The appliques look so real one might wonder if the winged creatures are about to fly away with the garment.

Still, despite the brighter moments, there is a consistent dark undertone to this collection. It is all as beautiful as it is unexpected.

Desigual is as in-touch with its core customer as anyone and I think they’re tapping the some of the moodier side of their Millennial audience. There is still a strong bohemian feel to everything, the same playfulness and casual dress wear we expect from the brand. There were even a handful of models with faces painted to resemble popular social media filters. The collection resonates strongly with its younger guests.

I miss the bright-enough-to-cause-eye-damage Desigual. There are too many places in this season that are already boring. We need brands like this to keep things lively and exciting. Sure, the clothes are beautiful and full of color. Yet, they didn’t provide that sunscreen-advisory brightness we are accustomed to seeing.

Sigh. Maybe next season.

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