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AW13 Trend: Exaggerrated Silhouettes

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From corsets to empire lines, crinolines to bodycon, silhouettes have always been important in fashion. Throughout the years designers have experimented with shapes, from tight bodices to shoulder pads, morphing outlines through the extravagant and exaggerated, to the minimal and waif-like, each time creating a whole new line to the feminine form.

Whilst last year the trend may have been to focus solely on over the top womanhood and using fabric to enhance the female body into uber feminine silhouettes, this year there’s no such restriction – it’s all about letting the clothes do the talking, whatever shape they may be. And when it comes to size, from the looks of the autumn, winter shows big is definitely better.

Exaggeration has almost crept up on us slowly - in spring this year volume and OTT silhouettes began to dominate the catwalks, with designers sacrificing detail to make way for greater impact from the volume trend.

Celine AW13 images courtesy of Vogue

The exaggerated shape is everywhere; designers like Chanel, Bottega Venetta, Vera Wang and Alexander Wang are just a few whose collections were scattered with larger than life creations that apparently paid no heed to dimensions of years gone by. In another act of rebellion, collections included lighter pastels and shades of yellow, signalling the arrival of another ‘against the grain’ seasonal trend – winter pastels

Jil Sander AW13 images courtesy of Vogue

Curve clinging designs are a big no with the volume trend – avoid anything that highlights the traditional female form and instead look for shapes that seem to skim, swamp and alter it - a cocoon coat, balloon sleeves, oversized tailoring, or an over the top A-Line. And if the lack of opportunity this trend presents to show off the effects of all those hours of hot yoga fails to get your fashion pulse racing, just think about how much warmer you’re going to be eschewing all things cropped and slim fit. The only thing to remember is that balance is key when it comes to the exaggerated silhouette – the aim is for exaggerated yet elegant, rather than cartoonishly out of proportion. 

Eudon Choi AW13 courtesy of Vogue

One designer who fully embraced elements of exaggeration was Eudon Choi. His A/W 2013 collection followed a ‘folk’ theme with midi skirts and peasant style blouses, but there was volume aplenty with double-breasted jackets, wide hemlines and billowing trousers. We loved the way his looks achieved volume without imbalance, using size as a statement without making anything unwearable. As his collection demonstrates so well, it's time to 'go big or go home' for AW13.


Eudon Choi AW13 courtesy of Vogue

Words by Vanessa Gainford, Edited by GP

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