Stripe Tease

Stripes often get a bad wrap for making the body appear wider or being too busy. This season, designers changed their stripes and presented them in a much more flattering, feminine, invariably fanciful manner.

Yes, stripes can be less than complimentary if worn horizontally, but a vertical pattern will elongate the body to desirable proportions. Stay in that lane and they can be colorful or even oversized. ZERO by Maria Cornejo had a sleek navy and white set somewhere between decadent pajamas and daring evening. PHILOSOPHY di Lorenzo Serafini did a fun play on color and scale, opting to highlight every hue in the rainbow. But it doesn’t have to be all Roy G. Biv: BROCK COLLECTION’s neutral palette featured just a few wide stripes, as not to cross the line into excess.

Stripes, in their conspicuousness, have been symbolically used to represent various occupations or social assignments: on one end lies taboo but on the other is something of fantasy. One with positive connotations, if not a little subservient, is a candy striper. The pink and white confectionary colors posit all sorts of hidden innuendo but this meaning is simply that of an ultra-feminine, sweet and playful take on the season’s trend. MONSE had an endless arsenal of deconstructed shirts. The house’s off-the-shoulder, asymmetrical version was twisted, abstract and very cool. TADASHI SHOJI showed a whimsical, ruffled gown that conjured fairy tales and enchanted forests.

If all these stripes are causing cross-eyed vertigo, there are much simpler ways to get down. It’s hard to imagine throwback, striped athletic socks worn with sophistication, but THOM BROWNE paired them with lady shoes, private school blazers and mismatching plaid mates. VETEMENTS, true to its athletic “reverential” form, had their own version, capitalizing on the logo craze throughout. SACAI was sporty as well, having a knee-high version of a soccer sock.