Ready to Wear Coach 1941 from Spring 2017

Making a fashion statement en masse, or what is known as girl-squad style, has quickly usurped the selfie in the age of social media—just ask Taylor Swift. Clearly Coach 1941 executive creative director Stuart Vevers had girl gangs of a more throwback, rebellious variety in his mind’s eye for Spring 2017. Along with varsity jackets and the brand’s popular shearling coats, biker jackets have became a Coach mainstay under Vevers. This season they were tougher and more embellished than ever, covered with handfuls of studs, fringing galore, and all manner of charms and embroidery, which fed into the quirky, hand-hewn aesthetic of last season. It was the most unlikely outerwear mashup in the lineup—one that was parka in the front and fringed moto jacket in the back—that felt fresh and new for now though, as well as the patched and quilted shrunken jackets with a homespun, prairie feeling.

The British Vevers has a self-confessed obsession with classic Americana, and it’s not surprising that Elvis showed up in his psychobilly mix. The chunky medallions and miniature handbags that came cut and pasted with images of the King were reminiscent of the stylings of the Elvis fans that Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger captured back in the ’50s. Elvis’s influence came through again in the chunky creeper boots and moccasins, a shoe silhouette that has been making the rounds in New York. The footwear was just as tricked out, with rock ’n’ roll trimmings—studs, grommets—and pretty rose embroidery, in a way that should appeal to the magpie sensibilities of Coach’s millennial audience.

Strip back all the more-is-more cool girl bravado though, and the lighter floral notes in the collection had a stand-alone power of their own. The sheer lace-trimmed dresses that came tied up in black ribbons and printed with flowers like vintage petticoats added a welcome sense of romance to the show. It wasn’t the first time that Vevers has made a case for the pretty little summer dress at Coach—last year his Spring 2016 floral frocks stole the spotlight. With their easy drop-waisted silhouette and quirky details—note the anarchic scribblings on the petals—his new dresses are likely to come up roses on the shop floor in six months time, too.

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