Can't get enough of puff sleeves - don't worry they aren't going anywhere
Last summer I was interning at Sunday Times Style Magazine and The Telegraph, and amongst the ugly dad sandals and cycling shorts, the puff sleeve dresses stood out above the rest. Something felt different with this trend, in a world where we see images of celebrities everywhere we look, be it on your phone, online, magazines or tv, this style didn't feel like the maximalist Gucci trend that every celebrity was wearing, this dress was new and interesting. This dress had gone back to basics. Never in my life have I felt a pull towards a trend as much as this one, because the thing is, trends come and go and the trends that stick around are far and few between.
We can thank Cecilie Bahnsen for introducing us to a palatable version of the popular Edwardian style of dress. Her romantic take on the style has been an earthquake in the fashion world. We were so used to seeing power suits, body con dresses and jeans, that when Bahnsen presented her first collection in 2016, we were all shocked by how 'simple' it was. I use the word simple in the sense that, she is going against the grain, back to basics in the way that she has created a structured but floaty dress - they weren't full of colours and patterns, they were simple. Bahnsen has built her brand on her amazing reinvention of the puff sleeved dress, and they seem to get better with every season. Although the colour tones are still muted, she has started experimenting in patterns and styles, however my favourite is still the short puff sleeve dress. Bahnsen brings her take on the new dressing up is also dressing down trend, by pairing her shapely dresses with basic trainers, or sandals. I love the combination of stereotypically smart wear being dressed down with trainers, a style that the Scandinavians have made norm.
Flash forward to today, we are still seeing puff sleeves on the models at the latest shows for AW20. Molly Goddard the queen of tule showcased her beautiful dresses layered with knitted jumpers and cardigans, Chloe presented their puff sleeve dress with a new neckline and belted to show us how to dress this look up, Fendi sent down playsuits with exaggerated marshmallow sleeves - and Rejina Pyo went for a victorian styled neckline and 80s puffed sleeve. Puff sleeves are in abundance, so whether you are after cool and minimal tones look towards Cecilie Bahnsen, Simone Rocha and Fendi for inspiration - and for bright and bold colours take inspiration from Paul & Joe, Rodarte and MSGM.
Here are a few of my favourites - (From L-R) Rodarte, Simone Rocha, Paul & Joe, Rejina Pyo, MSGM, Chloe, Molly Goddard, Fendi, Isabel Marant.
So, whether you are new to this trend, or an old time lover of it, there are plenty of options out there to invest in. Look no further, I have rounded up the best buys to get you through these bleak times.
Maggie Marilyn at Net-A-Porter, £340, www.net-a-porter.com
Zara, £49.99, www.zara.com
Cecilie Bahnsen at Matches Fashion, £408, www.matchesfashion.com
Faithful The Brand at Anthropology, £130, www.anthropology.com
H&M, £24.99, www.h&m.com
Topshop, £26, www.topshop.com
Arket, £79, www.arket.com
& Other Stories, £65, www.stories.com
Simone Rocha at Farfetch, £980, www.farfetch.com
Kitri, £145, www.kitristudio.com