Let’s begin our recap of Milan with another journalist’s two-sentence summary of the week. “Just write about Gucci. Does anything else count?” We understand the temptation. There’s no doubt that Alessandro Michele’s creature-laden, bookish bedlam caused many a jaw to drop at Milan Fashion Week. But one designer cannot speak for, or to, all.
Looking beyond that mesmerizing show, there were themes a-plenty in Milan and differing from Gucci, many focused less on the influence of dreams and more on where the dreams are made. In bed. There was also animal print, a continued love affair for all things 70s and a quirky sea shanty dedicated to world beneath the waves.
But it’s the sleepy-headed trend that hints at the big bucks. So strong was the backing for pajama-dressing that the term pajama-dressing no longer suffices. Let’s run through its best elements, which read like a packing list for a rather fancy slumber party.
1. The Pajama Set
Here’s the update to Spring 2015’s successful co-ord set: the pajama pant and shirt combo is hot property with backing in New York, London and now, Milan. Skirt and crop top sets along with pant (jogger or cigarette shape) and top sets sold well this year for Boohoo, Missguided, Topshop, ASOS and Pretty Little Things. For that market, shorts sets will sell, as will cropped-length pajama tops or shirts that can be used as a layering piece.
Wallpaper florals, pinstripes and bedlinen shades of white, blue or pink will make the most overt bedtime references. For the hesitant, polka dots are a happy middle ground. In the right shades, they’re androgynous but with a hint of zaniness too. Opt for geometrics and unexpected colors if you want to make the theme more palatable for a broader range of shoppers. And it’s great news for those in the business of nightwear! Go to town with styling – your category is going to be in the spotlight for Spring 2016.
2. The Night Gown
Dearest kimono, you’re not retiring quite yet. For Spring 2016 you’ll be revitalized in pastels. You’ll carry delicate florals. You’ll billow more than ever before. Over 1,000 of Spring 2015’s kimonos sold out at full price between March and August, taking an average of just 35 days to sell out. It’s wise to feed that retail demand. For Spring 2016 look beyond the obvious, and ramp up the sleepwear references. Tod’s reworked a bomber (see the ribbed collar and the sleeve shape?) into a covetable longline kimono while Ermanno Scervino showed a fancier side, with lace and lapels. Meanwhile, Simonetta Rivazza’s dusky pink number sits at the intersection of a kimono, a duster coat and an actual dressing gown. Cosy.
3. The Nightshirt
Androgyny has warmed us up to men’s shirting. But for Spring 2016 things took a softer turn. Going longline, these nightshirts could have leapt straight from a storybook. Think pinstripes, high-necked yolks, piping and embroidery. Giamba’s came decked in pop-ish patches that will appeal to both the fast-fashion consumer as well as the kitsch luxury lover a la Anya Hindmarch’s set. Oh hell, just go right ahead and pair with her Cornflakes tote. Rise and shine!
4. The Nightie
Designers were unanimous in their backing of the nightie – lingerie-inspired, with a hint of Edwardiana as seen through a 70s lens. It was all flounce at Gucci in the prettiest of pinks, gauzy at Alberta Ferretti, baby-doll for Francesco Scognamiglio and in underwear-as-outerwear mode at Emilio Pucci. There was a hint of milk-maid in the yolked necklines at Giamba and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. Styled with messy bed-head locks, this look couldn’t be easier to achieve. Just add the trend’s requisite footwear: the loafer. The pony hair slip-ons at Simonetta Rivazza get our vote. Lingerie retailers take note: this trend will affect you too. Wire-free triangle bras in muted pastels, frill trims and guipure lace are sure hits – just visible beneath camisole slips and dresses.
5. Fresh Sheets
And if all of the above is just a little too frilly for you, there’s a minimalist approach to the trend as well. Think the clean lines of a perfectly made bed topped by sheets fresh from the laundry, with the merest hint of flair in a well-pressed valance. The all-white story in cotton or silk is the most versatile way to access this restful theme. For maximum gain look to to simple sundresses, body-skimming when hung from the shoulders with slim straps, or cinched with rope-like trim.
So why is this trend right for now? Perhaps we’ve cracked. Too many activewear-attired early morning starts. Too many perfectly Instagram’d abs alongside pretty-as-pie açaí bowls (which took an hour to make and an hour to style). Or maybe we just want to languish in the sheets a little longer, enjoying a breakfast bowl the old fashioned way: full of cereal.
And so to bed. Just don’t forget your toothbrush.