Fur stoles for spring? Sheer skirts for the dead of winter?
These days, it all makes perfect sense, with fashion designers paying little attention to the season for which they’re creating clothing.
Yes, we all still need warm coats when it’s cold out and something light and airy to wear in the heat.
But in the past year, some of those old rules like, say, thou shalt only wear sandals in summer, have changed.
From a business perspective, fashion houses are finally taking a look at the timing in which their clothes hit stores and the fact that women don’t necessarily want to have to wait three to four months to be able to wear their spring or winter scores.
“The fact of the matter is, the weather is still very cold in most countries by the time the spring collections hit. It’s a slightly old-fashioned mentality to be so controlled by the season,” Zowie Broach, one-half of the London-based design duo Boudicca says of the phenomenon some editors have taken to calling “sprinter.” She created fur-collared wool coats for her spring collection because she knew that “there are women in Russia who will buy these in March.
But even if the customer is in Las Vegas, she might want to wear that coat over a beautiful chiffon dress on a chilly night.”
Prada’s hugely popular spring collection featured outsize brightly colored fur stoles that at first glance seemed like an odd choice for the season, but ended up being one of the most coveted pieces of the year with shoppers snapping them up as soon as they hit stores in late February.
Meanwhile, Burberry Prorsum showed quilted leather jackets that could work just as well in January as April.
“Right now, it’s less about ‘spring’ or ‘summer’ and more that it’s a ‘new season.’ When it’s cold out, you want a new, great coat. It’s as simple as that,” Broach says.
“Women want to buy and wear things immediately. The hunter/gatherer isn’t storing anymore,” she adds.
Global e-commerce sites like Net-a-Porter further stoke the winds of change.
“As an international business, seasonless dressing is very relevant to us,” says Holli Rogers, buying director at Net-a-Porter.
“There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find something when you need it most. Many of the brands we stock now offer multiple collections that include pre, cruise and high summer.
“With this increased frequency of new arrivals throughout the year, we can offer more choice to our customer wherever she may be, from New York to Australia to Moscow,” she adds.