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From Modern Flappers To Iris Apfel Florals: A Definitive Guide To 2024’s Key Dress Moods

Is 2024 the year that the fashion trend dies? It’s hard to imagine the industry ever totally losing its penchant for The Next Big Thing, however one thing we can say for certain is that the fashion trend that exists now is not the fashion trend that existed 20 years ago.

Last year, we saw an explosion of fashion “moods”, with niche personas – hi tomato girl! – bubbling up on Tiktok. It signals a new approach to trends that is somehow broader in its scope, yet more niche in its references. It’s the modern equivalent of a teenage moodboard, densely layered with celebrity references, artworks, film characters, archive imagery and even the odd gnome.

The most innovative thing about fashion’s new mood is the freedom it affords the wearer. Unlike the trend diktats of old, the moodboard approach is far more open to style idiosyncrasies. As Ellie Pithers states in Vogue’s spring/summer 2024 report, many of the looks of the season can be recreated using pieces that are already sitting in your wardrobe.

Take the classic slip or a floral dress, for example. The easiest way to kick your looks into the new season is to consult the new-season muses, such as Maison Margiela twitchy, tulle-clad femme fatales or Prada’s Daisy Buchanan flappers. If you’re in need of inspiration for your 2024 dress mood, allow us to share with you some of our favourites from the runway.

The ecclesiastical whites

Fashion East SS24.
Jil Sander SS24

From Alberta Ferretti’s crisp, chorister whites and Jil Sander’s high-collared vestment-style frocks to Standing Ground’s angelic floor-grazers, this mood is very Fleabag’s Hot Priest – but make it fashion.

The new-gen hippie

Bottega Veneta SS24.
Gabriella Hearst SS24

The new-gen hippie is one of contradictions: she has been on meditation retreats with monks in the Himalayas, but buys her groceries at Erewhon; she wears crochet dresses inspired by the ones her mum made in the ’70s, but hers cost £900 from Gabriela Hearst. It’s giving the new leading lady in season three of The White Lotus.

The modern flapper

Prada SS24.
Khaite SS24.

Daisy Buchanan is your reference point for this Jazz Age dress look – all shimmering headpieces, outré embellishment and coy side glances. Take your cues from Prada and Khaite and invest in a little fringing (particularly cute on an evening look or try experimenting with a drop waist – Cos has a fab drop-waisted style in store right now).

Garden party pastels

Fendi SS24
Carolina Herrera SS24

Thanks to the return of The Crown, we’ve been doing a deep dive into the fashion archive of the royal family, and we have been drawn to the sweet pastels of Princess Anne and the young Queen Elizabeth. Think: archival Chanel two-pieces and bon bon-coloured car coats. It was a hue that was spotted in abundance on the spring/summer 2024 runways of Fendi and Carolina Herrera, rendered in flowing silks and body-clinging jerseys.

The Iris Apfel florals

David Koma SS24.
Burberry SS24.

Thanks to the all-consuming sobriety of “quiet luxury”, the humble floral has struggled to make itself heard over the last few seasons, but we think 2024 will be the year it makes its triumphant return. Our top tip? Make it as loud as you can. From David Koma’s granny-curtain roses to Chanel’s matchy-matchy floral dress and cardi, the mood is fashion-savvy OAP who doesn’t care for the phrase “age-appropriate”. Iris Apfel, we salute you.

’90s Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

16Arlington SS24.
Courreges SS24

Minimalist fashion lovers will be happy to hear that the ’90s look shows no sign of disappearing, with the likes of 16Arlington, Proenza Schouler and Courrèges dipping into the archive to bolster their stripped-back mood, in the form of grey shift dresses, monochrome maxis and clean-cut minis. Check out Sunita Kumar Nair’s book on Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s style – a true ode to the It-girl’s timeless appeal.

The femme fatale fantasy

Acne Studios SS24
Alaïa SS24.

2023 might have been all about the “naked” dress, but this year we’re stepping it up a gear with more refined silhouettes and conceal-and-reveal panelling. Think Diana Payne in the original Gossip Girl or Sylvie Grateau in Emily In Paris. Alaïa’s spring/summer 2024 show provided us with body-skimming fits and cheeky transparent sections, all brought together with an hourglass-cinching belt.

Sonic The Hedgehog blue

Roksanda SS24
Acne Studios SS24.

Some may call it cobalt, while others label it ultramarine, but we call the dress colour of the season: Sonic The Hedgehog blue. Yes, that’s right. There’s something undeniably cartoonish about the particular shade of vivid blue that took to the runways at Roksanda, Acne Studios and Bally this season – the sort you could only find in a kid’s crayon selection.

The original article can be found on VOGUE UK.

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