‘Paint me red or white I stick, across the centuries I’m loved greatly,No matter what colour I am I still reign supreme, I was once worn to keep warm,Now I am a statement, understated or maximalist you decide, Wear me at parties, festivals or midsummer balls, my versatility is endless don’t you know,Shout from the rooftops, write a song about me, I was destined for glory, I outsell all others,Why do you think I am so popular, my lack of filter? Because I am true to myself?I am real, I am unique and I am you… ‘
Celebrating 10 years with Boohoo is a dream come true and what better way to cement Boohoo’s decade of style than through 2016’s biggest Spring/Summer trend ‘suede’? For centuries suede was used as a versatile and practical garment that enabled gentry and townsfolk to keep warm during the tumultuous British seasons and would be made from de-haired leather, producing a velvety nap known as suede. Fragile but seen as a symbol of status, suede’s popularity as a ‘mainstream’ material for the masses did not come into play until the 1960’s with Bonnie Cashin’s suede ensemble and has only grown in popularity since. From jackets to mini skirts suede’s pliable cloth-like material allows it to be fluted, draped, gathered and pleated, making it one of fashion’s most versatile fabrics. Traditionally used as a ‘winter’ fabric that was both ‘stylish’ and practical, innovators of suede design believed that it’s pliable fabric could be easily adapted to feature in spring/summer collections. Using ‘sorbet hues’ and drawing upon 70’s ‘Western influences’, Boohoo’s Spring/Summer 2016 suede campaign has created the perfect transitional ‘suede wear’ to suit all tastes.
Jackets, Mary Quant ‘style’ mini skirts and utility suede pinafores make up the forefront of Boohoo’s suede collection but it was the stark contrast between the ‘winter’ 70’s inspired fringe/tassel berry hued suede eyelet skirt and the ‘spring’ sorbet Mary Quant inspired 60’s mini that caught my eye, like a tantalizing banquet at a Queen’s feast. Melding a fusion of fashion’s greatest era’s- the 60’s and 50’s- Boohoo’s Sally Suedette Fringed Eyelet Skirt and Aalia Button front Suedette Mini Skirt show that ‘fast fashion’ does not necessarily translate as ‘poor quality’ wear and have surprised and delighted me in equal measure. What’s more the biggest surprise was not the excellent quality of the skirts gifted but how it uses its status as a clothing organization to fund local initiatives to help improve young and impoverished children’s lives and create a less painful ending for terminally ill patients.As well as raising over £22,000 through sample sales, coffee mornings and their ‘Style for Stroke’ collaboration, Boohoo’s work with three key charities ( Teenage Cancer Trust, Ditch The Label and World Vision) makes me even prouder to work alongside and represent a charitable, social justice driven clothing label.As a social justice advocate finding out that one of your favourite budget labels shares the same socialist ethos makes me wear my Sally Suedette Fringed Eyelet Skirt with pride, knowing that my purchases are going towards causes that are close to my heart.
And Sally is a steal too; At just £9, reduced to £20, the cranberry/ magenta hybrid skirt has the markings of a ‘Balmain’ purchase with its signature large ‘eyelet’ detail overseeing layers of thin suede fringe. A cross between a mini and the 80’s classic the ‘Rah-Rah’ skirt, Sally features three sumptuous tiered layers that bear resemblance to a more ‘refined’ version of the 80’s cult Rah-Rah mini, with a modern edge. The effortless merger between iconic decades in style and S/S 16’s ever growing desire to ‘vamp’ and modernize suede makes the Eco-friendly, cruelty free suedette Boohoo version one to watch. As part of Boohoo’s new ‘Night’ inspired range the fringed suedette skirt’s tassels or fringe are ideal for dancing the night away as they swish and turn until the lights go out. A longer mini skirt than a traditional 60’s mini, the longer length can appear ‘awkward’ on shorter frames so beware of your footwear choice to avoid looking disproportional. Because I am naturally petite 5 ft 4-height and build wise- the skirt, whose smallest size goes up to an eight, meant it sat a little lower than I would have liked, as I prefer ‘high waisted’ or on the waist skirts. Asides from the minor issue of sizing, the skirt itself is a showstopper that will entertain for years to come.
The unique selling point of the ‘Sally’ suedette skirt remains cemented in its 70’s bohemian aesthetic, whose ‘dyed fringe’ fabrics became ubiquitous with the image of ‘festival’ living, for free-spirited folk that challenged the fashion norm. While the use of ‘fringed fabric’ is not as revolutionary or intended to make a political impact as it was in it’s 1970’s heyday, Sally still makes a ‘stylistic’ impact. Mirroring 60’s ‘Swinging London’ icon Jean Shrimpton’s Vogue cover, fringed boho ‘mixi’ skirt, Sally borrows elements from ‘New Romanticism’ with its passionate ‘berry hue’ while the fringing is undoubtedly mid- 60’s haute couture. Beloved by so many, it was only a matter of time before Boohoo revitalized and reinvigorated suede for spring/summer couture. What I love about suede being introduced into ‘spring/summer couture’ is how ‘wearable’ it is across all seasons and that regardless of colour it does not have to belong to a particular season. Whilst my second choice Aalia Button front Suedette Mini Skirt’s pastel ‘blue’ shade might be synonymous with the image of spring and Sally’s rich cranberry shade said to be more suited to ‘winter’, rules were meant to be broken and fashion has no limitations.
I wear my skirt with the knowledge that not only am I supporting ‘three charitable’ organizations but that I stand there with three decades of fashion history all in one skirt and if that isn’t groundbreaking I don’t know what is. Stay tuned for next week for Boohoo Spring/ Summer 2016 Campaign Part II
Would You Shop Boohoo’s Spring/Summer Suede 2016 Campaign?
Shop The Look: Turtleneck- Forever 21 ( Sold Out) Shop Similar At Boohoo / Skirt- Boohoo / Heels- Ego Official ( Sold Out) Shop Similar At Boohoo / Personalized Necklace- White Daisies /Sunglasses- Asos