When Boohoo announced that they were creating a ’72 piece’ collection with ‘British Rapper of the moment’ Stefflon Don, Twitter went into melt down, professing their love for the talented rapper and her take on the ‘streetwear revival trend’. Fashion critics praised Don’s ‘desire to cater to all body types’ with sizing from size 6-24 and acknowledged that she was the ‘representation of the curvier, hour glass figure’ that the fashion world so needed. All too often ‘millennial brands’ have been criticized for their lack of diversity in the collaborations that they source, the influencers, celebrities and models that they photograph and even in their brand image, which is why it was so refreshing to see a collaboration with Stefflon Don, who not only exemplifies the ‘curvier girl movement and body positivity’ but also as a British-Jamaican MC who is proud of her mixed heritage, she represents that all women regardless of body shape, skin colour, heritage or aesthetics should be celebrated for who they are, as true beauty is not defined by archaic societal labels. Politics aside, one of the key assets of Don’s collaboration of streetwear is not just how it transcends typical ‘ representation in size and diversity’ but also how it seeks to revive the ‘streetwear trend’, which contrary to popular belief is not a ‘noughties trend’ but rather began its roots in Los Angeles, during the 1970’s.
The 1970’s might traditionally be associated with Nouveu Bohemianism, but in Los Angeles the rise of ‘Skateboard culture’ which became a by product extension of sub-cultural ‘music groups’ like Hip Hop, demonstrated a need for ‘relaxed, leisure wear’ which people could use to dance, skate and hang out in’ although we see ‘streetwear as a noughties phenomenon’ because brands like Vetements made streetwear due to the democratization of fashion where our ‘dress codes’ became relaxed due to a ‘logical way of dressing’ as opposed to feeling the need to be ‘overdressed’ for every ocassion. But what does this relaxed attitude to fashion have to do with Stefflon Don I hear you ask? Well it’s simple Stefflon Don has curated a collection which is not only ‘accessible to all women’ but is also a great example of the ‘streetwear revival trend’ with a modern twist, exemplified through neoprane colour block cycling shorts paired with long sleeved cropped matching tops, casual unitards and colour block swim suits. Of course alongside the ‘revival of street wear’ other micro trends that can be seen throughout the collection include ‘ the digital psychotropic trend’ exemplified through the ‘tropical tie top’ and relaxed split palazzo pants, the flamenco trend as shown through the red scoop neck jumpsuit with ruffled trouser legs with volume and mixing prints which is evident in the tie front tuxedo dress.
Read on below where I explore my favourite pieces from Boohoo X Stefflon Don’s First collection and how it represents the streetwear revival trend and challenges my own preconceptions of fashion…
Stefflon Don Varsity Print Cycling Shorts And Matching Top
Cycling Shorts have been nicknamed the ‘Marmite’ of the fashion world, where you either love them or hate them and in my case it is so far outside of my traditional ‘fashion’ comfort zone that I am curious to see as to whether Don’s collection can convert me to the ‘bike short trend’, which is a cross between athleisure and the streetwear trend. Or in my case a new outfit to wear to ‘fitness classes’ without resorting to a top and leggings but that is a story for another time. But where does the bike short trend originate from and how is relevant to Don’s streetwear collection? Like most trends, the ‘bike short’ was premeditated by ‘celebrities’ like Kim Kardashian, who seems to have taken style tips from Yeezy himself AKA ‘Kanye West’ and has cultivated multiple neutral beige and camel wardrobes with athleisure favourites like the unitard, the bike short and scoop neck vest combo and of course popper pants with a 90’s crop, with other celebrities like Bella Hadid also making her mark on the ‘bike short movement’.
And It’s Not Just Celebrities either; during Paris Fashion Week 2018 , Natacha Ramsay-Levi (the creative director of Chloe) sent models out in a semi-imitation of the bike trend with just below-the-knee trousers in denim, khaki, and caramel worn with knee-high boots while the fashion brand ‘Off White’ closed the show with Naomi Campbell looking as impeccable as ever in ivory bike shorts and a blazer, creating a stark contrast between ‘formal’ and streetwear, in one delicious paradigm of fashion. In Stefflon Don’s case, it is the only pair of cycling shorts that I have seen to date that I would actually buy and that is largely due to the tailoring and the fun 80’s colourblock design. The cycling shorts feature a ‘varsity print’ which such phrases as ‘woman’ repeated over again to exemplify ‘girl power’ which I love, while the cheeky ‘dollar print’ that seems to be prevalent throughout Don’s streetwear collection, is so tongue in cheek that you can’t help but smile. And it’s the same with the matching long sleeved 1/2 zip top with a matching varsity print, which you can’t help but feel draws parallels to the ‘pop art movement’ with its use of primary colours (albeit in a more muted palette) juxtaposed in a patchwork of navy, purple and light blue.
How Would You Style The Cycling Shorts And Matching Top Co Ord?
The great thing about this ‘cycling shirts co ord’ is that paired with the top it looks like a unitard as opposed to co-ord which makes it infinitely easier to style than you think. You could pair it with a faux leather jacket and knee high boots for a modern take on the ‘bike short trend’ , go sporty with a bomber jacket and trainers or even go for a night out with heeled sandals, a tongue in cheek clutch and a duster jacket with tie detail.
Shop The Cycling Co-Ord And Accessories Below
Stefflon Don Frill Hem Jumpsuit ( Available In Red Or Black)
While the ‘frill hem’ jumpsuit inspired by the Flamenco summer trend does not necessarily fit into Don’s revival of streetwear, what it does show is a relaxed approach to ‘going out’ which proves that you don’t need to wear a ‘dress to look fabulous’. Similar to the ‘bike shorts’ democratization of fashion, the relaxed nature of a jumpsuit makes it ideal to dance in, is perfect for a date night and is kept from looking too ‘simplistic’ with the frill hem, which draws parallels with the ‘Spanish Flamenco Movement’ of 2016. Theatrical, intense and evocative of the ‘wow factor’ the Flamenco trend is inspired by the dance of the same name, which narrates of a tale steeped in passion, attraction and drama. Their sleeves are ruffled, dresses are flounced and even the simplest of ‘stage costumes’ are given that decidedly delicious ‘Spanish Flair’. But what about the humble jumpsuit I hear you ask? Admittedly the top half is casual, with a tailored, fitted scoop neck that dramatically cascades into a voluminous waterfall of carnation red ruffles, creating a stark contrast between the top and bottom half of the jumpsuit. But despite the large ruffles, the jumpsuit is surprisingly wearable, best shown on the dance floor as you imitate your ‘inner Beyonce’
How To Style The Frill Hem Jumpsuit
Because the jumpsuit is already quite ‘dressy’ ensure to keep accessories to a minimum with strappy heeled sandals, minimalist jewellery and a pair of tinted red sunglasses for extra pizazz.
Shop The Red Jumpsuit And Accessories Below
Stefflon Don Side Split Wide Leg Trousers And Scarf Print Tie Top
What is interesting about Don’s collection is how she has not chosen to focus on one key trend but rather ‘created her own’ like this baroque inspired psychotropical wide leg trousers and tie top co ord, which merges the baroque and psychotropic fashion trend into one seamless outfit. Best described as a ‘ sub-cultural homage’ to its mainstream sister the ‘tropical trend’, psychotropicalism exists on its ability to blur the boundaries between reality and what Baudrillard calls ‘hyper-reality’, ensuing that the boundaries of fashion prints too have become blurred. For example (as we can also see in her varsity streetwear pieces), the prints have no definitive shape or structure, allowing the print to overrun, until the baroque characteristics i.e in the fashion world the Baroque is characterized by a formal redundancy and by the complexity of eccentric patterns like ornate tapestries is merged into the psychotropic elements, with the use of florals and lush vegetation that decorate the ‘baroque tapestries’.
But despite buying into the ‘baroque meets psychotropic element’, the tie top and wide leg split trousers still shows reverence to the streetwear trend, with its relaxed, loose silhouette juxtaposed with the Britney esque ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ Tie Top.
How To Style The Wide Leg Trousers And Tie Top Look
Because the Psychotropic trend is so ‘dramatic’, the accessories should be basic in order to not draw attention away from the co-ord. Think cork wedges and gladiator sandals with a floppy hat and retro tinted glasses for beach parties, while a night out with heeled sandals, a clutch and a statement pair of earrings will do just the trick.
Shop The Wide Leg Trousers & Accessories look
Stefflon Don Varsity Print Zip Bodycon Dress
Described as one of the ’10 Top Trends That People Will Be Wearing In 2018′ by Vogue, ‘Gym Kitsch’ is an evolution of a ‘Post- Athleisure World’, which features ‘bike shorts’, boxing shorts, retro shell suits and of course the much loved ‘varsity print’ as we saw earlier demonstrated through Don’s cycling shorts combo which transcended the athleisure and streetwear revival movement of recent years. But the great thing about gym kitsch is how it is all open to interpretation, thus this ‘zipper dress’ which can be worn casually or on a night out, features that iconic gym kitsch print with a more dressed up feel. The zip ‘neck’ draws parallels to sportswear like cycling, while the retro 50’s pop art aesthetic makes it a fun choice for a night out on the town.
How To Style The ‘Varsity Dress’
The great thing about this bodycon dress is despite its fitted silhouette it is just as easily worn during the day as it is at night. Wear with vans or converses with a trilby hat and retro sunglasses during the day, while a night time look can consist of strappy heels or knee high boots, a mixed print clutch and some statement earrings.
Shop The Varsity Dress And Accessories Below
Stefflon Don Scarf Print Wrap Satin Dress
Drawing parallels to the ‘psychotropic co-ord’ further above, this satin shift dress with black tie detail has a flattering asymmetric wrap design, that creates a stark contrast to the baroque meets psychotropical bloom print of the dress. The juxtaposition between the ‘bold black’ and the ‘fun psychotropic’ nature of the dress might be at two opposite ends of the fashion spectrum but for some reason it completely works in the overall construction of the look. Some cynics might say that the colours are too variegated, but in my eyes it stays true to Stefflon Don’s signature aesthetic as a fashion icon which is predominantly centered around mixing prints, reinventing streetwear and embracing body positivity, all mantras that I could definitely get behind.
How To Style The Print Wrap Satin Dress
This dress like most psychotropic led pieces is a great example of what to wear on the beach, thus a trilby or floppy hat, with polarized sunglasses, statement earrings and matching knee high boots is great for nights abroad and nights out on the town at home too.
Shop The Scarf Print Wrap Dress Look
Stefflon Don Stripe Tie Front Tuxedo Dress
This years answer to the ‘Chainmail trend’, the tuxedo dress might have evolved from ‘male elegance’ in sartorial occasions, but it is the feminine interpretation of the Tuxedo, transforming it into a ‘dress’ that allows us to tap into ‘androgynous potential’ with an added layer of sex appeal. And while the plunging neckline of Don’s Tuxedo dress might not appear as though it is paying reverence to the ‘borrowed from the boys’ movement, the semi-masculine colour block monochromatic stripe print with the baroque design layered ‘atop’ the stripes, makes it an interesting homage to the once male led trend. The tie detail and the plunging neckline is evocative of a traditional tuxedo dress but it is the print that helps this dress stand out from the crowd.
How To Style The Tuxedo Dress
Pair the dress with mixed prints to creae a shocking contrast- for example florals is a good choice, with a mixed print purse, contrasting peep toe heels and a statement jewel necklace to finish off the look.
Shop The Tuxedo Dress Look Below
Shop Other Stefflon Don Pieces Below
What Is Your Favourite Piece From The Stefflon Don X Boohoo Collection?