Some designers use buttons as a weapon they wield with amazing accuracy. Chanel’s garments have buttons that in one minute stand out drawing attention to themselves and the next, blend perfectly into the sumptuous fabrics to which they are attached. I would love to know how Karl Lagerfeld chooses/designs his buttons.
Recently, designers have used buttons in many different ways on the catwalk. Buttons can be used to help the designer reference a particular moment in time or style. They can accentuate a design line, add detail, or merely fasten the garment. Here are a few of my favourite button trends:
- Nautical or Utilitarian
- Attention Seekers
- Innovative and Interesting
Lately, lots of jaunty brass coloured buttons have appeared on sweaters, trousers, jackets, coats, and shorts. They have been found perched on shoulders or in single lines down the front of skirts and trousers. Double breasted jackets and pea coats have been splashed throughout the fashion magazines. Found in two rows along the front of trousers and shorts these buttons bring to fresh air and stormy seas. Duelling Designs’ Pinterest Board Buttons: In the Navy has photos of these nautical inspired garments.
Utilitarian styles remind me of military uniforms or the uniforms of factory workers during the second World War. They straddle the line between army uniforms, Safari clothes and garage coveralls. Designers like Marc Jacob use buttons and button-like embellishments to give these utilitarian garments flare.
The buttons in this trend are generally oversized, placed in interesting locations or play with colour. They scream, “look at me!” and add a robust confidence to a garment. I particularly loved Salvatore Ferragamo’s and Stella McCartney’s oversized two-toned buttons. These little bullseyes capture your attention and make the garment stand out. Dior uses tiny buttons covered in contrasting printed fabric to great effect. This row of tiny buttons down the front opening of the jacket draw your attention to the garment. Celine’s white jumpsuit with black buttons is the perfect example of using size, colour and placement to grab the public’s imagination.
INNOVATIVE AND INTERESTING
Some of my favourite garments that have been on the runways have used buttons or their plackets in exciting new ways.
I love the high-necked blouses and the innovative way they have been styled down the runway and in the magazines. Altuzarra’s blouses have small delicate buttons done up the front except for a section left open over the decollete. The blouse appears soft, feminine but at the same time adventurous. Alexander McQueen’s blouses are open in a similar way, but they are not meant to be closed. The tiny black buttons along the opening, act more like a decoration than a fastener.
Louis Vuitton’s White blouses do not have regular button holes or loops to fasten the buttons. Instead, they have an attached plastic-like insert along the blouse edge which closes the shirt. I loved this innovative and stylish detail.
To see more photos of how buttons are being used on the runway go to Dueling Designs Pinterest board Button Designer.