Last week, we discussed the new trend term “athleisure,” which is essentially sport-inspired loungewear, or “après sport”. This trend basically dictates that your plain old spandex leggings can be worn practically anywhere, along with baggy sweaters and Nike trainers.
The advent of “leisurée” is quite similar, in that it celebrates basic wardrobe staples, though these are the types normally worn under your clothes. You guessed it – leisurée is inspired by lingerie. Lacy, delicate and feminine – these are the characteristics of this new style trend. But dressing in your underpants can get you into some serious trouble, especially in this region. Nonetheless, there are elements of leisurée that can be easily incorporated in your wardrobe, for daytime dressing, workwear and party attire.
If you’re thinking bold, brazen and boudoir, think again – that’s not what leisurée is about. Sure, it’s flirty, but it’s also tasteful, or at least it can be. There are a variety of attitudes one can portray with this type of look, from rebellious and deviant, to angelic and sweet. For their spring/summer collections, both Givenchy and Saint Laurent showed the “dark side” of leisurée. At Givenchy, dramatic, seemingly shredded lace drapes enrobed the models. In a monochrome palette, strappy bodysuits, lace-panelled silk chemises and trousers, and sultry dressing-gown-like kimonos lit up the runway, targeting a mature, sophisticated yet daring client. At Saint Laurent, meanwhile, the vibe was more suited to a younger customer – one on the hunt for a prom-after-party ensemble. Nonchalant cardigans were thrown over short, glitzy dresses with upper thigh-high slits. Lace, silky, sequinned and sheer fabrics were used, and tiaras were placed over the models’ dishevelled hairstyles.
At Chloé, leisurée was featured in a far subtler and more wearable way – starting with a lighter colour palette. Earthy tones, pastel shades and pretty whites, with bows, lace trims, deep necklines and off-the-shoulder cuts. Somehow, it made a romantic negligee seem suitable for the day.
Perhaps the most successful leisurée on the catwalk was at Christopher Bailey’s spring/summer Burberry show. Being known for trench coats, the whole theme could have gone terribly wrong. But the combination of little lace dresses, in neutral and black shades, with structured jackets and playful rucksacks worked very well. A personal favourite was an unfitted navy blue jumper with quixotic reveal of black lace peeking out from underneath. Worn with gold-chain-embellished flatform sandals, it was a perfect embodiment of effortless leisurée. At Céline, meanwhile, the trend provided inspiration that was unfortunately, excruciatingly literal. Stark combinations of monochrome colours, lace, pleats and silk looked unappealing and distasteful, furthering my view that the brand should stick to handbags.
When shopping this trend, don’t overthink, or go overboard with lace. West LA, in Dubai’s Sunset Mall, stocks some great labels, such as Stylestalker, that reflect leisurée beautifully. The brand’s latest slip dresses incorporate a light pinstripe with delicate lace detailing – an alluring combination of hard and soft – which is exactly what makes leisurée so interesting. Look for unexpected and feminine elements, because it’s easy to fall into a raunchy trap. Wear a camisole slip dress over a long-sleeved top, or a black lace crop top with wide-leg trousers and a blazer. Layering is key here – make an undergarment-inspired piece look intentional, rather than a vulgar wardrobe malfunction, while giving it a touch of refined elegance.
Source: art & life