There’s nothing like the DUOTONE

Scrap the multicolour for the remarkable two-tone – there’s nothing ordinary about this simple luxurious summer trend

J Crew spots allows simplicity to have a new image
J Crew spots allows simplicity to have a new image

Summertime in a big city may hold some surprises. Whether it’s raining or sunny, it’s nice to wander around tirelessly outfitted with sneakers, tennis shoes or high-tops that take their technical features from the world of sports into our daily outfits. Especially when they’re so simple that you don’t have to think twice.

With a holiday feel in the air and a sparkling, blazing rhythm of summer, we tend to release the summer ghosts from our wardrobes as well. And normally, when we say summer we think colours, colours and more colours. However, this summer we’re changing the record and thinking Breton tones! It’s only normal for us to blend into nature in the same colours sea does.

The importance and the power of a stripy shirt is rooted deep in the French history, when the striped Breton shirt was introduced in 1858 Act of France as the uniform for all navy seamen. After visiting the coast of France, in 1917 Coco Chanel introduced the mariniere shirt in her nautical collection. At that time the Breton top became a symbol of haute-bourgeois during the pre-war years. However, the shirt needed Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Paul Gaultier to make it popular. Thanks to Gaultier himself, nowadays, the stripy marine shirt is not only a symbol of chic Parisian style, but also a must for every fashionista.

Stripes - never out of style
Stripes – never out of style

And just like then, the overwhelming winner for fashion trend of this season is this marine duotone. A mainstay on the colour palette, subtly balanced between marine blue and plain white, is absolutely perfect when combined with a sandy beach and/or a boat.

Thin lines and broad bands sail together in a perfect symmetry on squared shopping bags, soft clutches, shoulder décor, flip-flops and maxi wedges. And this unmistakable mix of two colours is blending in the latest range seen in haute couture runways, especially in the accessories departments. Chanel, Burberry and Ralph Lauren focused on bags and Marni used it on stripy high-top sandals.

The ambassador of stripes, Jean Paul Gaultier uses them very often. As he likes to point out occasionally, it is somehow a part of his vocabulary and his definite signature.

What makes the stripes so glam is the fact that they have something very normcore in them. This unpretentious yet glamorous way of matching clothes is another type of “dress to impress” magical formula. New York and Paris fashion sows were showered with the normcore style proving how powerful this casual trend can be. However, the simplicity of the stripes gives a modern touch to formal dressing as well.

To be honest, I cannot think of a year when there wasn’t at least one marine item on the S/S catwalks. And the power of those stripes probably lies in its asymmetrical appearance. No matter if it’s horizontal or vertical, when combines with a slick white trousers or wide puffy skirt, a mariniere shirt gives an unmistakable trendy look. And rather simple as well.

Using the words of Coco Chanel herself “the simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance”. It is certain that the trendy stripes prove that point. And if we can’t rely on her words when it comes to style and trend, whom else can we confine in?



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