The basic belt was no where to be seen this season, and we wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing when it comes to fashion trends. Quite the opposite – several designers are offering fresh interpretations on the classic belt. We saw wide corset-like waist-cinchers at Alexander McQueen, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, loose and low, hip-hugging belts at both Céline and Chloé. Michael Kors and Givenchy gave us new versions of the utility belt. Joseph Altuzarra showed us that safety clasps can be really chic, with his sporty nylon webbing belts. Roksanda Illincic and Matthew Williamson had sailing on their minds with little rope belts accenting their breezy spring collections. And Peter Dundas gave us Emilio Pucci’s signature prints in soft and silky belt forms. Of all the fashion trends to come from the Spring/Summer 2012 collections, adding a new belt could be the easiest way to update your wardrobe.
Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2012
The corset belt
As seen at: Alexander McQueen, Burberry Prorsum
Very thick, waist-cinching belts bring corsetry to mind. Having been featured prominently by Sarah Burton in Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2012 collection, her belts were seductive, with curves designed to follow the woman’s body and accentuate the wasp-like waist. On the opposite side, Christopher Bailey took on a more casual design, with wide woven leather belts cinching the summer versions of the famous Burberry trench.
Céline Spring/Summer 2012
The hip-hugger belt
As seen at: Chloé, Céline
Low-slung belts have that carefree, boyish charm. Paired beautifully with wide-leg trousers at both Chloé and Céline, this hip-hugging belt elongates the torso, giving one a more masculine silhouette. On the other hand, both designers also played up the feminine side, pairing it with dresses and skirts for a drop-waisted look that recalled the 1920s flapper figure. Either way, there is a certain effortlessness tied to this loose look.
Roksanda Illincic Spring/Summer 2012
The rope belt
As seen at: Roksanda Illincic, Matthew Williamson
Easy, breezy and summery, rope belts bring sailing to mind. This nautical detail was prominently featured in Roksanda Illincic’s Spring 2012 collection, where it appeared in a broad array of colours, tied together in the front with an ingenuous sailor’s knot. Matthew Williamson also had sailor chic in mind, with sunny leisure suits cinched with black rope belts with long tassel end detailing.
More Spring 2012 belt options and fashion trends on the next page…
Emilio Pucci Spring/Summer 2012
The fabric belt
As seen at: Emilio Pucci, Chris Benz
Light and airy, fabric belts are ideal for hot summer days, echoing Bohemian ease. For his Spring 2012 Emilio Pucci collection, Peter Dundas cinched everything from tight pencil skirts to wide leg trousers with colourful silk belts featuring the signature geometric prints. For Chris Benz, belts almost took the centre stage, appearing in nearly every runway look, often tied in a tiny bow, with ends loosely hanging to models’ knees.
Altuzarra Spring/Summer 2012
The safety belt
As seen at: Altuzarra
Somewhat resembling a seatbelt, and in some cases a parachute strap, many incarnations of the safety belt appeared on Joseph Altuzarra’s Spring 2012 runway. Sometimes monocromatic, sometimes two-toned, and sometimes mixed with a
floral Hawaiian print, it was paired up with little sleeved A-line dresses, adding an element of toughness.
Michael Kors Spring/Summer 2012
The utility belt
As seen at: Michael Kors, Givenchy
It’s a belt and a bag combined. Sound familiar? We used to call it a “fanny pack” but now it’s graduated to more sophisticated sounding names like “the belt bag” or a “utility belt.” This hands-free wonder was prominent in Michael Kors’ safari themed collection, where models sported stylish khaki ensembles coupled with utilitarian belt bags. We also saw a more urban interpretation of the belt bag at Givenchy’s sleek and minimal runway, where little pouch bags were suspended on a thin low-slung chain belt. The “fanny pack” never looked so chic.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.