CAPES – A SPRING THING
CAPES – A SPRING THING
This spring, designers are bringing to the forefront that trusty fashion piece that has remained a True Fashionistastaple through the centuries: the cape. Thanks in no small part to the hit Netflix series Bridgerton, capes are once again fully on the radar, appearing all over the recent Paris digital Spring 2021 Fashion Week runways. Today’s designers, however, have been flexing their creative muscle, and their modern cape creations are a far cry from the simple shoulder-hugging garment of days of yore, least of all the ones worn by fictitious superheroes.
It’s widely believed that the ancient French word cloke itself stems from the Latin word cloca, which means cape. An illustration of a soldier (possibly a shepherd) dated 1066 features a cape draped across his shoulder. Another from roughly the 1300s showed a woman with a cape attached to the collar of her dress. As they evolved over time, more complex cape styles emerged requiring tailoring and intricate stitching as they came to signify rank or occupation. While monks wore hooded, waist-length styles, Victorian royalty rocked the familiar double-stitched, fur-trimmed version made from velvet, silk or satin that fell to the feet. Not only did these royal capes, most often in red or purple with gold trim, make a grand presentation, but the floor length protected the wearer from the elements. In the early 1900s capes were still worn as protection, but now by European military. It was in the 1920s that capes evolved into a fashion statement, worn as a companion to evening looks. With their less restricted fit, they could be worn over fuller dresses. Capes were again reimagined in the 1950s to emphasize seamless lines, then fell out of the limelight until the 1970s, reemerging quite often in crocheted form as the poncho cape. It wasn’t until Burberry’s Fall/Winter 2014 show that designer Cara Delevingne brought back the cape with a show-ending parade of models, each sporting a printed dress complete with monogrammed painted poncho draped over one shoulder. Annnd, True Fashionista capes were officially BACK.
Capes for Spring 2021 have truly taken the True Fashionista cape trend to another level. New York’s couture Area label designers Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk used almost half a million Swarosvki crystals in their entry for the recent Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week runway collection (18 virtual shows of handcrafted gorgeousness sans audience), keeping with Area’s penchant for affixing its signature crystal trim on everything from puffer jackets to high-heeled shoes. Several of these glam pieces were beautifully designed capes. Rihanna’s Spring Fendi line has followed suit with floor-length shining caped creations. Giambattista Valli’s cape was a stunning head-to-toe layered, ruffled affair in bright red while Cameroonian Imane Ayissi’s African-influenced style was apparent in his regal multi-colored cape draped exquisitely over a True Fashionista fuscia pink affair. RVDK Ronald van der kemp partnered for the second time with Carpet for Life, an organization working with women in Morocco, to create a leopard print hooded cape dress and a jacket — van der Kemp’s version of a fur coat.
Fashion writer Roxanne Adamiyatt reminds us via Town and Country Magazine that whether you fancy feminine lines or gravitate toward military or utilitarian looks in your cape preference, or perhaps just adore a classic check or Burberry tartan, True Fashionista capes are just another way to present these style tentpoles in a way that feels fresh and new. Some of her preferred styles come from Giulia’s line in classic white, or Balmain’s bold houndstooth print, complete with hood. Nina Ricci’s loose and floaty olive gathered faille cape is a way to provide some great contrast to those winter chunky knits, and in a throwback to the military era of cape-wearing, Karen Millen’s navy blue cape is simple and utilitarian. As a reminder that yes it is still winter at the moment, enjoy a good snuggle inside an Isabel Marant Etoile Gabe collared flannel cape.
Bottom line, many designers are featuring a cape in their lines this spring, from Armani to Barbour and more. Get yours and be a hit at any outdoor, socially-distanced gathering in this cool weather over the next few months. Check out the fine selection of capes in our always-updated collection at True Fashionista Resale. Shop online or safely masked-up in our Naples, FL location.