Trend Watch: Getting Cagey

The spring/summer open-weave booties of Yves St. Laurent exemplify this trend, which is, if you pardon the pun, captured in many designers’ lines. Encircling an ankle, a wrist or even the entire torso, the look is a little bit peek-a-boo, but is decidedly not childish. The common theme is the geometric design of a cage. 



Whether accomplished in parallel bars or in perpendicular lines woven together in a tattersall pattern of lines forming squares on a light background, this is a look that’s all about drama.


This look in garments generally is executed in black on white and has a Gothic vibe. Structure-focused Alaia bandage dresses and fishnet stockings are versions of this look. The trick of this look is to design for bodies that inherently, no matter how slender the woman, are not all about straight, perpendicular lines, necessitating the clever use either of stretchy materials, or of diagonals and other design elements that allow the accessory or garment to conform to the body.


[YSL cage coat and grid design Dries Van Noten from the April 2009 issue of Allure magazine]


The April 2009 issue of Elle magazine provides a collage showcasing this style with numerous excellent examples, a few of which are shown here: 



This design concept translates well into jewelry. Bold parallel or interwoven lines is the most direct translation of this look into jewelry. Notice that the jewelry in Elle is executed in brass or unspecified white metal, although designer Dries Van Noten uses yellow metal to accessorize. The jewelry designs incorporate air and need space. Generally, they stand away from the body even as they conform to and encircle it.


Another variation of this look is a wire-wrapped gemstone, although to embrace the trend most literally requires a regular, geometric cage design rather than a wrap conforming to the rounded curves of the stone.


For the fashion-savvy customer who goes for drama, these cagey designs just might capture her fancy.

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