Everything in the fashion game is fair play; and there is nothing designers won’t reference, or flat-out appropriate. We know that womenswear takes many cues from menswear details, but did you pay attention to the latest craze for epaulettes (literally “small shoulders” in French)?
Well, the cat’s out of the bag, and designers are applying epaulettes to just about everything from outerwear, which is the expected garment type, to daywear and anything ranging from dresses to little jackets.
Don’t think that everything is, as it seems. Some designers are referencing the epaulette look via cropped boleros and shrugs. At face value the look is pure epaulette style, but when viewed from the side or back profile, the bolero/shrug divulges the ruse.
The epaulette may come from a military ancestry, an ode to the Napoleonic era and 19th century romanticism. As they say, “Who doesn’t love a man in uniform?” So, why not love the woman too? If you look a little further into the trend, you’ll be surprised to find out some rather unusual applications (Russian jailbirds are totally into the look too?).
The most pronounced epaulette effect from the most recent collections comes with longer hair furs which play as much with volume, as they do with the theatrics of the look. The vibe ranges greatly from rock star cool, to football player brawn. At the end of the day, you could see it as an outward shoulder-pad and not as a military insignia.