Utility wear was all over the runways at the Spring 2003 collections, decorating a sea of stylists and models in both London and Paris. Designers from Blaak to Sonia Rykiel hit up the Katharine Hamnett and Norma Kamali archives hard for parachute and combat inspiration while editors excavated Maharishi "snopants" and descended on army surplus stores for multi-functional military gear. Reminiscent of the "techy" late ’90s trend that sated our desire for loads of compartments to fit our new gadgetry, the current movement surrounds clothing that signal strength and security — pieces that appear structurally sound and physically protective. The economy is floundering. War looms. And the frill and flounce seen in recent seasons is giving way to sturdier dressing.
Photo: Hagay Elle