Fashion + Our Oceans

Fashion and the Ocean: Sea Outfits Inspired by Earth’s Waters

With so many over-populated cities and bustling towns on our planet, it is easy to forget that 71% of the Earth’s surface is made up of water. The fact that 96% of this water is in the oceans leaves much marine life to be explored and increasing potential to influence fashion.

Over the years, there have been some ocean-inspired outfits at fashion shows and brands have come on board, despite the majority of looks taking a more urban approach. Let’s take time to explore these marine looks by different designers, and showcase the rarity of this area of fashion and design.

Tommy Hilfiger’s beach-themed fashion show

At the 2016 New York fashion show, Tommy Hilfiger decided to go for a Caribbean beach-themed look for their models. Hilfiger said that he wished to take a more relaxed approach for the spring/summer line and said that he had used “Prints, hand crochet fabrics and island-type, beachy vibes.”

The lineup of models was diverse in both colour and style with an array of yellow and green coloured bikinis as well as a lovely floral seaside dress, perfect for lounging in. Hilfiger described the style as “A bohemian-hippie look that a lot of women wear when they are vacationing on the islands.”

adidas X Parley for the oceans

Inspired by increasing efforts from other fashion brands to tackle climate change, adidas teamed up with Parley Ocean Plastics to provide the public with high-quality performance sportswear. The adidas X Parley range is an extensive and refreshing take on sportswear including tracksuits, swimwear, cycling jerseys, and an abundance of lightweight running shoes.

adidas X Parley shoes such as the Ultraboost, are extremely popular with runners of all abilities. The lightweight trainers are made out of recycled plastics that have been found in the ocean. Some colourways feature detail that nods to the work that adidas and Parley Ocean Plastics are striving to do when it comes to cleaning up the world’s oceans.

Shockingly, at least eight million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, after pollution has increased rapidly in the last 50 years. This means that lines such as adidas X Parley are extremely valuable to us in terms of cutting down on ocean pollution. adidas alone has the power to influence a huge portion of the globe, due to its size and reputation in the fashion industry, and what better way to do this by offering up affordable, stylish, ocean-inspired sportswear.

Felicity Brown “making waves” dress

For the Spring 2011 collection, designer Felicity Brown created a imaginative gown inspired by the ocean. The dress was called “Making Waves” and was slightly frilly in order to give the impression of waves in the sea. It featured both dark and light blues with hints of white throughout which gave the dress a look that was extremely easy on the eye.

The dress was extremely stylish and extravagant and would have been perfect for a formal occasion, and although quirky, looked very fashionable. The fact the dress was designed in 2011 is not relevant, as this dress has the potential to be a classic due to its inspiration being something so natural and beautiful.

Nautical fashion

Although much more low-key than the glamourous marine looks of fashion shows, nautical fashion has stood the test of time. Nautical-inspired clothes first became fashionable in the mid-1800s, when Queen Victoria wanted to dress her eldest son, Albert in a sailor’s costume. However, nautical fashion has evolved since the Victorian era, but that certainly does not mean it isn’t in the style.

Nautical style is still popular today, albeit used more often as casual attire. Navy blue and white t-shirts and sweatshirts have remained classics in the world of dressing stylishly for everyday life and many big-name designers have dipped their toes into this area of the fashion industry.

An iconic piece of nautical clothing would be the Ralph Lauren Navy Pea Coat, which gives a brilliant smart-casual look to those looking to buy. It ditches the traditional striped pattern which gives it a smarter, darker look overall.

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