Just Give Us Time

“Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” Anyone who loves fashion knows Miranda Priestly’s sarcastic line from the film The Devil Wears Prada, already listed as one of the best lines of the 21st century.

A cliché for sure, yet routinely ignored by designers, who continue to feature the floral motif on their spring-summer runways with endless creativity, year after year. After all, florals and spring are a timeless match, and we all agreed on this.

I used to roll my eyes with the same scorn at the other fashion cliché, equally evoked on each return of spring – the one that describes the seasonal styles as the embodiments of our longing for more time, new beginnings, the innocence of a fresh start. Who needs more time, I wondered through my youth, when we have all the time in the world. Well, not so much anymore, it seems. A few days ago, while reading an article about the experiential marketing strategies employed by luxury brands to connect more effectively with wealthy customers, I came across a statement that triggered in me an unexpected, but clearly directed, annoyance. At the core of their approach lay the idea that “rich people are time-poor.” Really, Sherlock, only rich people? Have you been living under a rock? Aren’t we all affected by time poverty nowadays? Isn’t the chronic feeling that there are too many things to do and not enough time to do them the most persistent and pervasive malaise we all suffer from, day in, day out?

This is an important question. Over the last few decades, the undeniably increasing material affluence failed to translate into time affluence. The obvious symptoms of ‘busyness’ (or time poverty), which we all share, are rarely acknowledged and addressed properly, as we prefer to either throw money at the problem or simply sweep it under the rug. Today, we are ready and willing to pay for time savers we would have never even considered paying for two decades ago. Everything now is about getting premium and highly-specialized services, no wait, non-stop, using any program or trick that allows us to skip the line and be in the wanted seat, or enjoy the coveted experience, stat! Sneaking up on us like the most unwelcome intruder, time poverty affects at once all aspects of our well-being: from our health, relationships, and productivity, to our engagement, purpose, and -ultimately- our happiness. In Dr. Seuss’ well-said words: “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness, how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon?” Time is not money anymore, Mr. Benjamin Franklin, Sir, time is life. Ours to spend, ours to cherish. And while we cannot slow down or stop the march of time, nor control its flow the way we’d like to, we can still enjoy the ride and get the most out of it.

Carolina Herrera

Christopher Esber

Carolina Herrera

By looking at the 2024 Spring-Summer fashion styles from this perspective, we understand much better the nostalgia for the 1960s’ la dolce vita they represent, as I largely described in my previous article. Missing so much those times of living with intent, slow-paced yet fully-savored, we believe more than ever that spring and summer truly are about the innocence of a fresh start, the chance of new beginnings, and, yes, having time on our side, fashion cliché or not. What we wear this season sends out the hopeful double message of innocence and rejoicing. A clean slate. A celebration of time equals life (as in, each precious moment of it). And how could fashion designers better express the wised-up dual message than with ubiquitous white, flowers, gold, pearls, sequins, rhinestones, fringes, and the experience of a street style leveled up to couture.

This summer, the white dress reigns supreme, having easily taken over the slip dress and the little black dress. Short and nineties-inspired minimalist; long-shirt style or as workwear shirt daringly worn sans-pants; in immaculate designs playing with transparency for a fetishist-inspired look; in the neo-T-shirt option; or even in the longer and lacy, ethereal bridal version – the white dress proves surprising versatility and pizzazz time and again, steering clear of any ‘wedding gown’ effect or matron innuendo.

Floral prints, appliqués, or bouquet-like couture creations are abundant and luxuriant, present in summer styles in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Voluminous flowers in black tulle decorating a tone-on-tone dress; red rose petals adorning impressive silk dresses or playing the emblem on a leather dress; fresh-cut roses encapsulated in tulle over white cotton slips; all-over pink and purple floral prints blooming across collections; fringed shirts with floral motifs; orchids painted on black silk dresses; bright crocheted flowers embroidered on intricate minidresses; macramé leaves on sleeves and hems; micro-florals scattered on vintage-inspired dresses – have all floated down the catwalks worldwide, in a twirl of art, beauty, and much-coveted romance.

There is no celebration without the shiny, the glitter, the sparkle, and the bling. While the previous season’s favorite, silver, offered immediate access to a sci-fi, futuristic look, this season’s gold dresses, skirts, and suits tap into a baroque style, evoking movie stars’ red-carpet look and the symbols of luxury, opulence, and timelessness, even when they are worn in daytime designs – office, sporty, or sexy.




Ann Demeulemeester

And we can’t talk about festive glamour without noting what sequins, pearls, rhinestones, and fringes can do for a top, a dress, a shirt, a skirt, or a pantsuit. Leaving the heavy-lifting to the gold bling, some designers played with delicate touches of glitter and sparkle – sequin tops in aquatic colors matched with satin pants; shimmery embroidered minidresses; black dresses adorned with pearls; light cashmere sweaters layered over crystal tops paired with leather shorts. Others opted for an all-over sequined look – black dress with cut-outs, perfectly-fit black pantsuits, fatale sequin dresses with long slits, and the minimalist white sequin looks of a baby-doll dress or a pencil skirt, the latter paired with a black silk shirt. Rock’n’roll fringes enhance our every move, on a black leather skirt, a gathered silk dress, a crochet top, sexy designs, and – best of all – fringed jewelry.

As we start paying more attention to the quality of our daily (nonmarketed) experiences this season, we get to wear a street style that looks refreshed and upscaled at a classy, almost couture level. This year, Levi’s celebrates the 150th anniversary of its iconic 501 jeans, so it’s no wonder that denim is on-trend like never before, omnipresent from the everyday pair of jeans, shorts, or miniskirts, to the denim total look of head-to-toe devotion. However, denim is smartly embellished to offer the elegant touch of a whole new appreciation for this iconic fabric, too casually regarded as our second skin for over a century. Now considered a sophisticated garment by fashion designers, the pair of jeans compose refined looks, such as extra-wide pants worn with a small couture jacket; a clever washed-out finish for a most-wanted jet-set style; in white with gold jewels; or in raw denim complete silhouettes, paired with a corset or a biker jacket. Openwork jeans are adorned with mirrors or bows, covered with tulle, embroidered with pearls, or beautified with floral patterns and discreet casual cuts. In more maximalist versions, jeans are lacerated and trimmed with tulle or turned into ruffled skirts.





A surprising trend for the warm season, leather survives in much more than accents or accessories, carrying its own brand of chic way into the hot summer nights. In a slim-fitting perfecto, the leather skirt makes bold appearances in both the mini and maxi versions. We get to wear either minimalist black leather miniskirts, nineties-inspired low waist skirts, and wrap skirts with sexy straps, or maxi, femme fatale, bloody red skirts – wrapped, knotted, or sky-high slit up.

Lastly, the go-to cover for the evening summer breeze is the legendary leather biker jacket, which can be seamlessly paired with absolutely all of the above-mentioned styles, both in its urbane and oversized versions and its polished classic cut. Regardless of how it is tailored, the famous badass biker jacket has enduringly symbolized the ride-or-die irreverence of the 1950s in the quest for freedom, making the case for living your life, not someone else’s, to the beat of your own drum.

2024 was announced to be a ‘year of ballots and bullets’, a stress test both for democracy and the increasingly threatening global instability. A fast-paced year in a man-eat-man world, equally eventful and exhausting. I deeply believe there is no way to underestimate the value of time in the dire circumstances we have so diligently created for ourselves. Truth is, the day has only 24 hours for all of us, and the time to make the most of things is only right now.

It doesn’t matter if we regard time as this ‘relentless thief’ or as the black hole of the fourth dimension. Poets and cynics alike, we move from experience to experience, each defined by its time and place, but more importantly, by the quality of our presence in each moment. We used to think this way about summer days, with their dreamy tempo of slow-motion escape – always asking to be longer, never long enough.

It took us a while to understand how the gift of time works. How summer, as much as life itself, if well lived, is long enough. So. Why rush? And where to? I have yet to hear the right answer to that.

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini


Ralph Lauren


Ralph Lauren