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Item of the week: the heart motif

By Rachel Douglass



(From left) Image: Desigual, Yvette Libby N'guyen Paris, Karl Lagerfeld

What it is:

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, the heart motif seems like an appropriate item of the week. However, the style, while occasionally considered dowdy, has had a fashionable update for the seasons ahead, thanks to its adoption by multiple designers that have elevated the look through modernised, experimental designs. While luxury brands featured the style in elevated prints and avant garde silhouettes, other retailers have adopted the look via embellishments, embroidery and patches, rejuvenating the motif in a fresh way.

Image: Madewell

Why you’ll want it:

Through its modern refresh, the heart motif has been reintroduced to a new, younger audience, which are heavily influenced by trends that the style can easily fall into. This includes the currently favoured ‘Barbiecore’ trend, inspired by the soon-to-be-released film by Greta Gerwig. The trend has seen all things pink become number one priority for consumers that are looking to the infamous doll for outfit inspiration. The heart motif can tie in easily to this trend, effortlessly linking to Barbie and the figure’s typical style choices.

Image: Hurley

Where we’ve seen it:

How the heart motif was applied for the SS23 varied upon the designer. Acne Studios and Victoria Beckham took on the trend with enlarged, yet intricate detailing – the former adding oversized hearts as layered elements, the latter forming the shape through the use of frills and pleating. Meanwhile, Nensi Dojaka took on the heart using the shape as a centerpiece for her lingerie-like slip dresses, providing a statement element to the looks. Alternatively, Paul & Joe opted to use the heart in a series of pastel coloured prints, seeing the shape trail down flowing dresses. Moschino on the other hand adopted the heart in a variety of styles, exhibiting 3D patches, heart-shaped necklines and accessories taking the familiar form.

Image: Simmi

How to style it:

Speaking in general, the heart can be a tricky motif to advise on, as its styling highly depends on the way it has been implemented into a design. The form can be seen in embroidery, prints, embellishments, among other techniques, making it a one that can be adjusted to suit just about any taste. The heart can be subtly adopted through the use of accessories that don the form, such as heart shaped bags or shoes with the mould embellished on. In other cases, the style can be paired with colours that fit with the trend, such as pink and red, which contrast well with dark tones.

Image: Moschino

The heart motif is the perfect addition to not just a Valentine’s range, but can also fit in well to this year’s ongoing fashion trends, proving it to be relevant for the months to come. With brands offering up varying and unique takes on the motif for this season, the recognisable shape has been elevated for a modern, younger audience.

Image: Happy Socks

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Item of the Week