Photographs by Venetia Scott, Styled by Edward Enninful
Back in middle school, there was one staple I had to wear every day: my studded leather belt, purchased (along with my other necessity: black nail polish) at my local mall's Hot Topic. And while that belt meant everything to me, I haven't given belts many thoughts since—at least, until ultra-chic, corset-like versions appeared around the waists of models in Prada's fall 2016 maritime collection, somehow stealing the show from accessories like patent leather sailor caps and necklaces made out of actual diaries at Milan Fashion Week.
As with most things that are Miuccia Prada-approved, belts seem to have been showing up everywhere since—and not just the practical kind that, you know, holds up your pants. A year later, everyone from Kylie Jenner to Nicole Kidman are still stepping out in oversized versions to making statements with the accessories. (For the former, with one so long it almost dragged on the floor, as an addition to an all-denim look; for the latter, as a finishing touch to her ensemble while celebrating her Academy Award nomination this year.) Even menswear designers have been picking up on the trend: Gosha Rubchinskiy, Y/Project's Glenn Martens, Martine Rose, and once again Prada all even showed two belts at once on the runways during the men's shows in June.
And while summer's usually the time for roomy caftans, the past few months have seen plenty of celebrities sticking with cinching their waists, too. Cara Delevingne kicked things off at the Met Gala with not just a head of silver paint and sequins, but a Chanel brocade suit whose belt she'd placed more than a few inches above her glittery trousers's waistline. After refocusing the chainmail trend on her torso with a chainlink belt, her pal Bella Hadid went back to the source while in Paris for Miu Miu's cruise show with a Miuccia-designed accessory around her waist. And, that same week in Paris, while on this year's edition of her ever delightful tour at Paris Couture Week, expert front-rower Celine Dion accentuated her buttery yellow leather dress with even more leather in the form of a black strap easily slung around her waist. (Hadid, by the way, at least two more belts that week while walking the runway for Alexandre Vauthier.)
In the summer of fanny packs—a trend even Leonardo DiCaprio has caught on to—belts are definitely the safer way to make a statement. That is, as long as you don't take Paris Hilton's timely advice to make sure yours is the same size as your miniskirt.
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