Casino Chic Takes to the Runways

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As we all know, the world of high fashion likes to change with the season, but one look that has been working its influence over the industry for a few months now is the casino-inspired aesthetic. Just as Chiara Boni’s RTW Spring 2017 collection was inspired by the attire of people roaming the streets of Manhattan’s upper east side, designers have now been taking inspiration from many of the outfits worn in casinos.

What is the casino look?

The casino look is predominantly comprised of gold, red, as well as black-and-white colour schemes, sequin textures and shining fabrics. Accordingly, the Spring/Summer 2017 fashion season witnessed a popularity in sequins in the shade of copper and metallic-looking fabrics. The shiny appearance gained popularity through a number of ways such as the weave of the fabric (for example, a satin or sateen weave delivers a sheen due to the long floats of warp or weft yarns, respectively, compared to simpler weaves like plain or twill), lamination techniques or fibre choices or finishes. Another way to gain that casino chic vibe is through accessorising, in a bid to capture the glitz and glamour found in the casino style hotspots: Las Vegas and Monte Carlo.

Which designers?

Fashion house Moschino, in keeping with their chosen theme of casino style, went as far as to launch their corresponding range in a Las Vegas-inspired set at the MADE Fashion Festival in Los Angeles, on June 8. As pointed out earlier, sequins played a major part in the outfits, while motifs such as flames and pinups were also present on the garments. The clothing ranged from overtly casino orientated to subtly hinting at the theme, but one thing for sure is that bright colours had a strong presence in creating a link throughout the entire Spring/Summer 2018 range.

Moreover, proving that the casino trend is not to be restricted only to summer wear, the Gucci Fall 2017 runway collection made use of an abundance of glitter, sparkles and shiny fabric. Despite Gucci’s Creative Director, Allessandro Michele, not specifying casino chic as one of the elements of inspiration for the designs, the theme was detectable even if incorporated unwittingly.

Casino chic in popular culture

Films, novels and television shows: all have at some point been influenced by the casino fashion aesthetic. According to online casino source, “films tend to explore the glamorous nature of high-end casinos – and there’s no more famous example than James Bond. The iconic British spy is an expert card player, frequently involved in casino games where there’s more than just money at stake”. With the overall yield of global casino gaming reaching $115 billion in 2016 and estimated to climb to $130 billion in 2019, it is no wonder that casino motifs have been – and are continuing to be – used as a signifier of prosperity, glamour and high living. Yet another film that incorporates a casino theme is The House (2017), with an exciting cast that includes renowned actors Will Ferrel and Amy Poeler. The casino theme has even extended to video games: the popular virtual card game Hearthstone, released in 2014 by Blizzard Entertainment, brought out an expansion pack imbued with the theme of the casino world.

From home decor, to bar and club designs, to city attractions, architecture also shows signs of casinos’ influence over our aesthetic tastes. Palm trees, slot machines (particularly the classic fruit machine games), money and neon signs – these designs have been produced countless times into patterns and statements on an astonishing number of everyday objects: stationary, cushions, clothing, crockery, furniture, photo frames, lamps and postcards. There is no escaping symbols that hint at casino culture, as we are in fact witnessing them turn into classic designs, used year after year in order to increase the appeal of products for consumers. This and next year, however, look to find a far greater impact upon fashion than casino aesthetics have made in years. Although predominantly confined to the runways of high fashion currently, as the concepts and influences of these designs trickle down into the realm of high-street fashion we may expect to see a lot more of the casino style in shops in future.

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