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Dial It Down: Is the Novelty Phone Cover Over?

novelty iphone cover trend

Paris Fashion Week Spring 2017. Photographed by Valentina Frugiuele

For over four seasons the fashion month parade has seen the likes of Anna Dello Russo and Li Xiao coolly clutch novelty phone cases, including Moschino’s French Fries or the Stella McCartney Panther. But the trend pendulum seems to have swung as kitsch cell phone antics appear to be fizzling out.

Nicolas Ghesquière elevated the mood for luxury tech at the Louis Vuitton Spring 2017 show with trunk-inspired Petite Malle iPhone covers, taking pride of placement on the runway at Paris’ Place Vendôme. Notably, the street style circuit put down its brazen accessories in exchange for bare mobiles or minimalist leather covers. Street style photographer Laura Jane Giardinelli of The Hidden Closets noted the absence of statement cases, stating that “either [show attendees] had no covers at all or very simple black or gray ones”. Begging the question: is the larger-than-life, rubber phone accessory now a niche product? Or indeed, is it over?

novelty iphone cover over

Veronika Heilbrunner at London Fashion Week Spring 2017. Photographed by Valentina Frugiuele

Against the grain, styling duo Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall launched Chaos, a brand primarily offering premium phone accessories. The pop artsy collection comprises leather phone cases complete with furry pills or broken heart motifs. “We felt there was a real gap in the market for phone covers and tech accessories that were luxurious and fun,” Stockdale told their stockist, Matches. “There are lots of high-end ones… or you can get silly plastic ones, but nothing in between,” added Lyall. We predict a new-wave street style revival: less rubber animals, more leather. Head to BySymphony for all your cutting edge tech online, regional and global.

Dolce & Gabbana released iPhone cases in croc-effect leather emblazoned with crystal embellishments for Fall 2016. Equally as ornate as an evening clutch, it’s clear that mobiles are not intended to be tucked away. Modern life demands that the smart phone is firmly glued to one’s palm to navigate the urban jungle, or to urgently Snapchat avocado on toast (#avocadotoast has nearly a quarter of a million posts on Instagram, and counting). Etoile La Boutique founder Ms Ingie Chalhoub adds, “Our customers are coordinating their phone covers with their outfits so are seeking more and more choice and variety as phones are a fashion accessory to be seen, and not just a piece of technology.”


London Fashion Week Spring 2017. Photographed by Valentina Frugiuele

Spending US $700 (AED/SAR 2624) on an accessory as predominant as your shoes or handbag isn’t as frivolous as it may sound. “What comes out of your bag should be as beautiful as your bag,” says Stockdale at Chaos. The technology accessory trend looks to have moved away from novelty, but that doesn’t mean an absence of fun. It’s more about upgrading your vital device to luxury status: be it witty, ornate or understated.

Which brand is your favorite for luxury tech accessories? Let us know via Twitter @VogueArabia

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