Friday, May 04, 2007

Spring Into Fashion

Spring into fashion

By Casey Gillis
April 30, 2007

When you hit stores this season to update your spring and summer wardrobes, don’t be surprised to feel caught up in a time warp.

“Vintage fashion is getting more and more popular, especially as the fashion designers are going more retro,” said fashionista Nicole, who writes for the Web site (she doesn’t reveal her last name).

As designers go mod, you’ll start to see more designs straight outta your mother’s closet - think minidresses, bold colors and crazy geometric patterns.

“Edie Sedgwick is back,” Stacy London, co-host of TLC’s “What Not To Wear,” recently told USA Today Weekend. “So you’ll see ’60s sack dresses that fit in the shoulder, but are sacky through the rest of it. You’ll see ’70s caftan dresses, which have a lot of volume. And you’ll see gold lame leggings, which are very ’80s yet futuristic.”

And prints - florals, stripes, polka dots, graphics and those aforementioned geometrics - will be big.

“It’s really fun,” Clinton Kelly, London’s co-host, said in the USA Today Weekend article. “They’ve sort of blurred the lines between geometrics and florals in a lot of cases. But be careful: if you’re petite and you go for an oversize print, they walk into the room before you do, and that’s the last thing we want. Proportion is everything.”

While each print will be beautiful on its own, the first exit to a fashion disaster would be to pair them up.

“Never mix two prints,” Laurie Brookins, senior fashion editor at Ocean Drive and Vegas magazines, recently told USA Today. “Pair a solid with a geometric in whatever color works with the print.”

Everything is trending more toward a feminine look, as well.

“Last spring, it was all about gold,” Nicole said. “It was very ritzy and glitzy. This year, it’s more feminine. It’s more like country club style rather than jetting off to Monte Carlo.”

Color me fashionable

Bold, bright primary colors will be on the palette this spring and summer.

“Things come back in fashion every 10 or 20 years,” Nicole said. “It’s spring, so everybody wants to see color. They’re putting away the dark navies and bringing out the pinks and greens.”

Plus, “anything yellow is really wonderful right now, especially for evening,” she said, adding that stars like Drew Barrymore and Kerry Washington have chosen the hue for several recent events.

But if you go with yellow, choose a soft, feminine color - “and not the ugly mustard yellow,” Kelly cautioned.

London said we’d also see lots of black, white and red - like Dara’s black and white polka dotted dress with red accents in the photo.

“You’ll see a lot of white and cream and nude,” London added. “And a lot of neon color, too. We recommend you do that in very small doses. Stick to neon or bright accessories rather than dress head to toe in one of those colors.”

On MSN’s Shopping Web site, style editor Shannon McCarthy recently recommended wearing these colors as separates, like “a stand-out, bright leather jacket with your favorite jeans, or the finishing touch of a red belt with that blue and white nautical-inspired outfit.”

Shine on

Looking for the perfect accessories to spice up an outfit?

Think metallic: silver, copper, bronze, gold.

These tints will be popular in everything from shoes to clutches to jewelry.

Plus, “we’re seeing lots of sheer overlays,” London said. “Many have a metallic tint to them and are over florals. It’s a new way to make clothing slightly more interesting.”

When it comes to accessorizing, bangles are going to be a hot item.

“Tons of them,” Nicole said. “People are pretty much lining them halfway down their arm.”

USA Today recently reported that delicate jewelry is out, and in its place will be chunky, dramatic pieces.

“Everything was so minimalist (for the longest time), it seemed almost vulgar to have stones,” Alison Burwell, jewelry news editor for W magazine, told the newspaper.

But after seeing so many starlets on the red carpet embrace their inner divas, it’s “given women the confidence to try bolder looks.”

When it comes to footwear, flats - especially those with a little bit of ornamentation on them, Nicole said - are still going to be a sought-after item.

But sandals will also get in on the action, whether they be wedges in the season’s trendy metallic and patent leather or gladiator sandals (as long as you keep the straps at or below the ankle so the shoes are versatile enough to pair with different lengths of shorts or skirts, executive editor Nicole Phelps recently told USA Today).

The long and short of it

When it comes to skirt and dress lengths, Nicole said there isn’t one particular trend as there has been in seasons past.

“This season you can have anything as long as it’s in a beautiful color, and it will be perfect,” she said.

London and Kelly made a similar sentiment in the USA Today Weekend article.

“Spring is a little bit of a retrospective of the ages,” London said. “You’ll see ’40s-style high-waisted pencil skirts and really high-waisted denim. Now they’re also doing high-waisted denim in skinny jeans, which is as hard to wear as any low-rise jean you ever ran away from in the first place.”

Another USA Today story reported that short-sleeve jackets and coats with a bracelet sleeve would also be popular.

“It’s a little bit more practical,” Phelps of said. “You don’t have to worry about shirt cuffs awkwardly poking out at the arms.”

She added that it gives “a little bit of a feminine touch to the jacket. Everyone wants to feel a little bit girly when the sun comes out.”

Sleeves will also trend toward being ornamented, adorned and puffed - but “aim for a subtle puff at the shoulder,” Phelps said, “so it doesn’t seem too fashion victim-y.”

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