The six extra weeks of winter forecast by Punxsutawney Phil might be true out East, but here on the West Coast spring has already sprung. We have said our goodbyes to grey skies and chunky knits and are ready for a new season of exciting trends. Here are the top 10 to get on your radar right now.
Some are calling it disco fever, others are calling it a love story. Whether your taste veers more toward Bianca Jagger’s louche look or Ali Macgraw’s romantic esthetic, this is the time to get into the ‘70s. “When I look at this trend,” says Lisa Tant, Vice President, Exclusive Services at Holt Renfrew, “I actually think it’s an interesting observation on what people are talking about, with feminism being top of mind for younger women, especially.” From Chloé’s peasant blouses to Saint Laurent’s patchwork suede coats, invest in something from the decadent decade this season.
“It’s the Canadian tuxedo,” enthuses Tant, “but done in a more high fashion way.” Forget Justin and Britney and Katy and Riff Raff: this spring, denim gets an upgrade from trashy to classy. For many of us, jeans are a staple, but the Stella McCartney, Gucci, and Burberry Prorsum spring runways all showed us a fresh spin on the classic. A mini denim jacket over a chiffon dress? Flared dungarees with a vintage touch? True blue culottes? Tick, tick, tick.
If you’ve got prom or a wedding coming up, you’re in luck — there’s plenty of inspiration when it comes to gowns this season. Balletic fabrics such as tulle, silk and sheer chiffon give pieces an ultrafeminine vibe, while floaty silhouettes and sugary hues lend an ethereal quality to floor-length styles. When it comes to extra-special, investment buys, there’s no question that Valentino is all about dresses that make your dreams come true.
“This trend just keeps getting stronger and stronger and stronger,” says Tant. “I think it’s really due to comfort and technology.” Cashmere is finer than ever before (look to Brunello Cucinelli for the best examples), and for anyone who’s into sneakers, well, take your pick from every brand from Chanel toGivenchy to Lanvin. The key to making this trend look luxe is to look for quality fabrics and think to yourself before leaving the house, ‘do I look like I’ve just left the gym?’ If the answer is yes, ditch the drawstring jacket or swap your trainers for a pair of sandals instead: you want to look sports luxe, not sports literal.
HOT WHITE NOW
If you’re accident prone or a magnet for persistent stains, skip on to the next trend — this one’s all about wearing white from head to toe. “This is definitely not the most practical trend,” says Tant, “but it’s such a beautiful look for summer.” It was a whiteout for designers such as Alexander Wang at Balenciaga, Tibi,Prabal Gurung and Victoria Beckham, and the effect was clean and ultra modern. Look for sharply tailored pieces for the slicker version of this trend; cutwork lace and intricate embellishment if you prefer the girlier look.
Florals for spring … groundbreaking. The Miranda Priestley quote never gets old; nor does the trend itself. This season, however, it’s more about supersized, graphic florals, often in clashing tones. Look toMichael Kors and MSGM for the best examples, or if you prefer to keep your posies to your accessories,Marni, Fendi, and Topshop Unique are your go-tos.
SLEEK & SIMPLE
“There’s a real move away from short, tight and sexy, toward a more flattering, loose, flowing silhouette,” states Tant, citing designers such as The Row, Helmut Lang, Loewe and Akris as the best proponents of this trend. It might be an antidote to a few seasons of OTT dressing (and street style peacocking, perhaps), but there’s no question that minimalist, sculptural shapes are having a moment. Key pieces to look out for here include the tunic top, the sleeveless jacket, and a quality pair of long, lean pants. Keep accessories to a minimum — a long pendant necklace or a great clutch is all you need.
LIFE IN BLACK & WHITE
Repeat after us: fashion is cyclical. Hopefully, you still have all the black and white pieces you bought last year, because the good news is that monochrome is back. Sure, it never really goes away, butGivenchy, Alexander McQueen, Altuzarra and Thakoon worked their magic on the palette for spring, giving it the graphic treatment with bold stripes and geometric patterns that all have major impact.
“To me, the utility trend is kind of like denim,” says Tant. “It’s always there in one form or another — classics that get reworked every year.” For spring, military references came via amped-up uniforms at Marc Jacobs and more than half a show of khaki pieces at Ralph Lauren. Go as little or as large as you’d like with this trend: a head-to-toe ensembles screams safari chic in a good way (as long it’s fitted, flattering and still feminine — think Meryl Streep in Out of Africa), while a jacket with cargo pockets might be enough for you.
ACROSS THE PACIFIC …
The fashion industry is, without a doubt, inspired by the annual Costume Institute Exhibit — after all, it’s chaired by the reigning queen of fashion herself, Anna Wintour. In May, “China: Through the Looking Glass” will be unveiled after fashion’s Oscars, the Met Gala, and designers have already started taking note of the influence of Asia. “This is definitely a trend to watch,” says Tant. For spring, try incorporating a piece here and there: think Japanese obis, dresses with origami-inspired detailing, jumpsuits fit for a karate class, or even geisha-esque platform sandals.