Wallflowers, step aside. The urbane New York maestros have spoken: Spring is all about pop, prints, spunk and sport. Take a deep breath, ladies, and whip out your coral lippie: here are four trends for the warmer months ahead that are not for the meek
By Eugene Quek
Impossible to ignore, the audaciously colored outfits that sizzled and percolated on multiple runways in New York were hyper-realistic renderings of nature’s imminent Spring blooming – engineered techno-floral hybrids for the twenty-first century, really.
Abstract Expressionist spatterings of citron, mauve and hibiscus lent an ebullient aggressiveness to the feminine, full-skirted silhouettes seen on Nanette Lepore‘sprêt-à-porter offerings, above and below.
Melding a city-slick, graffiti-sneakered palette with nature-inspired prints, this was the New York City-based designer’s cheeky vision of what a youthful punk princess might wear to an English tea party.
Nanette Lepore’s breezy sundresses came in a diffused print that popped with neon-bright colors
Also throwing a psychedelic splash of acid into his eclectic mix of biker shorts, peplum tunics, sarongs and sharply cut safari blazers was Richard Chai‘s summery streetwear collection (below) a masterful mix and match of leightweight, free-flowing floral and geometric prints that would look at home in a modern bohemian commune – or at Singapore’s Tanjong Beach Club.
Tone down Richard Chai’s floral-printed sarong wraps and bike shorts by pairing them with dark neutral tops
Retro Tropical Prints
Elsewhere, marquee names Proenza Schouler and Jill Stuart gave the flower power movement a decidedly retro Hawaiian twist. Jill Stuart‘s signature girly aesthetic saw its Spring daywear incarnation in flouncy skirts and collared blouses in an adorable palm tree print, luxed up with sexy satiny trimming.
Jill Stuart’s pastel-hued, tropical-tinged daywear seemed tailor-made for a beach rendezvous
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s offerings for Proenza Schouler, meanwhile, delved fearlessly into the tacky excess of the late seventies, with the kind of sumptuous golds and greens that less adventurous souls would shy away from.
A high-sheen, tangerine A-line skirt seen below – in eel-skin, no less – was gorgeous paired with a banana-leaf printed top and glossy black gloves, and a graphic black-and-white bustier given pop with a snug wrap-around skirt in a similar print.
Proenza Schouler’s presentation for S/S12 was sexy retro glamor incarnate: not for the faint of heart. Note the eel skin skirt and glossy black gloves, top.
Ruffled, voluminous skirts kept the sportswear-inspired collection by Marc Jacobs textually interesting and unpredictable
The quintessential American aesthetic found plenty of adherents at New York’s showing. Marc Jacobs‘ girls strode down the runway like athletic swimmers just out of the pool, with wraparounds that looked like swimcaps and asymmetric neoprene skirts, supple and boldly striped like scubagear. Accoutrements were similarly sporty: oversized bowling bags with contrasting trims.
3.1 Phillip Lim’s sleek sportswear basics had quietly intriguing details, like the use of translucent, silicone-like material for skirts
Tennis dresses scored an ace on the sartorial courts of 3.1 Phillip Lim, which featured season-appropriate parkas, polos, racer-back necklines and lycra-sleek trackpants that zipped, rather sexily, up the sides and front. Colors were solid and muted, a refreshingly minimalist take on the sportswear trend.
Amping up the sex once again, we turn to the gritty, motorcross bikerchicks of Alexander Wang, as seen below. Darkly romantic and grungy, key pieces from the outre maven saw daringly laser-cut meshtops and bombers zippered over neon polo tees.
Skintight tracksuits and leggings with graphic panelling looked like racesuits worn by drivers from a PSP game of GranTurismo. This was followed by poker-faced road warriors in nylon cargo pants pacing the runway, hands thrust in exaggerated pockets.
Alexander Wang’s insouciant, city-slick looks will work for urbane girls on a night out in town – stash your lipgloss and cell phone in the multiple zippered compartments and you’re good to go without a clutch
Michael Kors kept this bold head-to-toe mustard ensemble from being too loud by accessorizing with a neutral tan belt and scandals
Derek Lam proved that his signature streamlined aesthetic could work with color, as seen in this beautifully flowy vermilion blouse
The de rigueur color for New York Fashion Week, saturated oranges and yellows were spotted making their presence felt virtually everywhere, from the runways of Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenbergand Derek Lam, to Victoria Beckham, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera and Rodarte.
This ulta-chic, layered look in warm pumpkin by Donna Karan hewed to this season’s top-to-toe tonal trend
Diane von Furstenberg mixed things up by incorporating a sharp dash of white print in this summer pantsuit
A surprisingly versatile shade, oranges and yellows were seen on models of every hue and complexion: the trick to wearing such a bold color, it seems, is to keep your hair unfussy, your lips red and your eyes nude.
Tip: mustards also seemed to work better for paler ladies, while an intense burnt amber played off the dusky cinnamon of brown skinned beauties. Dressed up, as in a flirty cocktail dress, or down, in a breezy jumper suit, these cheery shades are the chromatic distillation of sunny Spring and Summer.
Rodarte gave this romantic yellow dress an uptown, night-time twist with dramatic smokey eyes and silver strappy heels
Carolina Herrera, a favorite of A-listers like Renee Zellweger, kept her Spring looks red-carpet ready, as evidenced in this flouncy, tiered confection in chiffon and organza
Consolidating her place in the fashion world was Victoria Beckham, who showed body-hugging jersey shift dresses in a flattering salmon hue
This Jenny Packham sequinned, bias-cut dress in the palest of apricots went for regal, full-on glamor – HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, one of the label’s clients, would certain approve