2012 Spring Trends

Trending topics in all conversations this week are the earthquake and subsequent citywide panic-stricken dash up the hills, Adele sweeping the Grammys, Valentine fever, and of course, the passing of Whitney Houston. Like all of you, I have so many memories related to her. One of the very first pop songs I ever learned to sing was “Saving All My Love for You” (I was about three years old), and my mom has my howling performance recorded in a cassette tape somewhere in the house. Then when I was six I joined a TV singing competition with “The Greatest Love of All” as my piece. Some years later, The Bodyguard came out and I watched it with my parents at least 5 times, mesmerized when she sang “I Have Nothing” like a goddess in that glittery dress and turban, and listening to “I Will Always Love You”, probably the most goosebump-inducing breakup song of all time. Then in high school, I remember my melodramatic friends and I would listen to “Count on Me” and start crying like loons. Fast forward to today, and it feels just like I felt when I heard Princess Diana, JFK Jr., and Michael Jackson had passed…like a star was snuffed out and the world is a little bit darker. The world has lost a true blue diva, but her music will live forever.
That said, it’s time to carry on and talk about another topic that always trends at the top of the list among fashionistas worldwide—the New York fashion week. Here are the top ten trends for spring 2012 from the world’s most watched runways, according to The Huffington Post’s “Stylelist”, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar :
1. Retro chic– All things retro are still high fashion. We’ve seen a return to the 60s via the Mad Men TV series and suddenly shows and stores were filled with classy sheath dresses, peacoats, and lots of demureness. At the NY Fashion Week, we saw influences from different decades like the 1920s through flapper dresses, sequins and lots of feathers (Marchesa, Oscar de a Renta, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs), and the 70s as well via all white pantsuits reminiscent of Bianca Jagger at the Rachel Zoe and Helmut Lang collections. So divine!

Ralph Lauren chanelling the 1920s-- love this!

2. Metallics– All things shiny reigned supreme as well, with matte metallics gracing the collections of Prabal Gurung, Marc Jacobs, Reed Krakoff, Theyskens Theory, Balenciaga, MiuMiu, and Lanvin. Call me old fashioned, but I really only like seeing metallic on clothes at night—specifically for clubbing, trendy dinners or cocktails, otherwise you kind of look like a wandering astronaut. On bags however, I’m more than happy with the trend worn at any time of day. Just take a look at the Michael Kors totes in metallic silver or gold and you’ll understand why. 

Michael Kors metallic tote. Quite versatile--and attractive too.

3. Tropicals– Every spring, anything floral goes back in style—time to celebrate femininity and the joys of being a girl. This time we saw dark, bold florals and tropical prints from L’Wren Scott, Proenza, Alexander Wang and Jil Stuart. I especially liked Rodarte’s take on Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece “Sunflowers” via a 1950s style sundress. It’s literally wearing art, how can you beat that?  

Rodarte showcasing Van Gogh art-- can you see the sunflowers and the starry night?

4. Color blocking– Loud color blocking rocked our worlds last year, when items in fuschia, emerald, canary, tangerine and cobalt were worn all together in different pieces- a dress, a belt, a bag and a pair of shoes setting each other off. This time, color blocking was somewhat more subtle, via neutral color blocking and pastels. So, you could wear an peach colored top with a lavender belt and a cream pants for neutrals, or you could wear a white blouse with a lavender pair of cigarette capris and a lemon yellow bag. These sorts of looks appeared at the 3.1 Phillip Lim, Calvin Klein and Rodarte runway shows, among others. 

My favorite look from the 3.1 Phillip Lim spring collection

5. Peplum– Another very lady-like silhouette is the peplum. For those of you who have no idea what this word means, it is a short overskirt or ruffle attached to the waistline of a jacket, blouse or dress. It could be in print or plain. Very big in the 80s (I think I remember one of my Barbies wearing one sometime then) and now making a comeback, as all things eventually do. Normally a peplum top looks best with a knee length pencil skirt. Preen, Vera Wang, Anna Sui, Nina Ricci, Loewe, YSL, and Giorgio Armani all featured this trend in their shows. 

It's a Peplum-palooza!

6. Birds– In terms of ‘animal prints’ on clothing, the animal of choice this spring is the bird. You’ll see tops and dresses accentuated with things like parrots, seagulls, mockingbirds, etc. It’s fun, it’s fresh, it’s playful. If you’ve got a printed dress on, make sure to wear plain neutral heels and a basic bag with it. For bird printed tops, you can match it with jeans to contrast the girlishness of the look.  

Birds reign supreme at Jill Stuart, Giles, and Marc Jacobs

7. Pastels– By far my favorite trend of all, sorbet colors are super in demand this spring. From mint green to lemon yellow, powder blue, lavender, baby pink, periwinkle and peach—it was like a cotton candy cocktail at the Prada, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Proenza and Valentino shows. In fact, this trend has trickled down to mainstream level already and is well within reach. All you need to do is step into Zara and see their pastel blazers, pretty blouses and capris and sigh in delight. Mango and Topshop have some great pieces in pastel as well. 

Ralph Lauren pastels...and the Louis Vuitton carousel of pastels

8. Drop waist– This one is not my thing, because curvy type shapes always, and I mean always, need to accentuate the waistline to look slimmer. So a drop waist dress or top in effect looks better on slim androgynous types, or apple shaped ladies, either to contrast their thinness or to conceal a problem area. Again, this was another 80s trend and reminds me of some of the dresses my mom keeps in her trunk. Drop waists were seen at the Celine, Chloe, and Sonia Rykiel shows. 

Drop waist dresses on the rise...

9. Mullet dress– Another interesting current trend is the mullet dress, where the front part of the dress is shorter than the back. This asymmetrical style looks cute whether worn during the day or night, and is perfect to showcase nice legs and gorgeous shoes. This trend was seen at DKNY, Narciso Rodriguez, and Thakoon. 

Mullet dresses at DKNY

10. Abstract art, digital print and dip dye– To make things more interesting, labels like Hermes and Gucci came out with abstract art pieces with lots of lines and shapes. Digital prints came out big time as well, with dresses printed with ribbons, a meadow, as well as dip dye pieces such as those at Prabal Gurung, DKNY and Rodarte. 

Gorgeous in Gucci

Ah, spring—it’s a good time to step out and bloom!


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