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Spring 2012 Trends

Sophie Elkus |
September 28, 2011 | 12:47 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

A look from Nanette Lepore's Spring show (image via Style.com)
A look from Nanette Lepore's Spring show (image via Style.com)

Spring runways are always a breath of fresh air after the surplus of heavy fabrics and demure colors of the fall and winter season, 2012 is no exception.

The spring 2012 collections offer a wealth of looks that embody the playful side of fashion: ready-to-wear that doesn’t take itself too seriously. From the bold array of color blocking to the menswear-turned-womenswear anoraks, camouflage prints and short suits, there is a look for everyone, and easy ways to turn the runway trends into chic street wear.

Color blocking is back in a bigger, better way this season. These polychromatic match-ups take the color-blocking moment of Summer 2010 to a new level. The shades are impossibly brighter, cheerier, even neon. On the Marc by Marc Jacobs catwalk, shades of red were fearlessly matched to navy in geometric shapes that sparked mental parallels to the crisp lines of a Mondrian painting. Similarly, Tommy Hilfiger sent a color-blocked clad Karlie Kloss strutting down the runway in a one-piece swimsuit of jade, pink and purple. This trend is a simple to recreate with a flair for experimentation and a basic knowledge of the ROY-G-BIV color wheel. Keeping to two or three colors will prevent the look from resembling a Crayola box.

Traditionally masculine shapes and patterns prove to be equally stunning on a woman this spring. Runway collections put an emphasis on the anorak, a practical transition piece for the overcast moments of spring weather that can be thrown over virtually anything for a downtown-chic Manhattanite vibe. The utilitarian look is kept feminine by incorporating soft shades, like the periwinkle shown at Tommy Hilfiger. Colorful camouflage print is another girly twist on a classic masculine pattern, as exemplified by Derek Lam through his skirts and jackets in delicate shades. Lastly, the short suit, especially in shades of pink, solidifies its place this spring as part powerhouse corporate executive and part fashion-forward flirt. True to the feminine essence of her label, Nanette Lepore offers a sweet salmon-toned duo. To go a step further, embrace the peplum shape, which features a ruffle at the waist of any fitted skirt, dress or top.

From Parisian couturier Altuzarra’s fruit-punch graphics to cool-kid Prabal Gurung’s futuristic designs, spring 2012 offers a heavy dose of prints. Oversized florals, geometric shapes, psychedelic and futuristic patterns are just some of the bold ideas that can be styled head to toe for a trendy nod to the runway or worn on individual pieces for a toned-down street look. Flashes of metallic fabric are also enjoying a moment of fame this season, whether an accent on a shoe or a full-blown metallic pant.

For those who want to tap into a spring trend without the commitment of a print or flashback to a 1980s metallic, pastels are an elegant way to embrace the turn of season. Ladylike shades by fashion’s most acclaimed houses ruled the catwalk in silky, flowing fabrics that often featured pleats and ruffles to drive home the feminine emphasis. Look to Monet’s water lilies or Carolina Herrera’s collection for color inspiration. 



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