Spring Summer 2012 Trend Report

Gabriella Mileti

Ter et BantineAlthough winter is not quite over yet, a new tantalizing season is upon us, at least from a fashion perspective. Across the globe, boutiques and fashionistas alike are getting ready for the new Spring Summer collections. What strutted down on the catwalks of Milan, Paris, New York and London will soon be at our fingertips. As I specifically sat in on the runway shows of Milan & Paris, one thing came to mind, the glamorous woman is back. This season’s trends are frilly, frothy and most important of all, feminine with a very modern twist. Perhaps it’s the fashion world’s way of telling us that it’s ok to dress up again and look like a lady. So to prepare you for the new season right around the corner, I have analyzed and distilled the collections and have compiled the strongest trends so you know exactly what to expect and to keep you in vogue.

Looks like a Lady

In the past seasons, fashion suggested we borrow from the male wardrobe from “boyfriend jeans” to military-inspired apparel and oversized shirts and jackets. However this season there is a pretty powerful message coming from the runway, the perpetually flattering silhouette of a woman is back. Skirt suits sashayed off the catwalks of Chanel to Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Tory Burch. And not just your simple suit either. To emphasize the feminine glamour even more, jackets and skirts were embellished with beads, fringes, rhinestones and pearls. It’s time to get excited about being a lady and dressing like one too. Furthermore, within this trend is the form enhancing peplum silhouette. Defined by a short flared ruffle that sits at the natural waist, the flared design has turned up on dresses, skirts, jackets and blouses from the runways of Yves Saint Laurent to Jason Wu. In addition, nothing says lady-like than pretty pastels. The sugar sweet hues took the cake this season as they hold prominent positions in the season’s color palette. From pleated A-line duo-toned skirts at Prada to mellow yellow crocodile pumps at Louis Vuitton and strappy platform sandals at Versace, pastels are turning up like tulips.

Jazz Age

If there was one prominent decade that designers worldwide paid homage to, it was the roaring twenties. Designers modernized shapeless flapper-style dresses by drawing the line just around the hips with the drop waist. Frida Giannini at Gucci was definitely the most celebrated designer who gave a glamorous nod to the decade. The Art Deco glitz collection hit the nail on the head with drop waists and fringes à go go. The Charleston-esque creations showed up on the catwalks of Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Chloé, Alberta Ferretti to Julien Macdonald, Marchesa and Vionnet.

Prints Please

The bold, vibrant, swirling, statement-making prints from head-to-toe are guaranteed to heads turn this season. An array of prints made their way down the runways this season, from tech filled prints at Mary Katrantzou, to the jungle digital photographs of Dries Van Noten or baroque stylized flowers at Stella McCartney and even hummingbirds, parrots, swans and peasants showed up on everything from dresses to jackets. Prints also took an exotic turn this season from New York to Milan. From the runways of Donna Karan to Michael Kors to BCBG, tribal influenced motifs showed up in earth tones on everything from evening dresses to swimsuits to trench coats. However, for the more timid, go for a look pairing a printed blazer over a super-simple black top and pants just like designer Joseph Altuzarra sent down the runway in New York.

Crunch Time

Designers came together like never before to expose the midriff this season in the chicest way possible, but definitely not à la Britney Spears. The key to keep this look as clean and classy as possible is to keep under wraps the belly button and only expose a flash of skin under the bandeau. At Dolce & Gabbana we saw tasteful midriffs channeling Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot inspirations at Emilio Pucci. Yet it did not stop there, Aquilano Rimondi, Prada, No. 21, Miu Miu, Nina Ricci and Proenza Schouler all embraced this skin-baring trend.

Get Sporty

With the exposed midriff trend, it’s no wonder sport apparel got a face lift this season. The sporty vibe especially came off the catwalks of New York, as designers took sport gear to high fashion levels. Lustrous track pants, parachute strap dresses, anorak jackets, hoodies and mesh shorts dominated the runway shows of Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, Isabel Marant and Nicole Miller.

With the wide range of trends and the focus on femininity, this upcoming season is sure to not disappoint your daily real-life runway.