Springing into Summer

By Fiona Zhang (thatsbj.com)
Updated: 2008-03-26 16:41

After emerging from the dark, gloomy depths of winter, you're no doubt ready to shake off the padded down jackets and scratchy scarves, and revitalize your wardrobe. The Spring/Summer collections were designed to inspire your seasonal closet overhaul; trends include artistic prints, Chinese collars, fluid flares, draped dresses, skinny belts, and sheer chiffon. The question is, are any of them actually wearable? To help navigate the new season, we’ve picked out some key elements which should breathe fresh life into spring and summer style.

With Seasonal Affective Disorder firmly behind them, some designers went full-out for carnival atmosphere. Chanel adorned fabrics with magical stars, while YSL added a touch of sparkle to their jackets, skirts, bold necklaces, and brooches. Ann Demeulemeester and Jean Paul Gaultier got all creative by drawing lines on their garments; Givenchy and Monique Lhuillier added smiles to polka dots; meanwhile, Gucci, Dries Van Noten, Stella McCartney and Balenciaga revealed their obsession with flowers. Have fun with this brighter, bolder style, but don’t go overboard unless you want to look like a clown. The more timid among us can celebrate the new season with loud, sparkly accessories over a more muted overall look.

In complete contrast to last year, the sleek silhouette is gone. Flared skirts or wide-legged pants should be embraced in a big way, as seen at 6267, A.F. Vandevorst and Nicole Miller. Pair more voluminous skirts and pants with a fluid jacket or tucked-in top to create an altogether more feminine and sophisticated style. This look, with its higher waistline, draws inspiration from the ‘30s and ‘40s. Jazz up the ensemble with a belt, and work your womanly silhouette.

All runway shows this season made much of the narrow belt, worn high on the waist. Seen everywhere from 3.1 Phillip Lim, Proenza Schouler, to Max Azria – and in all styles from plain or ornamental, lacquered leather to metallic hardware attachments – belts are big news. Wear them looped around your waist or twisted into a knot, although short-waisted women should steer clear.

If the belt’s not for you, you can still get your accessories fix with this season’s “It” bag. This year, it’s all about how you carry it, and fashionistas are heading for the clutch. Size is not restricted to the traditional clutch purse, as maxi-clutches are ever so avant-garde, not to mention practical for day-to-day use. We recommend opting for a leather clutch, for added practicality and durability. For a night out, switch to a glam, glittering evening purse.

Last, but by no means least, shoes are also going to be statement pieces in their own right in 2008. Miu Miu showcased extravagant shoes with exquisite gold handles on the heels, while Marc Jacobs presented his outrageous pumps with their own unique heels. Eye-catching and extravagant, they don’t look practical, or comfortable in the slightest. But then again, ladies, when has that ever stopped us?



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