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Posts from the ‘Womenswear’ Category


Ten Defining Items of Spring 12

‘Tis the time for lists isn’t it? And so here’s one packed with the most influential Spring 12 runway key items. Over the past several weeks I’ve been posting reports on Fashion Snoops, with a grand total of OVER 100 KEY ITEMS on the site right now (what are you waiting for?!). Here’s where I give my personal view on the movers and shakers that shaped the season.


Sure there are still maxis, and columns and midis. But the big news in hemlines this season is asymmetric hems, found upon dresses and skirts. Another alternative is the handkerchief hem.


Cropped silhouettes aren’t exactly new.. but this time around they come with more variety to suite both the junior and contemporary market. Cropped tops, knits and sweaters are all present, with the most forward interpretation coming from midriff tops.


I’ve mentioned boxy or pop over tops early on in the season. In knit or woven styles, boxy shapes provide one of the newest shape directions in tops.


The junior market has favored bandeau tops as a layering component for the past few seasons. Bandeaus stick around for S12, while the day bra turns up everywhere – set to a number of 50s looks.


Pencil skirts continue forward as a must-have for Spring 12. Peplums serve as the ultimate update to the pencil, while peplum tops are also fair game. And if you’re REALLY forward, check out the peplum pants at Dries Van Noten.


As one of the season’s most popular theme expressions, Mid Century Modern aka the 50s, features key items like the fit n flare dress and full skirt. Hot pants, THE short of the season, are commonly factored in to ladylike looks, even if they’re borrowed from another decade.


Cutouts? Again? YES! As one of Spring 12’s leading details, a commercial yet new application comes in the form of shoulder cutouts on tops.


If this is starting to sound familiar, you may have followed my blogs during runway season in which NY, London, Milan and Paris all featured sheer garments. Two of the most relevant applications include sheer dresses and skirts, which were first featured in Givenchy’s Spring 11 collection. Fast forward one year, and sheer tops and pants are also considered.


I first identified the wide leg pant as a trend for Spring 11, which moved forward for Fall 11/12 and remains important for Spring 12. Other volume silhouettes also take a cue from the wide leg including gaucho pants and culottes.


Yes this is Spring/Summer but we can’t forget about outerwear options can we? I talked about parkas and ponchos in Fall 11 collections and here they are again as must-haves. Several styles speak to an underlying athletic reference, which makes for a nice interpretation of the Urban Sport theme.


Swapping Jeans for Chinos @DenimByPV

Here’s the inside scoop on what went down at the recent Denim by Premiere Vision show held in Paris for Spring 13. (For the full report and more trends, check Fashion Snoops this week!) Those familiar with the show know that it’s THE most important tradeshow for denim.. a place where denim weavers and laundries present their latest developments to the who’s who of global denim brands. I’ve been covering the show and interviewing exhibitors ever since it started 9 seasons ago and I have to say the most recent show was in ways a departure from the rest. Why’s that? One of the most important trends to take away was NON-DENIM!

The message from the over 20 exhibitors that I met with was very similar. Everyone’s tired of indigo, so let’s bring in the alternatives. Chinos and Twills, which have been present at the show for the past 2 seasons explode into full-blown assortments.


Another option comes in the form of Gabardine and Herringbone. It should be noted that in many of the non-denim options, treatments and finishes which were previously applied to denim are now used on these alternative fabrics.


Another denim alternative is chambray. Yes we’ve seen it before on shirting, but this time around chambray expands into bottom weights as well.

Orta Anadolu

Another HUGE do-not-miss trend at the show was COLOR. There wasn’t one tone or shade that stood out from the rest, with the majority of exhibitors featuring a full range of brights. Color applies to both denim and non-denim, with countless ready-to-dye options. Sulfer dyes and pigment two-tone color are featured.



Double faced fabrics also answer the call to color.



Getting back to actual denim there are some new blues to be had. In fact, exhibitors typically featured a range of these blues from 70s tones to crayola blues and even pales. Looks like someone finally got the memo on the 70s trend in sportswear.

UCO Raymond



Continuing along the same lines of newness, grey denim is also popular.

Orta Anadolu

Indigo doesn’t entirely disappear, with intense, saturated colors remaining.


In terms of treatment and finishings, plasticized coatings are number one. Printed denim and non-denim becomes a new option which is sure to be a winner in the youth market.

Artistic Denim Mills


I should note that the S-T-R-E-T-C-H trend continues, with comfort stretch featured nearly everywhere. And for the jegging crowd, stretch progresses with new advancements for shape retention, i.e. no more sagging in the butt with wear. But perhaps the most interesting advancement above all is the ability to achieve knit-like wovens with new fabric technology. Isko and Bossa both featured these fabrics (along with some actual knit ones).. talk about taking comfort to the next level!



THE THEME SCENE: Spring 12 Runway Edition

This is what I’ve been up to lately. TWENTY-NINE THEMES across ladies and juniors from Spring 12 runway. Of course you could see it all on FASHIONSNOOPS.COM now, but here’s where I give you my personal outlook – the movers and the shakers that I feel influenced the season most.


Remember last month when I talked about Stepford Wives-cum-Hitchcock Heroines? The list of designers inspired by Dior’s New Look goes on and on, from the actual house of Dior (good timing) to Dolce & Gabbana, Rochas and Alexandre Herchcovitch.

Now if you know me, you know I’m a fan of silhouette direction and that happens to be the biggest component of Mid Century Modern. Ladylike fit n flare dresses and full skirts are a natural here, while pencil skirts return with the welcome addition of peplums attached to either tops or skirts.


The second most influential decade of reference was the Roaring 20s.. via flapper and art deco decadence at Gucci and Etro. Connecting back to silhouette.. the dropped waist dress isn’t exactly the easiest (or most commercial) dress this season, however I definitely see this as a place for embellishment and fringe to live on.


Moving right along, one can not even speak about Spring 12 runway without talking about the explosion of color and pattern which took place at Ferragamo and Missoni. Most landed in some sort of tropical locale bursting with floral motifs and Hawaiian reference. For a more youthful take, check out Blumarine’s luau of pop brights and 50s shapes.


Another not-to-be-missed theme this season is anything sport related. Alexander Wang and Rag & Bone started off the conversation in New York on athletics while in Paris, Felipe Oliveira Baptista and Issey Miyake echoed parallel references ranging from moto sport to scuba. In all cases, this theme is a prime for color blocking and pieced construction to continue in a big way.


This season’s Modern Geometry theme stems from Minimalism.. a trend that is still very much alive and well, give or take the boxy shoulders. Modern Geometry combines sharp asymmetrical cuts and folds with a monochromatic color palette. The story doesn’t end there, with the next evolution of this trend being Futurist – a very forward techy vision of drastic architectural shapes.


Sheer Genius

I’ve identified sheer transparency for Spring 12 in New York, London and Milan. Paris confirms the trend with materials like organza and silk chiffon. What’s even more relevant here is the sheer skirt. Although it’s featured in varying lengths, sheer maxi skirts are most forward.


More Than a Trace of Lace

Lace is more than just a trim in Paris, landing upon items from skirts and dresses to tops. Colored lace for Spring 12 moves beyond the sea of white lace which we saw last Spring.


Peplum Party

In contrast to Spring 12’s fuller silhouettes, pencil skirts remain popular. In Paris, peplums inject newness upon skirts as well as tops and jackets.


In Paris, the Glass is Half Full

As a common expression of the 50s trend, full silhouettes are key in Paris for Spring 12. The full skirt is a must-have while pleats are also popular set to below-the-knee and mid-calf styles.


Back To The Future

While a number of collections look to the past in Paris, there is a rising futuristic aesthetic on hand for Spring 12. Pedro Lourenco pushes the idea forward with pieced construction, metallics and updated moto vests.

Mugler also gets in on the action with a sci-fi look that features sharp asymmetrical lines.

Architectural geometry is evident at Balenciaga with color blocking. Key items include hot pants and boxy jackets.


Stepford Wives

The 50s has been quite a popular decade of reference for Spring 12, and in Paris it looks to outweigh the 20s flapper era that was so evident in Milan. We’ve seen various expressions of the 50s already in New York, London and Milan, ranging from 50s housewives to Palm Springs ladies. In Paris, Rochas explores the 50s screen siren recalling Hitchcock film heroines. In all expressions, full silhouettes are key on both skirts and dresses, while sophisticated pencil skirts are also featured.


Let There Be Pleats

Pleats are a really, really big deal for S12. You may have caught my post on them during NYFW which I referred back to Miu Miu’s S10 collection. In Milan pleats are more than just a detail, and even more importantly, Prada features the pleated skirt EVERYWHERE. In other words, Miuccia is kind of knocking off her own idea 4 seasons later. Hmmm…