Spring Awakening: Looking At The Trends of Spring 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

When it comes to Spring dressing, what is it that ignites our passion to change our fashion choices and shift those gears? Is it the inherent change in the weather alone? Is it the excitement to get out of the (by now) heavily practiced routines of protectively layered dressing that shout WINTER? Or is it the merely simple fact that Spring equates to new, a rebirth, a reawakening, and this ignites those fires in our fashion hearts to make a leap forward and cultivate a new season of style?
What jumps forth from the answers to these questions is the guidelines we have in fashion called trends. Every talent out there gets inspiration from a True Source, which is undeniable. When this inspiration begins to speak a common language, it becomes a trend. And trends tells us what is being spoken about the loudest and most consistently. What would we do without trends? How would we as a style collective be able to understand the language we speak? We come together and listen and discuss and focus on the "new".

Spring 2010 is ripe with this sentiment of the “new”. This is the first spring of a new decade. With that comes the fertile ground for very new seeds to grow and sprout in our fashion consciousness.  
I remember in the Spring of 1990 how this same tide washed over fashion. Back then, everything about the Nineties signaled a minimalist approach, as a reversion of the excess of the Eighties. Yet in Spring 1990, the shift was fast and abrupt. The esthetics of Calvin Klein (body conscious shift dresses) and Donna Karan (lycra bodysuit based layering) ruled, as did their monotone color palette of earthy neutrals.

We see this in the Neutrals trend, returning this new decade, and in a big way and in unexpected places. Neutral makes a whole lot of sense to me. I feel that everyone should always have some sort of neutral shade based in their wardrobe rotation through all of the seasons. This Spring, we get the special treat of indulging in neutrals in a head to toe manner. From pale peach beige, to camel, to dusty brown, neutrals are no longer showing up as accents but as the complete story. The neutral is smart and will easily take you from spring into summer, shifting your palette into the more striking neutral of white, summer’s staple. I have had a strong love affair with neutral tones for a very long time. Perhaps it became rooted in my fashion mind back then in Spring 1990 and hasn’t dislodge since.  I love it because of its ease in mixing. It allows me to experiment with textures and layers and provides me with a foolproof “map” in which to style my (Spring) wardrobe. Neutrals also allow me to really play up the exciting new color trends that always come full circle in the Spring. Pantone’s Spring 2010 Color Report has a detailed description and great synopsis of hue trends for the season. Use the colors to sprinkle “light” in your Spring palette, and, like me, use them to give vibrancy to your wardrobe.

Although not “new” to me but being lauded as the “new” trend for the Spring season, the Military look, is on the upswing again. I remember Military popping up in the early 2000’s, heavily rooted then in accessories and accent pieces. Now, the Military look has evolved more into what I would call “Warrior”. The look is reminiscent (or is it foretold) of “Mad Max”. That futuristic dystopia is ripe with the look: neutral colors, utilitarian leather, heavily “jeweled”/armored accessories, all accented in bits of tribal print and flashes of skin. Now let’s add the heavy influence of “Avatar” and mix it all up. That’s the new Military look. I suggest really making it your own, as the Military look really is the “accent” look of the season. Since it is made up of prints and texture and details/embellishments, really dive in and play it up.  Mix those tribal prints together and pair them with some neutrals to play them up, or mix in a flowing or gauze fabric with your structured coat or blazer. Or keep it simple and hit the mark right every time with your trench coat, wearing it with moto boots to rev up the look.
In speaking of prints, many of which we can find in the tribal trend (as mentioned above), there is also the flip side of prints, the Floral. For some reason, Florals bloom heavily in Spring, perhaps because it’s an unconscious mimicking of Nature. Floral for 2010 again nod to Bohemian, that look which grew in the Seventies and has never died.  I’ve never been one for Floral but one definitely for the Bohemian look, wearing it exclusively in Fall 1994 when it was making its big new decade come back. How do you make it your own? Do what I did and go exclusively vintage. That way, you find Florals that go with Bohemian, and vice versa. The key to Bohemian is the laid back approach in mixing. It’s Mama Cass and Stevie Nicks; loud, layered, printed, gutsy, unique.

Also rooted in the Seventies but given a re-boot is the Metallic trend. Again, not really “new” but in how we are to incorporate it into our warmer weather dressing is simple and full force: wear metallic regardless of day or night. This is your “bling” and is not intended to just hide away and come out in the evening, but is now meant to be worn in all manner: a sequined tank (in neutral shimmers and you’ve hit two-in-one) under your blazer to the office, a metallic Spring hued strapless dress with ethnic inspired flats on the week-end, or a sexy slick silver sequined dress for that night out. The Metallic trend is our way of exuding luxury and high style regardless of our individual (or collective) economic situation. In the Eighties, when Metallic appeared in their sparingly simple forms, the message designers were sending down the backs of Beverly Johnson and Iman were “glamour” and “elegance” and aimed to a particular set. Now, that message is given to every one of us-be your glamour and your elegance all the time.

The counterpoint to Metallic and another trend I’m all for (and try to subscribe to) is the “Leisure” trend. What is this? Well, it simply is dressing as if you are on holiday. This means layers based on the three piece model of a “power” suit but mixed in textures, fabrics, or even adding elements from some of the other trends like Bohemian or adding classic American prep to it. I like to think of it as the “L.A. Cool Uniform”: skinny premium denim jeans or jeggings, great organic cotton v-neck tee, long cashmere cardigan or shrunken wool or blazer, cool sandals or flats or ankle boots, a few strands of great necklaces, and tousled beach and sun kissed hair. This cool and fresh look really has appeal: it says “understated yet chic” and definitely is carried off with lots of your own attitude.

When it comes to fabric choices during the Spring, what always emerges is our sense of what will feel good against bare skin. I am a big fan of cotton, especially that which comes from a sustainable and organic source. I have written on this before, and have become a big advocate of organic. As I hope that this is not a trend but is in truth a fact, there is no better time of the year than the Spring to use your conscious and wear organic cotton (or silk or linen for that matter). What better to put against your bare skin than soft, quality organic cotton? In your search of organics you are sure to find great companies and designers who believe in maintaining integrity as well as artistry in their offerings.

Trends are just that: trends. They exist to inspire us into a more fresh perspective on what is traditional and classic. We utilize trends to push ourselves into trying out new things, creating a sort of style safety net with which we venture into newer territories. With trends we use their guidelines to form a new idea, a new look on ourselves as it were. Trends will change season to season and come back and disappear. We must remember that trends are here to help us inspire and play. And there is no better time of the year to get inspired and to play than in Spring. So go out and inspire and play. In the Sunshine, in the Springtime.



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