Runway Report: 5 Wearable Trends for Spring 2014
“Fashion forward” certainly applies to fashion week. The catwalk calendar is off-kilter with meteorological time. In February, when thaw is (hopefully) about to set in, designers and trendsetters focus on runways showing what looks will be all the rage during the next Fall/Winter cycle. In the fashion world, spring sprang back in September. But all that extra time isn’t a bad thing: It gives fashionistas plenty of notice to do a little spring cleaning, preparing their closets for upcoming looks. Here are five runway trends from the spring 2014 shows that you can mix into your wardrobe this season.
Runways throughout the fall were filled with colors of macaron majesty. Prabal Gurung (above, right) made use of the hue to color many of his mid-century inspired creations. Few looks captured the mood of the 1950s and the casual elegance a wearer of pastels in spring can create quite like his 11th runway piece. With a plunging neckline Joan on Mad Men would envy, this head-to-toe lavender look is a subtly sexy outfit that makes pastels looks sophisticated. Elizabeth and James’s buttercup yellow dress is a breezy pastel option (bottom left), perfect for warm spring days or summer evenings. Oscar de la Renta put his own spin on blue pastels with pearl detailing that heightens the posh, ladylike feel the shades can inspire.
Sheer detailing and sky-high slits kept Burberry from excessive primness during a collection that was filled with candy-colored confections. An ad from the brand’s spring campaign shows off three colors that were runway darlings during the spring shows: lavender, pink, and powder blue. With shoes, clutches, and clothes all shaded in soft pastels, the ad is proof that you can use this trendy hue any way you want. Add pastels to your spring attire through accessories, individual pieces, or entire looks. Use styling tricks like sheer materials, lower necklines, or edgy details to keep your clothes from looking too straight-laced.
2. Keep going for gold … or silver
The Olympics ended before your closet could experience a spring awakening, but you can glean inspiration from the games for your wardrobe — while staying fashionably attired — by taking advantage of the madness for metallics that was seen around the world. Proving that you can shine day or night was Diane von Furstenberg (far left). The simple shift dress got a serious makeover when DVF spun it into fashion gold. Eye-popping metallic detailing overlays a short, silvery dress by Balmain (second from left), and a gaggle of models backstage at Dolce & Gabbana shows only a sliver of how many karats crept into the collection. But it wasn’t all overt displays of medal-worthy looks. Giambattista Valli scored on four trend fronts with this look from spring 2014. Metallics (1) embellish a sheer outfit (2) in 3-D detailing (3) with a skirt that hits at just about tea length (4).
Be aware of cut and color when picking out metallic pieces — you don’t want to look like you’re covered in wrapping paper or tinsel. Accents can be done at anytime of the day, but for full-shining ensembles, cut matters. The DVF is casual enough for day when paired with beige accessories, but the pieces by Dolce & Gabbana are better left for evening wear.
Gingham glory was found at Balmain (top left) and Stella Jean (top right). At Balmain, it was done in combination with pale pastels, but in Stella Jean’s collection, an explosion of color and print took place. Where gingham ended stripes began, before giving way to African-inspired patterns. The mishmash of styles was pulled off with bright colors, carried confidently down the runway.
Prints went to new dimensions, too. Flowers were in full bloom at Mary Katrantzou (bottom left); Elie Saab (bottom right) opted for more subtle floral texturing. The takeaway from Katrantzou’s spring show wasn’t only that florals and prints are again a spring staple but that there is a new twist on an old favorite. Texture and dimension were incorporated in prints on runways from New York to Milan. Being bold no longer only means pops of color or mixing your stripes and plaids: It’s also about taking your clothing to new heights.
Don’t be afraid to play with prints by mixing and matching, but be wary of looking like a patchwork quilt. Use your judgement when piecing together a multi-print outfit. These combinations require confidence, and if gingham on stripes is a fashion faux pas in your book, use dimensions and florals to stay in style this spring.
4. Going the distance
Designers went to town with tea-length skirts. The grass was truly greener at Alice + Olivia when this “dusty sage” design (middle) struck the runway. The creamy leather crop top and high-waisted skirt are covetable for spring for their color, cut, and presentation. Equally elegant were the clothes seen at Oscar de la Renta’s show (far right). Sashaying along the catwalk was a full skirt in salmon pink. From the waist down, the model could have walked out of the 1950s with an outfit that recalls images of a poodle skirt, but the top kept the look from appearing too sock-hop.
The story for spring wasn’t all about A-line cuts. Marchesa’s tea-length skirt (far left) is sheer after mid-thigh. This is another update that keeps the clothing looking fresh and modern. A blue dress by Chloé (second from right) does this as well, using lace to be provocative and demure. At Dolce & Gabbana, there is almost a trumpet aspect to the tea-length polka dot skirt, which hugs the model’s figure, creating a modern and alluring outfit.
Nipped in at the waist, tea-length styles skirt the issue of truncating the body. Even at Marchesa, the waist is emphasized by a crop top overlaying the dress. Keep the waist in mind when shopping for skirts and dresses with extended hemlines. Too full of an A-line can swallow a smaller frame, and be sure to use tops and accessories to maintain a current look.
5. Outstanding outerwear
If the spring is anything like this winter, you’ll be reaching for a jacket. Thankfully, an array of styles were on display in September that will keep you covered in style. The collarless jacket was having a heyday, including a patterned option by Rachel Zoe (top left). Darker neutrals abounded on runways, as well, offering a nice contrast to the notion of yellow bursts of sunbeams and light flowers conjured up by pastels. At Thakoon, a dark brocade collarless jacket hit just above the model’s knee (top middle).
But Thakoon was not content to display only one trend in outerwear, and the brand flirted with shorter styles, too. Jackets stopping at the waist were a hit at Thakoon, Tracy Reese, and J. Mendel (bottom right). A truncated jacket doesn’t mean it is short on detailing — the brocade J. Mendel Jacket fits beautifully detailed stitching into a cropped cut.
You could also button up in a bomber jacket like models did at Milly, Tracy Reese, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. The bomber jacket played a role in the sophisticated sportswear on the runways. From athletic pants with tuxedo side paneling to the use of mesh, it was all about athletics on spring runways. Unlike tuxedo-inspired pants or oversize, see-through shirts, a bomber jacket is an easier piece to add into your wardrobe because it is more wearable than the other options. At 3.1 Phillip Lim, the bomber got a shot of elegance with chiffon and metallic embroidery (bottom middle).