How To Look Like A Lady (Wink)

Posted: March 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: fashion | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Prints don’t have to be bold — this spring we also have prints for the faint of heart and for children.  (For the style-obsessed — and others — today is above all the day to discuss last night’s premier of Fashion Star.  I dutifully watched it, but I can’t begin to imagine what to say … speechless (dumbfounded more like) … so I’ll just leave it at that.)

As discussed yesterday, I think the strongest trend for spring is prints, but another – as epitomized by Louis Vuitton – is saccharine sweet, candy-colored pastels.  Pastels are hard to pull off without seeming like too much, so lace dresses of pastel pink have taken on boxy shapes, unexpected sheerness, or accents of black accessories to balance things out.  Not surprisingly, when everything gets thrown into the mix, a number of designers have produced pastel hued prints.  If the D&G thing is feeling like a little much, these more subtly hued prints present a reasonable alternative.

Perhaps my favorite of these collections came from Erdem.  Every dress is impossibly refined and lady-like, but something makes them irresistible none the less (since refined and lady-like are definitely not clear-cut positive terms in my book).  Perhaps it is the black in the patterns which in the midst of blue and white flowers on silken fabric is somehow completely unexpected.

Erdem Spring 2012 collection via Style.com

Erdem Spring 2012 collection via Style.com

Erdem Spring 2012 collection via Style.com

Over at Preen there is even more of the candy colored pastel thing going on, but offset by more pronounced black and white too.  And while the prints are full of floral flourishes, there is a decidedly digital subtext (or perhaps supertext).

Preen Spring 2012 collection via Style.com

Preen Spring 2012 collection via Style.com

Jonathan Saunders dispensed with the black, but his colors are so overly saturated, so neon, so much too much, that they work on their own.

Jonathan Saunders Spring 2012 collection via Style.com

Jonathan Saunders Spring 2012 collection via Style.com

In another of my favorite collections this spring, Vanessa Bruno rejects everything over the top about this season’s trends and offers subtle and soft prints, in barely there pastels and a lot of neutral brown hues.  The fabrics are so understated, that layers of disparate prints flow together almost seamlessly.  The clothes are simply and unapologetically lovely.

Vanessa Bruno Spring 2012 collection via Style.com

Vanessa Bruno Spring 2012 collection via Style.com

Vanessa Bruno Spring 2012 collection - to my eye, this perhaps least subtle of the fabrics is also the most lovely

As reluctant as I am to discuss childrenswear in this blog, I can’t close the conversation on prints without a nod to the collection hitting stores tomorrow.  There are plenty more fabulous pattern-filled children’s collections to come later in the spring, but tomorrow Diane Von Furstenberg’s collection for Gap kids drops.  Von Furstenberg is known for her bold prints, but unlike most of this season’s designers, she generally restricts herself to one print per garment.  And this Gap kids collection is 100% DVF.  I am surprised at how well her cuts and silhouettes lend themselves to childrenswear.  That ubiquitous DVF wrap dress translates beautifully on a young girl.  The clothes are sophisticated and stylish, directly out of mom’s closet, but still comfortable and easy to play in.  I’m even hoping that my ten year old daughter, who has by and large out grown children’s clothing (in style, not in stature) and has tunnel vision for Abercrombie Kids and Justice, might actually take to some of these dresses.  Stranger things have happened.  Here are some of the looks, although there’s plenty more … swimwear, shoes, you name it.

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