This spring’s fashions

by Jennifer Ortakales / Beacon Correspondent • February 14, 2013

Even though piles of snow line the streets, it’s not too early to start thinking about clothes for spring. With Fashion Week just wrapping up in New York, everyone’s already thinking of next fall’s trends.  New clothes can be just the thing to take your mind off the cold and get you excited for the season ahead. A few original spring trends have risen, but many haven’t changed from last season’s. This means you can keep wearing some of the clothes you got last fall, or buy the pieces you never got the chance to.

Peplums aren’t going away. The ruffled waist silhouette is still one of today’s most popular shapes on the runway, even at this month’s Fall 2013 shows. Because this trend has lasted so long, it can be easy to wear it too often. Last fall, peplum was a statement piece for daywear, but it should be used sparingly this season so as not to cause a peplum overload. During the day, wear understated peplums made with unique materials like lace. Evening is a better time to pull out structured peplum dresses that were big last fall.

Cutouts in dresses and tops are still going strong; however, some designers adapted the technique for spring by layering transparent fabrics over opaque ones. On the 3.1 Phillip Lim runway, see-through fabrics had plaid and floral prints that were often layered on top of each other. It might be a while before these see-through fabrics hit retail stores. But on the streets, prints worn together or a transparent dress worn over a printed one would achieve a similar look.

The boxy silhouette also continues to be popular, particularly in coats and jackets that were almost identical to the styles seen at Fashion Week last spring. Large sleeves and jutting shoulders have become the latest outerwear shapes, seen at Rag & Bone and Jil Sander. This more masculine style can be paired with the floral dresses that are bound to be seen everywhere when the snow begins to melt. 

Collections such as Burberry Prorsum and Christian Dior started a new fabric trend with shiny, metallic fabrics in pastels and jewel tones. These fabrics were often tailored with pleats, ruching, and gathers to emphasize the light they reflect. Burberry used them for its signature trench coats, creating the whimsical idea of having a bright, shiny coat for all the gloomy, rain days to come. The more subtle fabric Dior used resembled colored plastic saran wrap for playful party dresses. These shows combined the metallics known to fall (silver, gold, copper) and the expected bright colors of spring.

Other spring shows nodded to an aquatic look. Many designers, including Joseph Altuzarra, used scales on their pieces, while designer Naeem Khan created dresses with waves printed on the fabric. The scales will be seen on evening wear as a new technique to incorporate metallics and unique texture. All those graphic prints on leggings, dresses, and separates that were popular at stores like H&M and Topshop last fall are likely to shift to ocean-inspired scenes of waves and sea creatures.

Asymmetrical designs were in almost every collection this season. From one-shouldered dresses at Chloé to color blocked leather at Proenza Schouler, every designer has interpreted this style in their own way. This trend means more lop-sided draping, diagonal skirts, and uneven necklines — a concept that allows a little less order than last fall’s structured coats and matching pantsuits.

With a good balance of new and recurring trends this season, spending a lot of money on your spring wardrobe won’t be necessary. Buying a few new pieces will freshen it up a bit, but all you’ll need to do with the clothes you already have is ditch the tights and sweaters.