What’s Wearable in Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear?

Would that we were all so lucky as the fashion industry, that we could have Spring come in October. For those of us still in the midst of the Northeast winter (-11 this past weekend, y’all–NEGATIVE ELEVEN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT) there are several more months to go before we even think about breaking out the old peep toe sling backs, and maybe another couple after that before, and I speak for myself here, we even consider taking a razor to our legs for the sake of fashion. However, it’s that time of year when bikinis start lining the back wall of the Target women’s section, and I start quietly cursing all the lucky mofos who have a reason to buy them. Spring fashion season is upon us, much like Valentine’s Day cards the week after Christmas, and I am here to give you my take on the trends that are welcome and the ones I hope were ditched back on the runway in October.

First up is floaty layers. There were many layers, and boy were those layers floaty.

I can see this trend going two ways. Best case scenario is that of this Alice + Olivia cocktail dress: ethereal, potentially flattering to many figures, a little whimsical. Worst case scenario: Stevie Nicks falls in with pirate faerie clan, shreds everything in sight. And as far as worst case scenarios go, that isn’t too bad. Who doesn’t love pirate faerie people? I give this trend one thumb up.

Related to, but not quite the same as the floaty layers are sheers.

Not all the sheers were as in your face as this Betsey Johnson creation, but they were everywhere. I could get behind a few sheer embellishments here and there, the overlay of this Carolina Herrera top, or the sheer panel in this otherwise very sleek and simple Azzaro dress, but I can’t see visible undergarments catching back on. If Carrie Bradshaw did it, it’s officially over, people. I give this trend a halfhearted shrug.

Next on the docket: neutrals.

Listen, if you are a lady who looks great in tan, beige, cream, and all variations thereof, as seen in this ensemble from Phillip Lim, more power to you, but I hate you. Okay, I don’t hate you, but I’m immensely jealous. I have wanted a camel coat for ages, but just about anything of a light yellowish brown tinge makes me look grotesque. Why can’t everything just come in black like I need it to? For this purely petty reason, I give neutrals two big fat thumbs down. However, through the objective, intrepid eyes of a temporary fashion writer? Okay, fine. Neutrals are nice. They’re a great way to break up the monotony of my beloved black that tends to dominate throughout the winter. Official verdict: one sweeping “go on and take it, I didn’t want it anyway!” motion.

In complete contrast to the prevalence of neutrals on the Spring 2011 runways was the presence of brights.

Hot shades, as seen on the left from Badgley Mishka, as well as electric blues take us straight from spring into wet, hot summer. I can imagine drinking margaritas in the outdoor seating section of my favorite Mexican restaurant wearing a dress like that on the kind of night when the air never cools, even after the sun goes down. I’m not drooling, you’re drooling!

Additionally, designers like Burberry Prorsum incorporated pops of bright through the accessories of otherwise toned down outfits–a nice way to transition from your winter to spring wardrobe.

I give both two thumbs up and a little happy margarita dance for good measure.

A few other points of note for this spring:

The amazing disappearing waist. Many of the dresses seen on October’s runways showed a distinct lack of waist definition. Combine that with floaty layers, and I don’t know about you, but I imagine I’d look like a dust rag. If you, too, foresee that being an issue I recommend investing in a few more great belts, maybe one in a bright?

Prints, available as both brights and neutrals. Some of them are great and some of them are, well, not. Prints above all are about your personal style. If you’re a person who’s strictly about blocks of color, maybe consider a simple large print  skirt like the ones from Carolina Herrera or Alice + Olivia. A little can go a long way. If you’re into busy statement prints, check out Gaultier, McQueen, and Prada for inspiration. Keep an eye out for fruit!

Bows. I have been known to have fits in which I take manicure scissors to my undergarments and remove the extraneous bows, however I have to say that there are some pretty cute bows going on this season. Keep an eye out for secretary-style bow tie necklines in both casual and formal wear, and little, unobtrusive bows used as embellishment on cocktail dresses.

Do you have anything to add? Seen anything popping up in stores that you love, hate, love to hate, love to envy, hate to love? Or are you in the camp of JUST LET ME TAKE OFF MY DOWN COAT ALREADY? Personally, I’m just looking forward to margarita season.

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(e)Kelsium

Kelsium lives in Southern California with her partner and collection of almost (almost!) kill-proof plants. She enjoys the beaches, but finds the lack of acceptable bagels distressing. She considers herself an expert in red lipstick and internet rage.

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