Spring/Summer 2012: Top 10 trends

Must-haves include (from left to right): underwater prints from Mary Katrantzou; 3D lace at Dolce & Gabbana; a sheer dress at Valentino; and sparkles at Givenchy. Images courtesy of style.com

It’s been a long slog, but the spring/summer 2012 shows are finally over. And while the stores may be full of autumn merchandise, any serious fashionista will know that you always need to stay ahead of the fashion curve. So for those die-hards out there, here is my list of 10 must-have trends/styles for next season. Also keep in mind that the key inspiration for this year’s collections is the couture tailoring of Spanish designer Balenciaga. Ole!

1. A drop waist dress or skirt

It started in New York and by Paris most designers were sending out their own version of a 1920s-style flapper dress. Some like Celine got rid of the dress entirely and went for skirts instead.  Whatever style you choose, just make sure you wear it low!

2. Pleats

The catwalks paid tribute to couturier Madame Gres, with full-length pleated dresses. Some came decorated with strips of colour at Chloe while Celine offered  button up shirts with flowy pleated backs. The look is elegant and streamlined, never bulky.

3. Something sheer

The sheer dress has made a comeback, but is made more feminine with handpainted florals or flower appliques heatsealed onto the fabric as seen at Christopher Kane. Rather than sexy styles, go for modest shapes that cover the arms and legs (so to speak).

4. Prints

In New York and London it was all about tropical prints, while Milan took a fruity turn at Dolce & Gabanna. Versace went under the sea while Prada’s cars were fast and furious. Paisleys looked sporty at Jil Sander and Stella McCartney. Another trend: printed separates worn together for a head-to-toe look.

5. Pastels

Seafoam green was top of the list (Yves Saint Laurent had the most beautiful shades) while Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton went for candy shades of yellow and orange. Calvin Klein also included light tones to break away from his usual stark white.

Must-haves include (from left to right): leather tops at Celine; a drop waist dress at Ralph Lauren; skirt with a flouncy hem at Alexander McQueen; and pleated dresses at Lanvin. Images courtesy of style.com

6. A bit of sparkle

It’s not about bling but more of an iridescent sheen as spotted at Chanel, which featured clothes that sparkled like pearls. Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy also went for light-altering effects with pearlescent sequins.

7. Summer leather

Blame it on Phoebe Philo but leather tops are now a staple for the summer. Other designers used paper thin sheets that were laser cut for a more feminine look, as spotted at Giles.

8. Layered fabrics

It’s all about different fabrics mixed together – organza over broderie anglais to net embroidered with silk. Technical fabrics such as mesh and neoprene are worked onto tactile materials like silk.

9. A mid-length skirt

Everyone was doing them, from Burberry’s full pleated styles to Alexander McQueen and Roland Mouret’s tight pencil styles with floucy hems. So girly, so chic.

10. 3D Lace

Why have plain lace when you can go all 3D (it works better with the movies!) It was all about textured lace that comes alive with appliques such as flowers (see Dolce & Gabanna) or beading as seen at Comme des Garcons.

And for good measure…a white shirtdress! Jil Sander or Celine’s have my name on them!

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