The Bright, Bold and Beautiful
By Gretta Monahan
As if the onset of spring isn’t enough cause for joy, this year it gets an extra boost, thanks to the decidedly upbeat fashion trends that are about to hit. Here are some of the ones I love the most, and simply can’t wait to wear.
Florals, florals and more florals: I know, I know … florals are nothing new every single spring. But this year they’re here in a seriously big new way. Think take-no-prisoners graphics and prints rather than frail, quiet wallflower. Some of the new blooms are retro — such as the draped, ’70s-inspired pieces by Chloe — and some are as loud as the neon buds by Balenciaga. On the less expensive front, I adore the boho-glam, trumpet-sleeved dress by French Connection ($178, frenchconnection.com) and the eye-catching, brights-on-black tank dress by Melonie T ($54.99 at target.com).
Stripes: They never go out of style, but they’ve also never been more versatile than they are right now. Big, chunky seaside stripes on casual slouchy trousers, perfectly neat, buttoned-up thin stripes on trim jackets, pale blue banker stripes on button-down shirt dresses, or soft and feminine-colored stripes on flouncy sheer ruffled skirts. Throw some on in black and white, too — Banana Republic’s off-the-shoulder midi dress is universally flattering, and as at home at your desk as at a power lunch or a weekend party. It also looks as fab with a denim or leather jacket as it does with a gorgeous black suit jacket. ($128 at bananarepublic.com.
Sweet simplicity: Call it minimalism if you prefer, but I love the beautiful purity that came out of design houses like Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander and Stella McCartney this season. Sometimes there’s nothing more pretty or optimistic than clean lines, streamlined silhouettes and monochromatic colors that put the focus on the wearer. Think tie-waist dresses in quiet Italian tweed ($168 at jcrew.com), solid dobby popovers ($35.98 at gap.com) and the cool, swingy, oversized ribbed turtleneck light sweater dress by Yiyiqi ($84.15 at stylewe.com).
Big, bold brights: Pink — and lots of it — played a major part of the collections this season from Celine and Valentino. For a more wallet-friendly version, don’t miss Calvin Klein’s side cutout gown in a jolting hot pink ($139 at lordandtaylor.com).
But it was really colors from every part of the rainbow that took center stage — as long as they were loud and proud. One of the easiest, most raucous ways to update your closet right now is to bring in the brights. Wear hot pink with electric purple. Turquoise and robin’s egg blue with red. Tangerine and khaki. It’s up to you. Just play, and be fearless, and this season it’ll all work out.