Now that there are three fashion cycles where there used to be just one, there is a lot more to sort through for a post like this!
Resort used be just a blip between the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter runways, with a few designers showing 10-20 looks designed for frolicking aboard a cruise ship. 2012 saw more than 200 designers putting together Resort collections, and those collections were well-rounded. Pre-Fall follows essentially the same premise: capsule collections of transition pieces to move you from late summer through mid-fall. Both mini-seasons allow designers to get fresh looks out to buyers, editors, and boutiques in between the major runway seasons. Below is a summary of the trends that stood out across all three “seasons”, and should see you safely from April through the end of September. Just keep in mind, as the season gets later, the colors get more muted. Lemon becomes mustard, white becomes cream, violet becomes lavender, and royal blue becomes cadet grey. Fabrics also get sturdier- move from cottons to woolens, Chantilly to Battenberg, and silk to…ah… silk.
FLORALS: continuing the on-going love affair with graphic prints, this summer sees all sorts of florals: the brighter, the better. Either large-scale or small-scale prints are acceptable, and some of the best pieces showed mirror-symmetry in the design. If you want to get really crazy, mix your florals with complimentary (or contrasting) tops and bottoms.
LACE: Hooray! I am having such a love affair with lace, and I am so happy it will still be around for another few seasons. Any way you can get lace into your day, go for it. The best runway looks showed all-over lace in white and cream. Maxis, minis, tea-lenth; sleeves or bared arms- lace in every iteration is beautiful. If you want to sew with lace, pick a pattern that is menswear-inspired and the contrast will be a beautifully striking statement of femininity.
COLOR-BLOCKING: It’s still around, and still very striking. To be successful, focus on 2-3 bright colors; any more than that and you become Punky Brewster. If you’re scared of that much color, try mixing in a neutral to tone it down. Orange, camel, and cream was a popular combo, as is hot pink with just about anything: try pairing it with oxblood, violet, or tangerine. Mix up the proportions on your outfit to offset the boldness of the colors- raise or lower your waistline, work in an asymmetrical hem or neckline, or leave one shoulder bare.
HOT COLORS: RED, YELLOW Some of the cutest dresses I saw were monochromatic red. If color blocking scares you, head-to-toe red is a very viable alternative. Look for dresses with fitted bodices and slightly flared skirts- this will give you an instant retro vibe, especially if you have matching shoes and lipstick. Yellow is the other big color for the season, and thankfully it has mellowed a bit from the acid greenish-yellow that was so big this winter. Think more lemon-y, and you’ll be right on. I saw suits, dresses, skirts, and blouses in this sunshine shade, frequently paired with white.
NONCOLORS: BLACK, WHITE White all by itself is trending big, but the runways also heavily featured black and white mod looks. If you just can’t embrace color, you don’t have to! All white (even in lace) doesn’t have to look virginal if you play around with fit, structure and length. Alexander McQueen showed cream paired with gold in very slim silhouettes, and the effect was gorgeous! Black-and-white is probably the easiest trend of all to embrace this season- doesn’t everyone have a white T-shirt and black slacks or a slim black pencil skirt? Pair it with some vintage 60s jewelry and you’re good to go!
Overall, the spirit for this summer is flirty, feminine, and above all- ladylike. Hemlines are a bit more modest, bodices are buttoned-up, and sleeves are, well, present. However you want to execute that is up to you- it seems like there is a true “Anything Goes” sentiment with passing references to 70s glamor lingering from the fall/ winter shows, heavy 60s influence from Mad Men, and a resurgence of the 80s silhouette (minus the shoulders, thank heavens). Dropped waists, slouchy jackets, peplums, even biker shorts dominated the runways. This is a great season to try a little of everything and find what works best for you.