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4 Weeks in March

4 Weeks in March Kena Betancur

4 weeks in March provides the world’s top and best known designers to roll out their new look for summer and spring.

Known as Fashion Week in London, Milan, Paris, and New York, these designers set the stage for what fashions you will be seeing in the stores beginning in August. Set within a lot of fanfare, we are told what the latest trends will be. But I wonder how can there be trends when there are so many of them. And given that much fashion is not really new but harks back to bygone eras, we end up with mishmash that does nothing more than change their name from season to season.

Some designers have taken their inspiration from the 1960s and others from the 1990s. In the 60's there were 3 distinct eras…the earlyMichael_Kors_60s
sixties a la Jacquie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn with pillbox hats and the sheath dress. In the middle sixties, we had the poodle skirt and petticoats, and the late sixties; we went Bohemian with long skirts and flowers in our hair.

This Michael Kors collection at the right is one example of 60's inspired, while Louie Vuitton (in our cover photo above) was more extreme in actually recapturing the '60s, ala Ann Margret.

In the 90s, the grunge style was popular but varied greatly from the Goth look to baby doll dresses.

The best you can say is that the trends are at least becoming more realistic thanks to a sagging economy that won’t support some of the outrageous fashions in the past. The designer labels are retreating to their core values, the result being some beautiful, wearable clothes – the backlash against fad fashion. Their focus is on nice clothes they know their customers will buy.

While there is always excitement and drama on the runways, the bland facts are to show it, make it, sell it, and make more. And not that the old brands like Dior, Chanel and Armani aren’t impressive, but we do have some new young designers now pushing and challenging women to express themselves in inventive ways. The general consensus expressed by more than my fashion reviewer is that we should “look towards London’

I don’t necessarily agree and at the end of this article are links to Vogue magazine’s review of each of the fashion weeks and my personal picks for some of the best designs that I consider “Street Wearable” Go to the TGlife forum to the bottom of this page and respond to my post to let me know what you think.

With clothes in over 300 catwalk shows, there was a lot of variation as you might expect. Street style, though, is playing an increasingly important role in the fashion weeks; the proliferation in street-style blogs, and those fashion eccentrics who dress to the nines in order to be photographed have spawned their own trends and their own labels. "When you get to the showrooms, you see that each collection is offering a bomber jacket, a duffel coat and sweatshirts. It's all about reaching those younger customers.

When asked what inspires designers, you get varied answers: nature, music, personal and public events, and the lives around us. Every one of us takes our design experience and builds it from the multitude of different places we gain inspiration from. Still read the list below from the pages of Vogue magazine:

Sixties

Spring/Summer 2013 will be best viewed in glorious Technicolor. During Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Moschino all paid tribute to Sixties girls like Twiggy, Françoise Hardy and Jane Birkin with mini-skirts, A-line dresses, graphic checks, patent Mary Janes and delicate motifs worked in bright colors. Pop pieces for a fresh, bold look.

Stripes

Fashion Week was unanimous: Summer 2013 will be striped. Whether skinny or fat, minimal or psychedelic, stripes every which way produced graphic silhouettes on the catwalk. Color-wise, black featured heavily, with white at Balmain and Dolce & Gabbana, or clashing red and green at Michael Kors, and again at Dolce & Gabbana.

Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain and Marc Jacobs

Checks

Backstage at Louis Vuitton, designer Marc Jacobs told us that he had been inspired by the columns in the work of French artist Daniel Buren for his Spring/Summer 2013 collection. This highly graphic look also popped up on Balmain's Harlequins and in a mind-bending optical illusion for Marc Jacobs own collection.

Marc Jacobs, Balmain and Louis Vuitton

Ckloe-rufflesOriental prints

Traditional Eastern prints are given a Western spin next season, with hints of Hanoi, Beijing and Tokyo coming through in Asian-inspired collections. Discover fire dragon, lotus flower, peony and hibiscus motifs in prints which hail from the other side of the world.

Etro, Emilio Pucci and Prada

Ruffles

With designers adorning their pieces with concertina pleats, the ruffles trend juxtaposes next season's sharp rectangular silhouette, 

creating a super sensual effect. Next Spring/Summer ruffles will be fluttering about the neckline, waist and cuffs, as seen at Gucci, Givenchy and Chloé.

Chloé, Gucci and Givenchy

Hawaii

Peeping through last season, Hawaiian prints will come into full bloom in Spring/Summer 2013. Think hibiscus flowers, birds of paradise, whimsical hummingbirds and palm leaves: with designers taking a trip to Honolulu, our wardrobes look set to become the backdrop to a tropical landscape.

Proenza Schouler, Isabel Marant and Kenzo

Safari

Designers are taking us on a safari-style adventure next season, where we'll be in hot pursuit of fierce beige and khaki prints for both day and night, the countryside and the urban jungle.

Emporio Armani, Kenzo and MaxMara

Kimono

From the Samurai to the Geisha, this season saw a particularly strong Japanese influence with the appearance of the re-constructed kimono in many collections. From structured leather lines at Gareth Pugh to Haider Ackermann's fitted suit, fashion went East with Prada also showing a dress that took us straight to the Orient.

Gareth Pugh, Haider Ackermann and Prada

Metallics

As seen on the runway at Burberry, Christian Dior and John Paul Gaultier, shimmering metallics set the tone for next summer. A dazzlingchanel_polka-dot_dress trend spotted on trenches at Burberry, bustier dresses at Dior and slip dresses at John Paul Gualtier.

Burberry, Christian Dior and Jean Paul Gaultier

Pleats

From nude pleats at Valentino and discreet folds at Stella McCartney to voluminous, flowing crepe at Chloé, pleated fabric is one of summer 2013's stand-out trends. Long seen as a good-girl style, delicate folds are gaining fashion ground in all their sheer, feminine glory on next season's runway.

Chloé, Stella McCartney and Rochas

Dots

Fashion goes back to Audrey Hepburn's Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1950s polka dot dress, evoking a highly feminine delicacy and sophistication next summer. The classic black and white polka dot duet is the ultimate detail for a discreet contrast in a minimalist look with an elegant edge.

Giorgio Armani, Chanel and Haider Ackermann

Gold sequins

Gold shines bright for summer, as next season's jackets, dresses and pants are sprinkled with shimmering metallic sequins. The sexy mirror effect looks set to heat up the dance floor when the glitterball gets going.

Fendi, Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren

Fringing

Fringe_DressFrom the Roaring Twenties Charleston dresses, to 1970s disco dancing queens, fringe-accenting is making a comeback for Spring/Summer 2013. It's out with the leather cowgirl tassels of Fall/Winter 2012-2013 and in with delicate, sleek trims that will sway with you long into the night.

Nina Ricci, Bottega Veneta and Versace

Looking to the 90s, Slimane, with his California Grunge collection managed to be the most controversial designer this season, simply by doing luxury versions of clothes that look like what disaffected teenagers across the world are already wearing

 

Although I was raised in the 60s and have a fondness for the era, I have to tell you that Kate Spades collection based on the 90s is truly wonderful. The 90s look is about to explode all over the fashion scene. You can easily recreate this look with the right fabrics, colors and textures using leather, fake fur and Lycra while trying cropped tops teamed with oversized jumpers and tight leggings or mini-skirts. In terms of prints and colors, aim for shimmering silvers and golds, animal print, stripes, sequins and studs to get the grunge and punk fashion spot on.

Kate-Spade-Spring-2013Elle

Kate Spade Spring 2013 RTW | ELLE

With its colorful, cute, and feminine aesthetic, Kate Spade is definitely a brand that thinks fashion should be fun. For their spring 2013 collection, creative director Deborah Lloyd went all out with bright colors, fun prints and ultra-girly looks. Needless to say, this collection has us longing for warm weather and cute outfits! If I am to believe a friend who recently shopped at Lane Bryant, these fashions are already in the stores.

Or look at this collection from College Fashion, who says you can’t wear multiple brights at once? This look proves that incorporating four super-bright shades can look chic and polished. The key to this color-coordinated getup is the floral print skirt, which ties together all the shades found throughout the outfit.

college_fashions_bright

Here are a few Tips and Tricks for Mixing Bright Colors

  • Vibrant jewel-tone colors look great together–some favorite color combos include yellow and turquoise, hot pink and purple, and royal blue with electric blue.
  • Consider adding color with your accessories. Bright clutches, turquoise or coral jewelry, kaleidoscopic scarves, and candy-colored shoes are versatile pieces that will add pop to your look.
  • Makeup is another great way to experiment with color: Purple eyeliner and hot pink lip gloss are another way to experiment with bold hues!
  • Be careful with the number of colors you mix at once. Wearing three or even four colors at once can create an incredible look, but I recommend stopping there. Mix five or more colors and you’ll risk looking like a rainbow explosion (and not in a good way)!

If you are part of the more mature group as I am, do not be dismayed. You can wear these bright colors too with a little care as this article from Buzzle clearly points out.

Just remember:

  • choose the colors which suit you and the ones you would prefer. Soft shades are great colors for dresses or be sure to wear a darker color on the bottom if you have a lighter color on top. Above all, be sure the colors flatter you skin tone.
  • You can select the fashion statement that fits your personality, but above all, be sure the clothes are well-fitted

Lastly, just for fun, take at look at the four fashion weeks as displayed in Vogue magazine

London           Recommended - Teatum Jones who has some very nice prints

Milan               Recommended - Marco De Vincenzo (really classic) and Dolce & Gabbana (Mexican)

Paris                Recommended - Alexander McQueen – a journey back in fashion history and Paco Rabanne – fresh and youthful

New York       Recommended - Proenza Schouler who made the most impact but Calvin Kline and Marc Jacobs are also good.

To provide an inside looka nd feel into New York fashion week, Brianna was able to obtain some excluvsive photos from inside the event via her friend Kena, who was there on assignment.  Below are some of those photos that she captured.

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Last modified onTuesday, 22 October 2013 09:45
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