Spring 2012 fashion trends

5 pieces to keep into the New Year. As the excitement of a new year hits, we're jumping onto 2012's trends faster than we can belt out the last drunken verse of Auld Lang Syne. But rather than buy everything anew, there's plenty from fall that can carry over. Here are 5 key pieces that will continue to serve you into spring.

The wide leg pant.
While heavy wool or lined pairs might not be ideal for the heat, wide legged pants in lightweight fabrics or       denim can easily make the transition to spring. Lighten up dark coloured pants for the warmer months by pairing them with light colours up top – and swap the boots for wedges or high heeled sandals.

The tuxedo jacket.
An easy option for heading out after hours, it’s is a classic that goes well beyond the A/W 2011 season. For spring white or cream takes are a dream with everything from dresses to shorts – but fall’s classic black dinner jacket is also a keeper.

The leather harness.
It can be fetishist and hard, but it doesn’t have to be. For spring layer your leather accessories over floating fabrics, light colours and relaxed tailoring.

The high slit dress.
While the runways for both seasons have seen plenty of evening wear takes, you can also work a casual slit into your wardrobe come spring. Pair a slit skirt with a cotton tank for an effortless summer take.

The ’60s peter pan collar.
From the black and white strictness of Louis Vuitton to the fresh, candy colours of spring: a sweet sixties look is still lifted by the addition of a round peter pan collar.

1960s fashion: the return of the swinging 60s.

Each decade of the 20th century is prone to being defined by its fashions; and for each of those decades is a cycle of revival inevitable.

Some decades are revived in distinctive fits and starts, like the 80s returning in a burst of irony that made good on its promise; others, like the 60s, linger never too far out of reach. So while tousling up your sexiest bed hair and pulling on your teeniest mini may always be an option there’s no better time than 2011 and 2012 to inject even more of that swinging 60s vibe into your wardrobe.

Mod 60s revival dress at Burberry Prorsum AW11

60s fashion: where it’s been seen

The fall 2011 runways, when they fit to a particular decade, strutted mostly down a glamorous 1970s path. The 1930s were also fairly well represented. And then, amidst it all, a few key designers of influence were marching to the ’60s drum.

Burberry Prorsum’s bright block coloured coats and structured short-hemmed dresses hit a swinging London note. Miuccia Prada worked together flapper chic and 60s mod into graphic pleated tunics and Mary-Jane heels. Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and Marni also dabbled in the trend.

60s fashion for spring 2012

While the sixties fashion themes took root in fall 2011, don’t think they’ll be dead and buried by spring. Having found their way into numerous editorials already, we then saw the trend filter onto the spring 2012 runways. So expect to see the ’60s continue as a spring 2012 fashion trend.

1960s fashio0n looks

For the purpose of inspiring a ’60s look as best fitted to right now, and without getting too pedantic on historical accuracy, we’ll break up the era into three key looks

’60s mod fashion

Who could forget the long legs and short hems of Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton? Or the iconic designs of Mary Quant? Look to these icons for an update on a mod look, with elements like:
  • Wide eyes curtained by big false lashes (top and bottom). 
  • Bright block colours. 
  • Graphic prints and colourful abstract geometric patterns.
  • Short, boyish hairstyles.
  • Masculine flat shoes like penny loafers.
  • For fall, swing coats and capes.

 ’60s folk fashion

Softer and sexier than a mod look, a folkish sixties look is free spirited with a Parisian twist. The icons? Look to the likes of Jane Birkin and Francois Hardy for inspiration.
  •  Anything made out of lace, especially structured heavier lace pieces.
  •  Peter-pan collars.
  • Ultra-short hemlines. Low-slung belts.
  •  Monochrome instead of colour: plenty of white, cream, black.
  • Effortless sexiness with unfussy hair and winged-out eyeliner.

’60s sex kitten

The opposite of the androgynous mod, the sex kitten is another ’60s era cliche that has come back into play. Think any of the era’s stunning screen stars: Catherine Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot, Ann Margaret, Raquel Welch, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor. Try:

  • Cuts that draw in the waist, accentuating the bust and hips. It’s all about the curves.
  •  Full circle skirts or slim pencil skirts, or cropped pants with high waists.
  • Bed hair. Try a softer, modern update on Brigitte Bardot hair, or go all out bouffant. Just make it count.  
  • sultry pout; long lashes and plenty of eyeliner.

1950s: poodle skirts, greased quiffs, the kind of rock'n'roll music you can't help but twist your hips to. But in 2012 we're pulling inspiration from all corners of the decade, drawing them into a quirky modern mix that's both fashion forwards and fun. From rockabilly androgyny to prom-silhoueted elegance, read on for the full report on how the '50s is being revived.

1950s fashion revival: the look now

It’s the same case for all eras being revived in 2012: the key is picking and choosing the elements that suit you and working them into a modern look. That said, categorising fifties fashion broadly into a few key looks can help with knowing where to seek your inspiration from and how best to channel a particular vibe. To keep it simple we’ve broken it down into three key looks for spring 2012:
The rockabilly babe

When Miuccia Prada is peddling a trend, she doesn’t do it half heatedly. Her spring collection didn’t just hint at the ’50s, it blazed onto the runway in a thematic whirlwind of hot rod motifs and homemade bobby-pinned curls. Boob-tubes paired with high-waisted pencil skirts, feminine pleat dresses in panels of candy colours, and the editorially ubiquitous hot rod heel all contributed to Prada’s retro feel.

50s motifs at Prada, S/S ’12

But as feminine the rockabilly babe can be, there’s also great fun in 2012 in mixing it up with an androgynous twist. Men’s rockabilly hairstyles transposed for women, skinny pants and sharp, masculine shoes, pinned-up rolled sleeves and an air of Greaser boy attitude are elements that mix in gender bending 1950s fashion cool.

The Italianate bombshell

The sun kissed skin and sultry dark strands of voluminous hair, the hourglass silhouettes and unruffled sensuality: the qualities we associate with the ’50s Mediterranean beauty.

50s bombshell at Dolce & Gabbana, S/S ’12

If the cinched waists and tousled French twists at Dolce & Gabbana weren’t enough to convey the vibe, they confirmed it with woven straw handbags and vegetable motifs that placed their Sophia Loren-like girl within the ambient romance of some local village street market (if only in our imaginations). Another take on 50s dressing that merges easily into elements of the 60s, you would be amiss not to consider hourglass shapes, headscarves, cat eye glasses, and elegant stiletto heels or summer wedges in creating a bombshell look.

The elegant ’50s housewife

Looking to the couture collections for a picture of how spring sees formal and evening dressing, it was clear that 50s icons played a big role. Lace made the move from vampish to elegant with prom-style gowns in soft, edible tones; chiffon had its time to shine. Grace Kelly might have been the pin-up girl of the couture season, if some of the gowns at Elie Saab and Valentino were a reliable yardstick.

For spring ready-to-wear, delicate prom-shapes were given a minimalist reworking at the likes of Jil Sander and Nina Ricci: a full skirt in crisp white is 2012′s equivalent of the ’50s garden party dress. For an alternative to the full skirt, the elegant vintage belle is ready to don a pair of cropped gingham pants, or a calf-length sheath dress.

Complimentary trends to a ’50s style look

Again, there’s no manual or clear-cut set of rules to incorporating elements of ’50s fashion into a 2012 look and the above is just a guide. There are also plenty of elements that cross over multiple styles. As such, don’t forget that you can also work in with other 2012 trends:
Sleek, sporty pieces may seem far removed from a vintage revival, but a pair of high-waisted sporty hot pants or a midriff baring top can be the perfect way to modernise a ’50s inspired outfit. Mix sporty and retro fearlessly.
 A headscarf tied under the chin offers up a classic injection of 1950s glamour.
Since there’s blur between ’50s and ’60s fashion, there’s no reason why the two can’t work together. Mix ’50s and ’60s inspired prints, beauty looks, and hairstyles.Speaking of hair, a prim faux bob or hairstyle of homemade curls will not only make for a runway-inspired look but also add a femininely vintage vibe to any outfit. Go for a rockabilly quiff for nonchalant androgyny.Synonymous with the 1950s, a pair of cat eye glasses is the accessory to have be it for specs or shades.


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