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Global Trends Spring Summer 2012

With a complete month of fashion weeks outlining new trends and looks for the 2012 summer coming to an end on the most influential runways of Milan, Paris, London and New York, the direction for global fashion for the season has clearly emerged. Over the previous few issues the fashion team at Apparel Online has analyzed each show in detail; in this issue we present the definite looks which surfaced from the common threads of all the shows with a lot of prints and shiny surfaces.

It is clear that both fun with childlike and bold prints, and vintage looks with lace and femininity will rule the global summer, giving everyone a chance to mix-and-match their individualistic look! More eclectic inspiring styles, including layering, colour-blocking and even the metallic colours have been a hit. Although the summer runways began with a very androgynous feel, femininity played its own part on the ramps. Embellishments have also been widely flaunted, but with a more subtle effect than the usual bling that was observed in the previous seasons. The Olympics are surely a huge driving force in the world of fashion for the 2012 season, as clothes are becoming sportier and everyone is looking forward to adorn themselves in a sporty feel…!

The Summer of Colour

The onset of summer fashion has seen quite a blend of colours ranging from bright to sober pastels. Giving a push to the already raging colour-block trend, designers like Manish Arora, Fendi and Luca Luca have showcased a variety of tops and tunics in bright colours, along with Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein flaunting soft pastel shades. Apart from the season’s classic black and white, the most popular colours seemed to be teal, blue, turquoise, orange and yellow; which found their way into every collection, be it in the form of solid blocks or as prints.






Print it All Out…  




The runways were ablaze with this season’s prints, with patterns that were structured, abstract and floral. WhileNew YorkandLondonshowcased more tropical and foliage prints, Dolce & Gabbana flaunted fruits inMilan. Other fun prints like cars, flowers and child-like designs were also seen, along with many ethnic designs in bright colours which created an urban kitsch look. Accompanying the season’s florals, plaids took a very playful turn with the use of different fabrics and colours. The flowers this season are also exaggerated, in bold and bright colours, which were placed either as placement prints or as overalls.



Layering with Outerwear




As the summer evenings have started becoming colder, the summer outerwear has become the hottest commodity in fashion. Ranging from bright coloured cardigans, short shrugs, boleros to tough biker jackets – the summer runways had it all. The biggest emerging trend has been that of the structured blazer, seen at Gucci, Givenchy and Oscar De La Renta. The blazer which used to add colour, structure and variety to the garment, can be paired with almost anything for an eclectic look. The cardigans on hand add femininity and softness to the entire look, especially owing to their colour palette; and are thus used for more fun and sporty collections.



Uppers in Variety…




The tops for the season are very short, along with being very loose. While Prada added a feminine touch to the tube tops by using a printed fabric, Acne made the top very loose and street style by using the star motif. Other designers keeping their looks tuned with the Olympic fever made the tops very sporty by using linear prints, blocks of colour, and shiny performance fabrics seen at Alexander Wang, Narciso Rodriguez and Victoria Beckham. A loose, blouse-like silhouette was also observed in abundance, in soft pastel colours and smooth fabrics, which will surely become the most demanded shape for the upcoming summer.


Lowers are Loose…



The upcoming summer has inspired relaxed shapes with a lot of loose, drapey and low-crotch trousers, followed by loose and flared shorts. Although the length of the shorts was seen varying, a pair of “long shorts” or the over-knee shorts will be the new summer staple. Bringing these shorts into the new corporate wardrobe, some designers have even paired them with blazers to form ‘short suits’. But, on the other hand, the skirts are becoming more girly and chic, owing to Burberry’s full pleated styles, Alexander McQueen and Roland Mouret’s tight pencil styles with flounced hems and Jason Wu’s soft coloured skirts with peplums.




Dress it up…  



Although, a few androgynous touches were seen in the trousers this season, the dresses continue to have their feminine touch. Not only the catwalks had the full-length maxi-dresses, but other silhouettes like tunics, A-line and flared dresses found their place in almost every collection. Designers ranging from Prada, John Galliano and Ralph Lauren, to Acne, Nicole Miller and Thakoon showcased very flowy dresses, figure enhancing maxis and short-‘girly’ dresses. While sheer fabrics seemed to be hit for flowy dresses, a lot of stiff and shiny fabrics were used for the tunics and other dresses. Many body-conscious dresses were also spotted among the brightly coloured and boldly printed dresses.



The Rising Shine!


Shiny fabrics, metallic colours and “plastic-y” textures made a debut this season on all the runways. The hottest thing about the trend is metallic clothing, which led the designers like Givenchy, Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli and Herve Leger to use gold, silver and bronze in their creations, which was more of a subtle sheen than bling. Chanel was seen sporting a soft sparkle with pearls, while Givenchy opted for light-altering effects with pearlescent sequins. Leather, a new addition to the summer wardrobe has been brought around by Phoebe Philo and Alexander Wang, and has now become the new summer staple. Some designers like Marc Jacobs, Richard Nicoll and Mulberry have taken the trend to the next level by using fabrics that resemble plastic, creating a magnificent illusion.




Sheer and Lace        



Following the era of romanticism, sheer fabrics have made a comeback and have taken a more feminine turn. Hand painted, appliquéd, heat set and even laser-cut flowers on sheer fabrics have adorned the runways in the collections of Christopher Kane and Christian Dior. Adding a little Victorian touch, designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, and Vera Wang have used lace along with the sheer fabrics, in modest shapes to add subtlety to the designs. Textured lace, with 3-dimensional elements like appliqués or beading, was used add more value to the garments. While the shapes were mostly fluid, the colours were toned down to enhance the overall appeal of the garments.


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