It’s fun to look back at my own trend predictions for Spring 2012 and compare them with what’s in retail stores so far. This type of comparison reminds me of my fashion buying days, and I very much enjoy the analytical process.
The Big Five
- Midi Skirts and Dresses: There has finally been a length break through. I’d like to see even more midis on shop floors, but I’m not complaining. Still lots of minis and knee-lengths around for those who prefer shorter hemlines.
- Patterns: There are patterns everywhere, especially striped and plaid designs. Love it!
- Soft Dressing: I see loads of soft woven tops and soft slouchy knitwear. Soft trousers are slowly making their mark. Not much in the way of soft skirts just yet. Rigid and tight pencil skirts still reign supreme.
- Refined Footwear: This trend is not making a statement at all. Chunky high heeled footwear with mega platforms are still the fashion statement. My fingers are staying crossed for a bit of variation as we head further into the season.
- Orange: It’s out in full force.
- Brights: Absolutely! It’s been a pleasure seeing a sea of brights alongside the neutrals. Emerald is huge, with red, cobalt, citron, yellow and pink making their mark.
- Midtones: I’ve seen a few, but brights are surprisingly dominant at the moment.
- Neutrals: Beige, nude and blush were supposed to take a back seat, but I still see lots of beige and blush.
- Tribal prints and urban jungle: We saw this come through in Winter and I’m not seeing the Spring interpretations just yet.
- Asymmetry: In tops for sure, and in the odd asymmetrical skirt as well.
- Pattern Mixing: HUGE. Most retailers are pattern mixing big time.
- Colour blocked garments: Last season we blocked with individual outfit pieces. This season we are seeing colour blocked items. I have a hunch this trend will go very mainstream.
- Soft, slouchy tapered trousers: As I mentioned above, they are definitely coming through in neutrals and colours.
- Daytime Sparkle: I’m seeing the odd bit of daytime sparkle. I expect that we are still recovering from large volumes of holiday sparkle, so things will probably glitz up more mid season.
- Black & white and blue & brown: We will always find black and white combinations in stores, but I don’t see many blue and brown combinations.
- Flat loafers and oxfords: I had expected to see an abundance of loafers and slipper flats. They are making a small Spring statement at best. I hope this changes because we need a closed shoe option that’s different to ballet flats, pumps, booties and oxfords.
- Hard edge: There are still plenty of store items in rigid fabrications. Coloured jeans, denim shirts and stiff pencil skirts are a plenty, as are leather jackets and structured blazers. As much as I like the soft dressing trend, I love to mix up soft pieces with rigid pieces most of the time. To my eye, the juxtaposition of these contrasting vibes is a great look.
Remember that we are at the very start of the Spring season and have at least another 5 months left to go. We’ll see some trends make a stronger statement while others stay fringe. What I find even more interesting is how new trends are received by my clients, our forum members, the blogosphere and consumers in general. It’s fun to see which ones go mainstream and how long it takes for them to mainstream.
Personally, I am particularly excited about this Spring season and attribute that directly to the vibrant colours, longer dress and skirt lengths, cheerful patterns, flat loafers and beautiful soft boxy blouses. I guess it’s just more fun to shop for a season that is aligned with your style persona. Goodness knows we have all had our fair share of disliking fashion trends, which makes the whole process of refreshing our style a little less enjoyable.
As we head into six months of Spring and Summer retail fashion, I’m also very focused on Fall 2012. We are off to New York Fashion Week next month where the interpretation and analysis will start all over again.