I’ve watched many, many runway shows over the last three weeks and I’m energized and excited! The Fashion Weeks for Spring 2012 in New York, London and Milan did not disappoint (Paris is still underway). I watched some of the shows live, others on the huge television screens in the tents of Lincoln Centre at New York Fashion Week, and the rest online. I have a pretty good sense of the wearable trends that we can expect to see in stores for Spring and Summer 2012. This is merely my interpretation, and we’ll only know what’s really brewing as the new season unfolds. 

I’ve separated the trends into 5 big ones and the rest.  

The Big Five

  • Midi Skirts and Dresses: Longer hemlines are at the top of the list. 
  • Patterns: Patterns on everything, especially geometric, conversational, and abstract prints. It’s not going to be a solid season.
  • Soft Dressing: Lots of emphasis on soft fabrications from head to toe, whereas last year, soft fabrications were more mixed with rigid ones because it was a season of contrasts.
  • Refined Footwear: Heels are less clumpy, chunky and platformed. Definitely more lady-like, and heels are lower too. 
  • Orange: All shades of it. From tomato reds and coral, to Dutch orange, burnt orange, butternut, peach, apricot and tangerine.

General Trends

  • Brights: Along with shades of orange, there is red, yellow, emerald, purple, bright pink and turquoise. Citron is used more as an accent colour.
  • Midtones: Not quite pastel or bright but somewhere in between the two. I’m liking the French and denim blues that are making a comeback. 
  • Neutrals: White is tops, followed by silver grey and black. Beige, nude and blush are all still there, but take a back seat.  
  • Tribal prints and urban jungle: Not just by way of patterns but through safari chic clothing silhouettes and wooden jewelry. 
  • Asymmetry: Especially on the hemlines of tops and dresses. 
  • Pattern Mixing: This trend gets more traction each year. It’s going to be a hectically patterned season, so prepare yourselves for lots of loud clashing prints that hopefully find outfit harmony.  
  • Colour blocked garments: Last season we blocked with individual outfit pieces. Next season, an item itself is colour blocked. 
  • Soft, slouchy tapered trousers: It looks like this silhouette will finally go mainstream, and it’s about time! Flared and wide-legged trousers are still there.
  • Daytime Sparkle: My magpie gene loves this look. Think lurex thread and sparkly daytime tops, jackets and dresses. 
  • Black & white and blue & brown: We see strong black and white combinations each year, but blue with brown will look refreshingly retro. 
  • Flat loafers and oxfords: Many shows showcased this style of shoe. I bat for Team Flats so my heart went aflutter. 
  • Hard edge: It’s not all soft and flowing so don’t despair. Rigid fabrications will continue to make their mark. 

There were many, many shows to love, but if I had to list my favourites, this is how it would look: Carolina Herrera, Carlos Miele, Burberry Prorsum, Paul Smith, Diane Von Furstenberg, Mary Katranzou, Marni, Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Mulberry, Gorgio Armani and Tory Burch. Prada was the most disappointing show, and I am still waiting to see Stella McCartney, Chloe and my beloved Chanel. 

Over to you ladies. How do next Spring’s trends grab you?