by Daniel Jameson, Fashion Editor
With Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu helming the final day of Paris Fashion Week this past Wednesday, the exciting month of Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear shows came to a stellar conclusion. Throughout the globetrotting display of next season’s collections, several styles emerged as major trends, already generating excitement for what the warmer weather will bring. Take a look below at our sneak peek of some of Spring 2013’s biggest ready-to-wear trends!
Unlike the pale palette of pastels seasonally common as per cultural tradition, Spring 2013 saw a new focus of chromatic vibrancy, with rich colors drenching garments across the runways. These saturated tones represented the true essence of their respective color families, breathing life and emotion into each piece. Most notable were collections by Diane von Furstenberg, Burberry and Gucci, all replete with bold rainbows of color.
While colors were amplified, the customary motif of spring saw a strong showing in a number of collections. Florals, however, were modernized and experimented with, resulting in representations both lively and dimensional. There were opposites, from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s loud explosions of the print, to Bottega Veneta and Prada’s soft, ordered patterns, and in other cases vegetation came to life, as seen in the growing tendrils of flowers at Chanel, to the applied petals at Chloé. Ultimately, the symbol of the season maintains its status through appreciated modernizations and novel interpretations.
Black & White
Serving as a curious contrast to the strong colors and patterns typical of the season, black and white color pairings, the timeless classic favored as an option for any occasion, saw dominance on the runways throughout the month. But these combinations were anything from ordinary, with designers infusing ensembles with rich detail, thanks to sophisticated embellishments and impressive technical prowess. Highlights included Balmain’s diamond patterns and strong silhouettes, Tom Ford’s playful mix of media, and most notably, Alexander Wang’s laser-cut, glow-in-the-dark separates that appeared to hover around his models.
The menswear-inspired suit jacket was perhaps the most playfully constructed piece of clothing this season, with iterations stretched, pulled, reshaped and deconstructed into fun, edgy, feminine styles. In a number of collections blazers were lengthened, with modifications focusing on removing the sleeves, enlargening the side pockets, or, in the case of Narciso Rodriguez, completely zapping the structured stiffness inherent in a jacket, leaving a flowing garment with tons of movement. Raf Simons’ creations at Dior were perhaps the most adventurous, with the style reworked around the feminine hourglass silhouette.
Already a favorite statement of street style gurus the world over, the technique of colorblocking reached a new level of complexity this season as designers took the trend created by matching bold, complimentary solids, and brought it into individual garments themselves, matching those iterations with one another. Karl Lagerfeld had the most fun with these pairings at Fendi, where he incorporated warm desert tones into bold, geometric shapes on individual pieces that, together, formed a cohesive work of modern art.
Stripes are, without a doubt, the basic pattern of choice this spring, as they permeated ensembles from head to toe and were represented by a wide spectrum of interpretations. Michael Kors showcased a true variation of the trend, dressing his models in everything from rugby-striped sweaters to pinstripe suits. It was Marc Jacobs, however, who stole the spotlight, as his severe, Andy Warhol-mod stripes swirled around the models, radical, yet brilliantly simple.
Waves of Ruffles
If stripes are the chief pattern of spring, then ruffles are the primary decoration, as the voluminous pleating of fabric brought a welcome statement to many designs. Interestingly, while this season’s ruffles are a bit more relaxed than recent years with the form taking shape in soft waves, the style was innovatively incorporated into garments, such as Balenciaga’s show-stopping asymmetrical ruffle-hem dresses.
Faraway lands, distant eras, and the regality of royalty enriched the designs of many fashion houses, which chose to fête spring with illustrations of grandeur. Marchesa embodied the spirit of India, showing gorgeous embroidery in a plethora of exotic hues, while Prada and Emilio Pucci drew from Japanese and other Asian inspirations, fusing old-world royalty with contemporary culture. In the realm of ornament, Joseph Altuzarra displayed women wrapped like tapestries, while Alexander McQueen again heralded the power of the avant-garde with majestic honeycomb pieces.