From the New York Runway to Raleigh:
CURVY, SKINNY COLORS FOR SPRING
Not a reference to the hipster band but to what should be in your closet right now. To be in step with spring fashion, you’re going to need key pieces in white, the non-color of choice, and a handful of striped tops, sailor-style. No one does this look better than Ralph Lauren, who features wide stripes with solid white or black bottoms. Not nautical enough? Add the accessories du jour, topsiders (check out Chanel’s charming but not-so-seaworthy version) and a rope-handled tote like the one from Club Monaco. All so chic and fresh in a Jean Seberg-Breathless kind of way.
White also stands on its own in every spring silhouette from sharp pantsuits to Flower Child shifts. Cool clean white has magical powers, illuminating the skin and giving the appearance of youth, as opposed to black, which can often make the wearer look older or tired. Black is the default neutral, especially for urbanites, but try replacing a few black staples with some well-tailored white. Then all you need is a dash of bronzing powder and the name of a good dry-cleaner.
Second runner up for a non-color this season is the elusive “nude,” a shade unrepresented in the Crayola lexicon (there was a “Flesh” crayon, but that was changed to “Peach” in 1962 in deference to the Civil Rights Movement). Nude pieces serve as an ideal backdrop to a great detail or a show-stopping accessory, including beautiful hair or dramatic make-up. Ironically, nude by itself can be difficult to pull off, but there’s no denying that one would never be a wallflower in J. Mendel’s filmy buff dress, despite the invisibility factor of its color.
Not only are there more flesh-tones appearing in garments this season, but there are also more garments that reveal a little flesh. Why use nude fabric when the real thing will do? Several looks from Louis Vuitton showed some skin on the runway, such as a hot pink dress with the ladder-like bodice—and Versace’s shoulder-baring orange top will undoubtedly be photographed on many a starlet.
The spring palette may be dominated by neutrals, but super-saturated colors pop up in the collections like so many wayward tulips. The clear reds and yellows of Donna Karan’s collection radiate optimism, while Etro’s rainbow effect was positively giddy. Bright green is back for another season, along with many shades of blue. In addition to stripes, big bold prints are an important look. Giant palm fronds flutter across white Marni dresses, and Diane von Furstenberg showed almost exclusively bodacious prints, and Ferragamo’s graphic black and white pieces could have walked out of an Aubrey Beardsley drawing.
The simple geometry of ’60s fashion is a big influence for spring looks. Baby doll dresses with short skirts and empire waists are on the scene—Miu Miu’s shifts are chic and unfussy, but Calvin Klein wins for a cool and simple take on the ’60s that is completely contemporary—as are short coats with oversize buttons, as in Burberry’s retro departure from the standard springtime trench.
The hourglass silhouette of the ’50s and early ’60s receives an update when it meets kimonos and obi belts. Diesel showed looks that were equal parts Marilyn and Memoirs of a Geisha. A toned-down version features wide belts or sashes over lightweight sweaters and pencil skirts, as seen in many a look from Yves Saint Laurent. Wear it with the new platforms for a powerhouse shape that is sophisticated and very feminine—exemplified by Roland Mouret’s simple green dress with cutaway neckline, which edges toward bombshell in a most polite way.
When it comes to pants, a few pairs of wide-leg versions make a stand this season, but the predominating shape is skinny, the more pencil-like the better. From Balenciaga’s super-slim pantsuit (with a ruffled jacket as a counter-weight) to Gucci’s low-slung sporty white pants, this silhouette is youthful and slightly androgynous. If you don’t go for the skinny pants or don’t have the figure of a teenage boy, then you may not warm up to another of the season’s hottest trends: short shorts, which appeared in many collections, from Carolina Herrera to the usually figure-friendly DKNY, where black short shorts were shown with dramatic black platform wedges. Et tu, Donna?
Lace + Eyelet + Ruffles
Three details ruled the runways for spring: lace, eyelet and ruffles. Designers were not stingy with any of them. Lace isn’t just for cuffs and collars—it’s being used for total looks. Go all out with a lace dress, like the baby doll version from Michael Kors. Or simply get inspired by Oscar de la Renta’s white silk organza gown. More casual than lace, eyelet is a fun summer choice, and its charm is used to advantage in pieces like Nanette Lepore’s short-sleeved blouse with eyelet trim. In the mood for something more dramatic? Think ruffles, and don’t miss the lavender confection from Yves Saint Laurent. Ask the Easter Bunny to leave one in your basket.
April 6-8; Elaine Miller Collection will hold an estate jewelry show. The jeweler will also host a Slane and Slane trunk show April 26-27; Raleigh, 919.571.8888
April 6-8; Vermillion will be showcasing the beautiful new spring clothes. The boutique also welcomes the fine jewelry lines Irene Neuwirth and Lucifer Vir Honestus, as well as Italian-made shoes from Carmen Ho; The Lassiter at North Hills, Raleigh, 919.787.9780
Join Luxe Apothecary at their new location at the Alexan at North Hills April 6-8 for Beauty Boot Camp. Enjoy a mini facial and clean your makeup bag out with the pros. They will also host a Becca Cosmetics’ National Makeup Artist Event April 28-29; Raleigh, 919.881.7828.
Liles Clothing Studio will host a trunk show with Ike Behar April 6-7 and a Q2 Custom Suits trunk show April 20-21; Raleigh, 919.510.5556
April 7; Main and Taylor will host a VanEli, Sesto Meucci, and Eric Javitz Trunk show to showcase new summer lines. The boutique will also host a Stuart Weitzman Trunk Show April 27-29 showcasing looks for fall; Raleigh, 919.821.1556
April 7-8; Alexia’s Bridal Boutique will host a Reem Acra trunk show; Cary, 919.481.6633
April 8 is Lafayette 148 New York Focus Day at Saks Fifth Avenue. View the latest spring fashions from this modern designer and earn triple points on your Saks account. On April 21-22, jewelry designer Barry Brinker will make a personal appearance in store. Along with precious and rare stones and artifacts from the Far East, he has individual pieces in his line. Brinker will explain in detail the design inspiration and materials used in each jewelry item designed by the artist himself in his Hong Kong studio; Raleigh, 919.792.9100
Glam Lounge, a downtown salon, is having a Beauty in Bloom spring event the evening of April 21. The event will feature Bella Il Fiore beauty products and chic tips for your spring look. The salon will also offer hair consultations; Raleigh, 919.832.0095
Spectrum Gallery introduces a new collection of beaded jewelry for spring including dangling briolettes and hand-cut gems that shimmer and sparkle in the sunlight; Wilmington, 910.256.2323
Razook’s is fully loaded with the beautiful new spring merchandise; Raleigh, 919.833.6121
New spring lines are in and continuing to arrive every day at Beanie + Cecil. Designers include the jacket line Smythe, dresses from Annelore and a new bathing suit line, cusp whose bikinis range from metallic to solid; Cameron Village, Raleigh, 919.821.5455
The new boutique to grace the Alexan at North Hills, gena chandler, carries a variety of designer labels including M Missoni, Ya-Ya, Pegah Anvarian, Rachel Pally, LA Made, Mara Hoffman, 3.1 by Phillip Lim, Minnie Rose, D & G, Valentino Red, Stelle, Nili Lotan, Twisted Heart, Alice + Olivia and RE. Also offering jeans from Serfontaine, Robin’s Jeans, Genetic Denim, People’s Liberation, Earnest Sewn, J Brand and Siwy; Raleigh, 919.881.9480
Emmie Claire Howard and Kinston native Reagan Elizabeth Hardy introduce Southern Proper, featuring a unique new line of ties and bow ties for the Southern men they adore. The ties can be purchased at Varsity Men’s Wear in Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh. Visit www.southernproper.com to view the line and for more information.
SRI Shoes offers the hottest styles, the freshest colors and the latest trends. More than 45,000 pairs of brand name designer shoes for men, women and kids are in stock; Oak Forest Rd., Raleigh, 919.872.2800 or www.srishoes.com.
C’est Bella introduces its new label of uniquely designed handbags, MadieDeluxe. New products for the spring include a wristlet, an updated carry-all bag and a new gusset handbag; www.cestbella.com.
WHERE TO BUY...
Akris (www.akris.ch/) Available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 7700 Old Wake Forest Road at Triangle Town Center, Raleigh, NC, 919-792-9100, www.saksfifthavenue.com
Alexander McQueen (www.alexandermcqueen.com)
Allesandro Dell’Acqua (allesandrodellacqua.com)
Anna Sui (www.annasui.com)
Balenciaga (www.balenciaga.com) Available at Vermillion, 4321 Lassiter at North Hills Ave., Ste 102, Raleigh, NC, 919-787-9780, www.vermillionstyle.com
Carolina Herrera (www.carolinaherrera.com) and Razook’s
Available at Beanie + Cecil, 412 Daniels St., 919-821-5455, Raleigh, NC, www.beanieandcecil.com
Christian Dior (www.christiandior.com)
Calvin Klein (www.calvinklein.com)
Club Monaco (www.clubmonaco.com)
D Squared (www.dsqared2.com) Available at Vermillion
Derek Lam (www.dereklam.com) Available at Vermillion
Donna Karan (www.donnakaran.com)
Emilio Pucci (www.emiliopucci.com)
Giorgio Armani (giorgioarmani.com)
Jenni Kayne (www.jennikayne.com)
J Mendel (www.jmendel.com)
Louis Vuitton Available at Louis Vuitton, 866-vuitton, www.louisvuitton.com
Michael Kors (www.michaelkors.com)
Available at Vermillion, 4321 Lassiter at North Hills Ave., Ste 102, 919-787-9780, www.vermillionstyle.com; Saks Fifth Avenue, 7700 Old Wake Forest Road at Triangle Town Center, Raleigh, NC, 919-792-9100,www.saksfifthavenue.com
Miu Miu (www.miumiu.com)
Nina Ricci (ninaricci.com)
Oscar de la Renta (www.oscardelarenta.com), Available at Razook’s
Paco Rabanne (www.pacorabanne.com)
Pollini (www.pollini.com) Available at Razook’s, 2104 Smallwood Drive, Raleigh, NC, 919-833-6121, www.razooks.com
Proenza Schouler (www.proenzaschouler.com) and Vermillion
Ralph Lauren Available at Ralph Lauren Collection, 888-475-7674, www.polo.com
Roland Mouret (www.rolandmouretshowroom.co.uk)
Tommy Hilfiger (www.tommy.com)
Valentino (www.valentino.it) and Razook’s
Yves Saint Laurent (www.ysl.com)
Zac Posen (www.zacposen.com) and Vermillion