Spring forward: Get a jump on fashion trends

JULIE GALLEGO
McClatchy Tribune News Service
Modified: February 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm •  Published: February 18, 2013
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SANTA ANA, Calif. — It has been cold lately, but soon enough the weather will warm and you’ll want a pop of spring to relieve the weariness of your wintery black wardrobe.

But which of the many spring trends — cropped jackets, graphic black and white, vibrant color mixes and global print-a-paloozas — do you choose to get you through the winter blues?

“Spring ‘13 trends offer something for everyone,” says David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group, a New York-based retail and fashion consultant.

“There are a great many directions happening all at once with each designer/label offering looks that are true to themselves. Colorful and optimistic sums it all up, very possibly a reaction to a world fraught with problems and disasters. Fashion is acting as an escape mechanism.”

And gone are the days when you saw something on a runway in October and waited half a year for the trend to hit your mall. With the Internet — and the thousands of fashion bloggers and self-appointed stylists it has spawned — couture trends translate much faster into retail reality than they used to, Wolfe said.

Such “fast fashion” means antsy fashionistas like me can get a spring-look fix well before winter is over.

“There used to be a real ‘ripple-out’ timetable that said, ‘Paris now, Peoria in 18 months,’” Wolfe said. “That is no longer the case. For those who care about fashion, it is almost instant.”

And that ability to satisfy a fashion fan’s desire for the new hasn’t just made trends more accessible, it has made them easier to afford.

Wolfe points to the spring 2013 runways. They were full of black and white — which Wolfe deems “hardly a revolutionary idea” — and nearly immediately, fast-fashion retailer H&M is pushing black-and-white outfits. The Swedish retailer is selling a black-and-white-striped sheer blouse for $25 that looks like something off the Marc Jacobs spring runway.

But what to choose for your escape from now until actual spring without looking like you’re blindly following trends? After all, what works on the runways doesn’t work for your life.

“If you like a trend, you should try it,” says Sarah Bennett, personal stylist manager at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. “Every trend is wearable; the key is tailoring it to your own personal style. Color is everywhere for spring. If you’re not ready for head-to-toe color, try starting small with a colored shoe or handbag.”

But the array of trends is dizzying. From the boxy silhouettes of Chanel’s sweet suits, Derek Lam’s saturated featherweight leather, Peter Pilotto’s hypnotic exotic prints, Chloe’s blinding white ensembles, Gucci’s giant undulating ruffles or Michael Kors’ blue-green color mix — what’s a girl on a limited budget to do?



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