Pop Culture
Apr 09, 2008, 05:51AM

Living In Color

Spring fashion is here, letting ladies express themselves with bright color and bold patterns again. From The Davidsonian.

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Spring demands that we bid farewell to any vestiges of winter wool, ushering in the long-overdue exchange of those dark, moody styles for a brighter, multi-colored breath of fresh air that perpetually includes florals, ballet flats and the shortening of skirt hems. And this spring, along with the rise in temperature comes a surplus of colors, patterns and cross-cultural styles which create a season of fresh, versatile fashions that require minimal trips to the store.

Unlike the ethereal, Jane Austen-inspired trends of past seasons, this spring flashes brightly with a collection of bold clothes and feminine attitude. And while the season's trends lack any groundbreaking styles, we can be thankful for the recently developed world-wide inspiration, which allows for an eclectic, Pangaea-mix of old stand-bys and fresh pieces. The best rule for the next few months is that whatever you choose to wear, even if it resides in the pile of last season's staples, embrace the tergiversation of the fashion world. Fortunately, all it takes is one piece to become instantly in vogue. Here are a few trends to be aware of:

May flowers and geometry: Finally, the two are equally enjoyable. The more prominent of the two patterns draws its inspiration from the blossoming season itself, as pieces abound with oversize prints of roses, daises and pansies. Large floral figures appear most frequently on sun dresses, tunic tops and raincoats, and some may even take on a geometric feel. However, those who are opposed to attracting vernal bees may opt for a more demure floral pattern on a sweater top or silk scarf. And straight from the math book, colorful squares, rhombi and hexagons appear on blouses, skirts and shorts.

Color: What better time to embrace the resurgence of the season than with the beauty of brightness. Whether you go all out with a Technicolor dream coat or opt for a rain jacket in canary yellow, cobalt blue or deep fuchsia, the idea is to break completely away from fall's obsession with black. Literally every color in the crayon box is fair game, even if you prefer softer colors like light yellow or baby pink.

Disco Inferno: Burn with the power. Paying homage to one of the most unforgettable movements in pop culture expect to see clothes bedecked with sequins, stones and studs, and clothes worked in retro materials such as lam, plastic-inspired sheens and metallic gold, silver and bronze. Anything from mini-dresses to shoes and accessories is fair game, so when your spark gets hot, you're doing something right.

 Global Attire: A concept that has taken the fashion world far too long to grasp is finally here. The idea behind this philanthropic movement is that theoretically, one could put together any pieces inspired from different cultures, and create a sharp, original ensemble. For instance, pair an African-inspired zebra-print dress with a pair of red, Oriental-patterned flats and a Pacific coral necklace. And bear in mind that cultural inspiration is not limited to the 21st century, as ancient Grecian- and Roman-inspired tunic tops and dresses have been spotted on the runway, which could look perfect with a bright purse or silver sequined belt.

Wide-leg jeans and evening shorts: Just to challenge their conventional roles and give us some sass below the belt, shorts and pants this season have swapped personae. While we all thought that skinny jeans would be around for the next five years, not surprisingly, the trend has yet again swung the other way, and ultra-wide-leg pants are now in daytime vogue.
And while eyebrows might rise, shorts have made the crossover into flashy evening attire, possibly paired with a shimmering top, opaque tights and ballet flats. Just remember that for shorts and shoes, the shorter the feel, the lower the heel.

Expose yourself to art: One of the more obscure yet fascinating trends this season comes as actual copies of paintings and sculptures, fashioned into clothing, purses and accessories. For example, paintings by Klimt, Monet and Degas leave the museum walls for shirts, shoes, purses, scarves and jewelry. And while this is a more difficult trend to follow, the style and culture gleaned are worth the time spent looking.

What's out: While you might be able to recycle pieces from seasons past, there are a few styles which should be flat-out abandoned. Whicker and basket-woven shoes, dresses in jersey knit, trapeze cuts and empire-fitted shirts, psychedelic prints and dark colors of any sort. The versatile themes for this spring's fashion include effortless elegance and dainty flowers to a heart-in-the-right-place, world-wide awareness.


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