Tag Archives: black and white

Spice up your wardrobe with summer accessories

15 Jul

With the warm weather and increased opportunities for casual get-togethers with friends, summer is the perfect time to wear over-the-top accessories. Perhaps it’s because the season just makes everyone more cheerful, or that we wear less in the heat and need another way to express our sense of style. Either way, bold jewelry, shoes, or bags are always a great and easy complement to any tank and shorts combo or sundress.

For a trendy way to incorporate accessories, try one of the biggest fashion trends of this season: black and white. Whether it’s in the form of a classic black and white checkered bag seen at Louis Vuitton or a mod pair of white-framed sunglasses at Moschino, opposites attract in this summer accessories trend. Because the colours are neutrals, black and white accessories will go well with all shades of clothing.

Black and white at Louis Vuitton's spring/summer 2013 show

Black and white at Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2013 show

Clear, lucite details have also been making a strong impact in jewelry, bags and even the platform and heel of shoes. Gucci and Chanel both created translucent purses for the season, while see-through details such as heel straps and side panels were spotted at many designers such as Michael Kors and Givenchy. For those who want to carry a translucent bag but prefer to keep some of their items concealed, store them in a small separate pouch before popping them into the see-through purse. It’ll also provide a tidier look.

Rock the lucite trend with this wedge shoe by Jeffrey Campbell.

Rock the lucite trend with this wedge shoe by Jeffrey Campbell.

Gladiator sandals are also in for shoes. But what makes this season’s trend different from the gladiator sandals popular a few years back is the bolder, knee-high approach. Presented in a multitude of shows such as Altuzarra, Tom Ford and Alexander Wang, the dramatic look is definitely not for the fashion shy. Try pairing it with a basic black dress for a stylish night-on-the-town outfit. Be wary of awkward tan lines if you’re rocking the knee-high gladiators trend in the daytime, though!

Overall for shoes, the trend is to leave the skinny stilettos in the back of the closet and opt for stacked, chunky heels. Balenciaga showed oxfords with cubed heels, Fendi studded the block heels of their shoes, and Chloe accessorized their models with an updated version of Mary Janes. The trend is a throwback to the 70’s when blocked and platform heels were de rigueur. At least this season’s shoes won’t have you sinking your heels into the lawn at backyard barbecues.

Chunky Mary Janes at Chloe's spring/summer 2013 show.

Chunky Mary Janes at Chloe’s spring/summer 2013 show.

For bags, crossbody purses and small satchels were popular on the runway. Lanvin, Stella McCartney and Diane von Furstenberg all showcased smaller but bold handbags in their collections. On the opposite end of the spectrum, shopper totes are also trendy. Perfect for the beach or picking up dinner ingredients at the farmers market, totes are ideal for those warm days where spontaneity takes rein. You’ll be at the ready with a tote packed with essentials such as sunscreen, swimsuit and shades.

Tote at Fendi's spring/summer 2013 show.

Tote at Fendi’s spring/summer 2013 show.

For sunglasses, oversized ones are always popular. But this year’s trend is also for round framed retro glasses reminiscent of John Lennon’s. Although if you’re planning on investing in a pair of sunglasses, find one that will complement your face shape instead of following a seasonal trend. For round faces, go for oversized rectangular frames. More angular faces will suit round frames while aviators will flatter those with heart-shaped faces. Most frame styles will go with oval faces, but I’m partial to shades with slight cat-eyes for a little retro glam.

Oval faces will suit this pair of round oversized, slightly cat-eyed shades.

Oval faces will suit this pair of round oversized, slightly cat-eyed shades.

Another easy accessory trend to incorporate is gold. Accent your day and night ensembles with gold sandals, belts or chunky link chains. Gold cuffs always make a striking impression to an otherwise neutral look. For a more bohemian look, add some fringed elements. Try a fringed necklace for a cheeky touch on a minimal ensemble. Bright dangly earrings are also popular for summer. Dolce & Gabbana accessorized their models with long earrings made up of colourful beads and clusters of raffia. Whatever your sense of style summer’s a great time to experiment with accessories, so go wild!

[Article first appeared in the July 10 issue of Richmond Review.]

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Start fresh with spring trends

22 Mar

Fall was all about opulence and lavish textures with its embellished details, baroque styles and layering trends involving leather, fur, velvet and brocade. But for spring, the fashion industry went down a more minimalistic route. The biggest trend this season is the simple, high contrast black and white. Usually designers stray from black and opt for soft pastels in their spring and summer collections, but the graphic duo of black and white made a huge impact at most of the major shows. From Calvin Klein in New York, to Céline in Paris, to Milan’s Moschino, black and white ensembles rocked the runways in a variety of styles. A combination that’s super wearable for everyone and suitable for day and night, black and white is now both timeless and on trend.

Step out in the hottest trend for spring: black and white.

Step out in the hottest trend for spring: black and white. (Dress from Zara)

For an updated way to wear black and white, try incorporating pieces with bold stripes or monochromatic checks. Marc Jacobs sent a number of his models down the runway with black and white striped and checked outfits. Stripes are another big trend for spring, so you don’t necessarily have to incorporate black and white versions of striped clothing. Michael Kors featured rugby stripes of red, navy and green in his collection while Christian Dior used bold lines of pink and black. Easy to incorporate into any style, try a navy striped tee with shorts for a nautical look or black and white striped denim for a Balmain-inspired rocker vibe.

Marc Jacobs spring/summer 2013

Marc Jacobs spring/summer 2013 (Photo credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GettyImages)

Another trend this is season is the boudoir look. This means adapting pieces we normally would associate with lingerie into transparent items for our everyday wear. Look for sheer and light fabrics such as organza, silk chiffon or mousseline. In terms of style, the transparent look comes through in lace details, mesh panels, cutouts and high slits. On the runways, Alexander Wang showed deconstructed dresses with sheer panels and cutouts. Crop tops and slip dresses were spotted at Rochas, and Akris presented a multitude of transparent ensembles. For a wearable and fun night look, pair a cropped tank with a high-waisted skirt or pant. Or swap a blouse with a bustier to wear under a blazer. The key is to keep things subtle — show just a hint of skin that isn’t normally revealed with the usual jeans and tee.

Cutouts featured at Alexander Wang’s spring show.

Cutouts featured at Alexander Wang’s spring show.

The luxe sport trend is also big for spring. Bomber jackets were seen at Stella McCartney and sporty dresses were included in a lot of the collections. A great way to wear this trend for the warmer months is with scuba dresses. Characterized by a higher neckline, exposed zipper, fitted sleeveless bodice, and usually with black panelling down the sides, the skirt of a scuba dress can either be a-line or more body conscious. Dress them up with heels or pair them with canvas sneakers for a more casual look.

Look sporty with a scuba dress like this one at Victoria Beckham.

Look sporty with a scuba dress like this one at Victoria Beckham.

Still going strong from autumn are the leather and pantsuit trends. Perfect for the transition into spring, opt for suppler, lightweight leather in unexpected colours and styles such as a flirty oxblood leather skirt. With the power suit, both masculine and feminine shapes were spotted on the runways. For a cool and versatile twist, pair a suit blazer with formal shorts or cropped pants, as seen at Tory Burch and Helmut Lang.

For smaller details, ruffles, exotic patchworks and Japanese silhouettes are also in. With frills prominent at Gucci, Givenchy and Chloé, the ruffle is an updated variation on the peplum trend from previous seasons. If you want to add a big splash of patterns and colour into an outfit, try a patchwork top or dress such as those seen at Rodarte or Proenza Schouler. Similar to a collage, the modern patchwork combines different textiles in complementary colours and patterns. And to emulate the Japanese-inspired looks at Etro and Prada, look for kimono-style wrap tops or dresses with wide, structured belts.

The patchwork trend at Proenza Schouler.

The patchwork trend at Proenza Schouler.

There’s a trend for every look this season. And with black and white pieces already in your wardrobe, you’re set to start out spring with style!

[Article first appeared in the March 20 issue of Richmond Review.]