Tag Archives: ruffles

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.]

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Sun, sand and swimwear

12 Jul

Summer at English Bay, Vancouver

Summer feels like it has finally arrived in Metro Vancouver. Before you go flocking to the beach to take advantage of that well-deserved sunshine, consider giving your beach look an update. For most, swimsuits get worn only a few times a year so it’s no wonder swimwear becomes more of an afterthought than a priority on the shopping list. But take into account that swimsuits start to lose their shape after frequent wear — chlorine and UV rays take a toll on the fabric — so it may be time for a new piece. To make the task of swimsuit shopping a little easier, keep in mind these tips to find one that will flatter your body shape.

Mixing and matching

A main concern when looking for a swimsuit is fit. The ideal piece will make you look proportional, while also flaunt your best assets and conceal any flaws. Most stores offer mix and match separates, which is essential for finding a suit since we’re most likely not the same size on top as we are on the bottom. If you’re small chested, look for embellished details on top: ruffles, bows, front ties, ruching, or fringe. It’ll create the illusion of a fuller bust. The same embellishments also work on boyish, ruler-shaped bodies — a bikini in a bold floral or animal print would add femininity while breaking up the straight lines. Horizontal stripes also work for small busts and you can get away with the tinier triangle bikini tops. Look for tops with padding too, especially if it’s a bandeau style. Bandeaus are great for minimizing tan lines but they tend to flatten the bust, no matter what size it is. So if you’re in the market for a bandeau, make sure it comes with padding to give your top some shape. For bustier women, try tops with v-necks, such as halter styles with thick straps. Swimsuits with built-in underwire also provide extra support, as do tops with a wider band on the bottom.

The ruffle and ruching details on this Simons bandeau bikini enhance smaller busts.

For long torsos, consider cut outs, fun prints or stripes to break up a long line. Those with shorter torsos look fantastic in suits with fun, colourful details on top, such as beading or a one-shoulder strap. If you’re uncomfortable revealing your stomach or want to conceal a tummy, opt for a tankini style. Tankinis with ruching or panels on the sides offer additional help in hiding a slight bulge. Or look for bottoms with adjustable waistbands that can be folded higher, or a retro high-waist cut. Also, a belted one-piece helps create an hourglass shape and swimsuits with a higher Lycra content are better able to keep stomachs in.

Emblazoned with palm trees and sunsets, this swimsuit from We Are Handsome just screams “summer.” The high-waisted bottom is also ideal for more coverage.

As for the lower half of your swimsuit, bottoms with rings and ties at the sides are more flattering and allow you to adjust the piece as tight or loose as desired. Avoid boy shorts if you have larger hips, they usually cut at the widest part of your thighs and draw attention to the bottom half. Colour block your swimsuit so a darker colour covers the part you want to slim down while a lighter shade plays up the part you want to flaunt. If your figure is pear-shaped, consider high-cut bottoms since they elongate the legs. For curvier women, high-waist bikinis and retro styles were made for your body type. Chic solid colour one-pieces complement hourglass figures and will leave your silhouette looking sleek.

The classic two-toned halter style of this Pour Moi suit helps slim down the lower half while drawing attention towards the face and bust.

Beach necessities and accessories

Don’t forget the beach cover-ups. Maxi dresses, linen tunics and crochet tops are just a few examples of items to easily pull over swimsuits. Add a pair of shades, perhaps a hat, definitely some sunscreen, and you’ll be ready to go enjoy the beach. And remember, the best accessory is confidence!

Protect your peepers with sunglasses in a classic cat-eye style, like this pair from BCBG.

[Article first appeared in the July 11 issue of Richmond Review.]