Like the color palette, ready-to-wear trends are both approachable and wearable for Spring 2014.
It was a particularly strong season for sportswear, with designers’ focus set on supplying women with modern basics, fluid fabrics, and fresh approaches to daytime and evening attire.
Several trends that have been building gradually were shown fully realized this season. This is great news for consumers, who will find a lessened need to spend in order to attain spring’s key looks. A few relevant items may already be in your closet, and those select pieces you do purchase will be ones to love for years to come.
A throwback to ‘90s style is being seen in a few areas. Minimalistic dressing lends a fresh perspective to modern style. This trend gets back to basics with a focus on simple, beautifully cut designs in rich, luxe fabrics. These clothes speak for themselves and don’t need the extra zhush of accessories. Masters of this trend, Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez, offered strong options this season, as didBalenciaga and Max Mara. When worn with a light strappy sandal, this trend is the height of modern-day elegance. A great example of minimalism’s lasting relevance in fashion can be seen in Sharon Stone’s wardrobe in “Basic Instinct.” This movie was released in 1992, and today those looks still remain incredibly chic.
Minimalism also lends itself well to monochromatic dressing, a trend that has quickly gained momentum over the past few seasons. Now, a large number of designers are exhibiting variations of tone-on-tone dressing in a variety of affable colors and silhouette options. This trend is most easily achieved in white, black or navy, but it looks especially strong when carried out in shades of cream, beige and gray, as well as this season’s candy-colored pastels. Although this color-matching trend may seem limiting, focusing on finding workable separates instead of perfect color matches will let you get the most wear out of your items and, ultimately, the most bang for your buck.
Embellishment / Texture
On the other end of the trend spectrum, surface interest in clothing and accessories—appliqués, fringe, beaded embellishment and elaborate embroidery—was a big story for Spring 2014. Designers such as Bottega Veneta, Dries van Noten, and Aquilano.Rimondi showcased this trend through the addition of fabric to the fronts and sleeves of garments. Mary Katrantzou, Marco di Vincenzo and Elie Saab played with spring motifs in beautiful floral appliqués and beadwork. Dolce & Gabbana andMarni also showed collections featuring exceptional feats in texture. This trend can be accomplished with ornamental details and decorated accessories like a beaded clutch, jeweled shirt collar or delicate scarf.
Evening wear is a great place to add textural elements. This category has been experiencing a significant shift recently. Consumers no longer have to spend hundreds of dollars on gowns to wear once. Designers are showing modern approaches to party clothes with chic separates, like an elegant skirt paired with a crewneck sweatshirt, tuxedo-inspired jumpsuits, and formal dresses worn with flats. Fashion’s event segment today is more about personal interpretation and an increased level of comfort. Again, we revert back to the idea of complete wearability in clothing. This alternative, modern-day approach to party dressing gained widespread recognition in 2011 when J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons paired a floor-length pink feathered skirt with a basic cashmere sweater for the Met Ball Gala. The trend has been developing ever since.
The sporty trend also got a major kick start in 2011 with the wildly popular return of the varsity jacket. Designers continue to incorporate athletic elements into their collections and have even amped it up. Marni topped models’ heads with visors, Prada accessorized rib-knit dresses with leg warmers, and versions of classic men’s letterman jackets were offered by several designers, including Antonio Marras, Richard Nicoll, and Opening Ceremony. Mesh fabric was used to create track jackets at Jay Ahr and Sacai and cool T-shirts at Rag & Bone and Pucci. Mesh fabric also transitions seamlessly into another notable spring trend: transparency.
Designers incorporated sheer elements in a variety of ways using chiffon, lace, organza, tulle or mesh. Sex appeal continued to be seen more restrained with styles that are much more approachable for women—a good call. Transparent skirt hemlines, dress straps, and jacket sleeves; thoughtfully-placed sheer inserts; see-through lace ensembles; and small sections of exposed skin at the shoulder or waist contributed to more modest variations of what is considered sexy today.
The art world had a major influence on collection prints offered for Spring 2014. Miuccia Prada cited political street murals from L.A., Mexico, and South America. Phoebe Philo referenced Brassaï’s graffiti photographs at Celine. Andrew Gn was drawn to Georges Braque’s famous doves; and Giles Deacon memorialized the ‘90s with massive prints on a variety of dresses featuring Glen Luchford’s photographs of a young Kate Moss and Amber Valetta. Other prints portrayed animals, landscapes, and architecture, as well as words and sayings stamped across everything from sweatshirts to cocktail dresses.
Designers link consumers’ most recent desire for prints to a yearning for better and simpler times and suggest that prints make people happier than solids. Pantone’s Leatrice Eiseman explains that colors speak to ideas of optimism. Several of the shade selections for 2014 have descriptions that include words like confidence, reassurance, aspiration, and positivity. From a fashion standpoint, we seem to be moving toward a very promising future.