I always find spring to be a tempting time of year in terms of shopping, food, art and events. There’s …
Blossoming for springBy Brittany Leschasin | Mar 30, 2012
Tags: Halifax, Spring fashion
Welcoming the new season with hot fashions in downtown Halifax.
Citrus fruit. Mad Men. Bold prints. These fashion inspirations couldn’t be further apart on paper, but they’re what ruled the runways for Spring 2012. As the weather warms up, these styles are starting to trickle into stores, and a tour of five of Halifax’s favourite shopping destinations shows you can capture the catwalk look right here at home.
Coloured denim has been a simmering trend for the last two years, but expect your lower half to be the centre of attention with this year’s eye-popping denim and trousers in punchy colours and all-over prints. Just like when you’re wearing a bold piece of jewellery or embellished top, remember to let the focus be on one key piece: pair your stylish stems with neutral flats and a simple white tunic, or tuck a drapey tee under a structured black blazer to up the chic factor. “The other piece of your outfit should be a little more subdued,” says Biscuit General Store owner Wendy Friedman, “but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a dull colour. It probably just doesn’t have a whole lot going on in terms of beading or ruffles.” Worried about drawing attention to your waistline? All-over prints, dark backgrounds and a straight-leg cut are the most slimming.
This spring’s biggest look is definitely colour blocking: bold, stacked chunks of complementary colours that graphically divide up a garment to give it some serious visual interest. If you’re intimidated by the world of fashion, colour blocking is pretty much a no-brainer to style. Wearing a top with teal, black, and white? Team it up with any of the three colours, or go for a contrasting mint green (the most popular saturated pastel of the year) accessory or cardigan. As a bonus, colour blocking also provides an opportunity to explore new fashion frontiers. “It gives you a chance to work in a colour you can’t wear because it might not be right next to your face,” says Friedman. “I also love that colour blocking works for people who like things that are more simple, or don’t like to wear a lot of prints, but still want to bring a playful element into their wardrobe.”
Last seen to overdramatic effect in the ’80s, today’s peplum accent harkens back to the ’40s, when the style was at its peak of popularity with glamorous post-war brides. Look for pretty dresses or fitted jackets with a nipped-in waist and a flirty overskirt that extends over your hips. Despite the volume added around your mid-section, this look actually creates an instant hourglass figure that would even make Marilyn Monroe envious. “Our peplum skirts aren’t too big or dramatic—they’re very subtle,” says Sweet Pea owner Johanna Galipeau. “They’re really nice on fitted dresses because they give you a little extra room to breathe and eat. You’re more comfortable, and suddenly that tight dress is a little more forgiving.” If you’re feeling the peplum, further play into the swing era with a modern red lip and ankle-strap heels; one of the biggest shoe trends of the season.
While ’40s peplum is hot on the fashion radar, fast forwarding a few years to the gentile days of ladylike dresses and perfect pleats that were everywhere in the ’50s and ’60s is equally on-trend for spring. Keep an eye out for classic details like Peter Pan collars, accordion-pleated skirts, pussy bow necklines, and bracelet-length jackets to channel your inner Betty Draper and look classic, country club chic. Don’t fear looking like a fashion relic, as Galipeau urges, “there’s a lot of ’50s-style mixed in with contemporary styles so it’s not too over-the-top. It definitely doesn’t look like it’s directly from that era.” Dynamic prints are also popping up on cute, super feminine dresses, so look for nature-inspired florals or mod, graphic patterns for a nu-retro vibe.
Blinding neon shades in citrus colours were another statement maker on the catwalk, but perhaps no colour made a bigger splash than juicy orange. In fact, the Pantone Institute named Tangerine Tango—a rich, dramatic reddish-orange—the Colour of the Year, and a quick visit to your favourite boutique will demonstrate why as it saturates everything from loose-fitting jackets to yes, coloured denim. Set off your new tangerine piece with a crisp white blouse for a light, summery look, or pair it with preppy neutrals like navy blue or khaki for a professional take on this bold shade. If you’re neon shy, consider a pop of tangerine in an accessory—a chunky ring or simple clutch is an easy way to work this colour du jour into your wardrobe, which is exactly the approach Biscuit General Store has taken. “We’ve tipped our hat to the trend by bringing neon into a print, or in some jewellery,” says Friedman. “You can play with a trend without immersing yourself in it 100 per cent.”