michele@mbenza.com

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring 2010! BLUE. NUDE. TRIBAL. BANGLES and More!

I confess. I have a serious crush on spring.  A minute past midnight December 21, when the long dark nights begin to shrink, I start getting tingles. And when the first daffodils begin to bloom and I can fill all the vases I can put my hands on with their cheerful sunny color, spring fever hits in full force.

And of course, best of all, is shedding the heavy layers of winter clothing. When I slip into that first spring dress and sling on a pair of heeled sandals, I immediately feel transformed within and without and my spirits soar.  As I said, I have a very serious crush on spring!

I’m happy to report that April is shaping up in the stores with many fresh-looking spring and summer collections and they’re all about color and femininity.

Transparency
Almost weightless, transparent fabrics are being worn in layers with visible lingerie underneath. It is a misconception to believe that layers are only applicable during the fall and winter months. On the contrary, fashion has given us many ways to overlay our apparel at any time of the year. How often do we complain of freezing from the air conditioning blowing on our shoulders inside only to be hit by a blast of warm air and bright sunshine when we go outside? Isn’t this then the perfect time to layer ourselves with lightweight scarves, vests and cropped jackets?
Just as designers turned their spring/summer shows into playful fairytales we should do the same with our wardrobes.  Spring is a time to be lighthearted and have fun! I urge you to play with the many hues of blue, tribal fabrics, bangles and bracelets and heeled sandals.
Blue, inspired by sky and water is this season's most important color. Just a single item will suffice to update previous seasons’ outfits.

Nude and Pale Pastels are all on this spring’s color chart as well. Barely-there tones were very present on the red carpets and runways. Be warned though--those light shades are not for everyone as they may not enhance your skin tone. If that is the case for you, avoid the washed-out look by choosing to wear nude accessories instead. Nude shoes in particular are fantastic, as they help elongate the leg beautifully.

Urban Safari - In Paris, one color that invaded the ‘festival’ collections was khaki. This new trend was presented more like the new ‘black’ as seen in this Celine dress that is so urban and chic at the same time. 

Bangles - for centuries, in many cultures, they have been worn to define the wearer’s social status. In our society, bangles are a fun fashion accessory only. However, they can add stylish pizzazz to your look. Wrap your wrist with a dazzling cuff, or go for the eclectic and arm your forearms with colorful bangles and bracelets. Mix them all together, from skinny to wide.

Jeans – I love/hate them. It saddens me that they are worn all the time and at every occasion by young and not-so-young people alike--with tears and holes, discolorations in the wrong spots and details in the wrong areas. And what’s up with the back pockets? They’re now placed so low on the butt that no matter how great one’s butt is, it looks as if it’s sagging! Worst of all for me, is the denim-on-denim look. However, I must be fair and tell you that an allover denim look is in this spring, but I still hate it. There! I’ve said it.
I much prefer Stella McCartney’s overall dress that can be worn with colorful heels or gladiator sandals, with or without a tee underneath. (Layers again.)

Décolleté -  It must be worn plongeant (plunging), preferably in a V shape that elongates all silhouettes. Beware of a décolleté plongeant with a mini-skirt, as it could easily look vulgar! Please avoid!

Lingerie - ah yes, this is sure to please our Monsieur friends! Lingerie is no longer worn as undergarments only. I strongly discourage creating a total lingerie look. This very feminine tendance should be worn in a sensual manner, just enough to wake up the opposite sex’s attention, and not be a spectacle. Think more of pairing opposites such as a bustier under a boyfriend double-breast blazer, a jupon (slip or petticoat) with an army style jacket.

Perfect pieces have infinite possibilities. A common misconception in figuring out one's outfit is to think that we have to look like the model on a magazine cover. Wrong!  Don't forget that trends can be used to inspire your style.  They're not intended to be mimicked.
I wish you all a joyous, lighthearted spring!

A la prochaine!

Michèle