Three Trends We Love: Spring 2012 Ready to Wear Runway

Femininity reigns on the Spring 2012 ready-to-wear runways: Think lace and feathers, white-whites and bright-brights. In addition to fabrics and colors, the designs and cuts of garments are trending toward feminine as well, with a lot of flouncy skirts and princess seaming. The trends have boomeranged from menswear-inspired cuts to extremely feminine in just one season. Remember the clean lines of the military jackets, and the slouchy boyfriend jeans from Fall 2011? Say goodbye! It's time to embrace all things feminine.

We explore three of our favorite trends after the jump.

Florals

Prints can be intimidating, and florals in particular can prove difficult to wear without looking like dated upholstery. When choosing prints, think about the print in proportion to your body size; if you are mixing prints, keep the colors in the same "family" to keep things from getting overwhelming. Not comfortable wearing bold prints, or florals in general? Experiment with an accessory first: a floral bag, scarf or flats is a more subtle way of wearing a trend -- this is also a good way to incorporate trends into your work wardrobe if you have a conservative office dress code.

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Spring 2012 RTW Florals: Alexander Wu's botanical prints, lace "micro-flowers" and Chantilly lace from Valentino, feminine retro designs using more lace-and-flower combos from Miu Miu.

Feminine Color Palette

Bright colors, pastels and the whitest of whites are a departure from the muted tones of "last" (now!) fall's RTW collections. Reflecting the blooming, blossoming of colors of nature, designers turned up the color volume on the spring runways. We love white because it carries so beautifully through the summer months. When spring/summer last as long as they do in Houston, it's a safe bet that you will get your money's worth from warm-weather colors and prints. Bright colors may seem easier to wear than pastels, but don't reject an Easter palette out of hand -- instead, try universally flattering shades like salmon pinks, corals and turquoise.

Spring 2012 Colors: Vogue uses the phrase "insouciant luxe" to describe Oscar de la Renta -- his collection is full of clean whites and feminine colors (and florals, too). At Chanel, Uncle Karl brings us to the beach with frothy fabrics and pretty pastels.

Princess (or Ballerina): Tulle & Taffeta

Flirty, flouncy, feminine fun! Sure, ballerina-style and princess-style skirts are highly impractical, and probably not a piece you'll use for the rest of your life, but they are fun and whimsical! In addition to tulle and taffeta, organza was used in abundance on the runways. Items in these fabrics might not become a wardrobe workhorse like a pencil skirt or a leather jacket, but how cute would a full tulle skirt look with your leather jacket and some heels?

If a full-on ballerina skirt just isn't your style, consider a '50s-inspired circle skirt with a tulle underlay, or interpret the lightness with other materials or embellishments (lightweight silk, feathers, gauzy cottons).

Spring 2012 Tulle, Taffeta & Organza: A Mrs. Obama favorite, Jason Wu keeps his princesses edgy. Carolina Herrara uses organza, chiffon and crepe to create designs that are at once ethereal and structured.


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