Last season I wrote a sartorial A-Z of Autumn/Winter trends. Here’s a summary of the top new season trends for Spring/ Summer 2012.
A – Aquatic
Oceanic influences were rife on the catwalks; mermaid-esque gowns, conch clutches, pearl detailing and metallic fabrics sounded fashion’s siren call. Delicate trapeze dresses swam down the catwalk and undulating ruffled gowns resembled jellyfish at Alexander McQueen. Karl Lagerfeld’s nymph-like models were clad in light pastel tweeds and mille-feuille pleats at the magical underwater world of Chanel, complete with a Venus-like Florence Welch emerging from a giant shell.
B – Big lace
This season lace has gone oversized. Louis Vuitton’s pastel hued super-sized Broderie Anglaise was sweetly feminine and Dolce & Gabbana’s flesh flashing peekaboo lace creations were a flirty take on the trend.
C – Crop tops
Banish all thoughts of a ‘90s style croptop-combats combo and welcome this season’s chic crops into your wardrobe. Dolce & Gabbana paired longline bras with flared ‘50s skirts and ruched bandeaus were worn with pencil skirts at Prada. Best get working on those abs…
D – Deco dream
The roaring Twenties are back! Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is due for release in December and fashion channeled the trend with flapper dresses as the eveningwear of choice at Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Etro. Drop waists, embellishments, tassels and Art Deco prints ooze Jazz Age glamour.
E – Eccentric
Fun fashion is having a moment. Meadham Kirchoff’s balloon-adorned catwalk and dancing doll-like models (with a grungy twist) showed fashion with a sense of humour (and a large dose of talented design too).
F- futuristic florals
Florals are back with a vengeance: bold, clashing colours and contrasting prints are the way to wear blooms this season. Mary Katrantzou’s cult digital prints and Christopher Kane’s appliquéd floral offerings put a distinctly modern stamp on spring’s favourite print.
G – Grids
Grids and checkerboards are a new print to add to this season’s myriad of pattern. Gareth Pugh paired the graphic print with sheer panels and his trademark dark colour palette, but the print was rendered with ladylike silhouettes and retro styling at Dior.
H – Headwear
Hats are still a trend that’s simmering away. Oversized hats will look stylish and protect from the sun, but beaded skullcaps and more ornate retro-inspired headwear are a glamorous addition this season.
I – Iridescent
An offshoot of the aquatic trend, mermaid-esque metallics added shimmer and shine to the catwalks. Make a Summer statement in shimmering satin and cellophane fabrics or pair metallic separates with neutral basics for a more relaxed take on the trend.
J – Jeans in colour
This season denim has had a colourful makeover. The skinny silhouette doesn’t seem to be shifting, and pastel hued 7/8th length jeans are a key trend. If pastels aren’t your thing then acid denim brights are the way forward, such as Christopher Kane’s covetable J Brand collaboration.
K – Killer collars
Fashion is still having a bit of a love-in with neckwear and a buttoned-up shirt paired with a statement necklace, cuff or collar tips is still a huge blogging trend.
L – Light leather
Butter soft biker jackets in light or neutral shades are the cover-up of the season, with Acne’s blue version a particular favourite. The fashion world has gone mad for J Brand’s white leather jeans too, the perfect partner of peplum tops and bright summer lace.
M – Mix and Match
This season it’s all about mixing and matching the myriad of prints on the catwalk. There aren’t any rules, but more is more! Clashing florals is one way to tick two trends in one.
N – Neon
Acid brights are still stylish for Spring, with bold pinks, aqua, tangerine, yellow and lime taking centre stage. Neons and neutrals are the freshest way to wear the look for summer, and neon accents from bold accessories nod to the trend.
O – Olympic Obsession
With Olympics hype reaching fever pitch in the run-up to the 2012 Games, the catwalks had a distinctly sporty vibe, from athletic silhouettes at Alexander Wang to Stella McCartney’s sportswear-inspired details.
P – Peplums
The Spring/ Summer catwalks celebrated a womanly silhouette, with the peplum as one of the most prolific trends on the catwalk. All eyes are on the hips with bold statements at Jason Wu and Cushnie et Ochs and softer shapes at Acne and Céline.
Q – Quintessentially British
This season many editors agreed that the UK’s capital had the hottest ticket shows; the attention of the world was drawn to London Fashion Week and our city’s hub of creative talent.
R – Rucksacks
The chicest bag around this season is the rucksack: sling metallic leather or translucent plastic textured bags over the shoulder nonchalantly, and choose between a myriad of hues or stylish neutrals (Topshop seems to have a good offering!)
S – Sugared almonds
Sugar sweet pastel hues have to be one of the biggest trends this season: the catwalks were awash with shades of soft pink, parma violet, muted apricot, lemon curd, baby blue and icy mint. The coolest way to wear ice cream colours is head to toe, clashing pastels or combining hints of sugar with Summery neutrals.
T – Traveller
Fashion took inspiration from around the world; Bottega Veneta and Burberry lead the pack. Bold tribal prints and textures ruled, leather and suede combined with various embellishments: beading, feathers, tassels and suede.
U – USA
Designers lived the American Dream this season: retro-Americana, cowgirl influences, T-shirts emblazoned with the stars and stripes, retro diner styles, and prairie girl patchwork all had a moment.
V – Va va vroom
Prada’s kitsch car print suited their retro ‘50s American-inspired collection to a tee; the pattern formed the background of sweet pastel blouses and adorned leather pencil skirts. Prada’s automobile-influenced flame heels are the most coveted shoes of the season.
W – Wow heels
This season’s heels are ultra ladylike. Spiky stilettos with pointed heels and contrasting toecaps are the order of the day, as seen at Louis Vuitton. Neutral hued heels are the perfect partner to pastel ensembles.
Sheer fabrics were the texture of the day, with many shows favouring romantic chiffon. Richard Nicoll’s clear plastic skirts were a futuristic take on the trend. Just make sure your underwear is up to scratch.
Y – Yellow
Every shade of yellow under the sun adorned the catwalks, from banana brights to baby yellow pastels. The perfect sunshine shade was a popular choice for summery dresses, as seen at Mulberry, Nicole Farhi and Preen.
Z – Zzzz
Pyjamas aren’t just for the bedroom this season. Nightwear was given a chic twist with pyjama-style trouser suits adorning the catwalks at Stella McCartney, Jonathan Saunders and Haider Ackermann. So wrong it’s right.
All images: style.com