Spring–while it may not feel that way to those on the East coast–is here and that means it’s time to revamp your wardrobe with new dresses. This is for the girl who wants to embrace her flirty side without being too sexy. From psychedelic paisley to ladylike lace, we rounded up five dress styles of the season.
BLACK & WHITE FLORALS
Embrace the new season with an unexpected palette of black and white. Rose Print Ruffle Frock Dress available at Free People
Marant’s Spring Essentials – Isabel Marant delivered her signature rocker cool, bohemian aesthetic for her namesake label’s spring 2014 collection shown during the fourth day of Paris Fashion Week. Fresh off the heels of her recent H&M collaboration, the French designer revisits some of her greatest staples such as boxy jackets, skin-baring hemlines, distressed denim and clinging dresses. With the easiness and cool vibe which almost envelopes the Marant woman, you can see why the Swedish retailer would tap the designer for a collaboration; her aesthetic is contemporary and speaks to the young woman of today whether in Paris or Los Angeles.
Dior’s Spring Garden – Amidst a runway show featuring a setting of hanging flora, the spring 2014 collection from Dior similarly embraced the floral theme whether it was quite literal with prints or more abstract with shape. Raf Simons has reinterpreted the house’s DNA for the past several seasons, and now it looks like he is bringing his own unique stamp to the brand. The spring preview implemented emblem decorations which adorned the iconic Dior “Bar” jacket. In fact, decoration was a main theme of the show, whether with bold prints or dresses embellished with colorful sayings like, “Primrose Path” or “Ultra Violet Mouth”. It was a change from the minimal restraint Simons has shown in the past. For the finale, models walked in black suiting decorated with kaleidoscopic patterns or silver jacquard dresses.
Rykiel’s Woman at Dusk – Sonia Rykiel designer Geraldo da Conceição noted in his show notes that the Rykiel woman for spring is “a creature of the dusk, a sunset heroine”. Spring 2014 definitely speaks to nighttime attire with its slinky silhouettes that have an almost sensual ease. The French label’s signature knitwear pieces were out in full effect with twenties inspired cuts decorated with blown-up argyle patterns, stripes and sparkling prints. The color palette of spring is varied; ranging from soft creams to fruity tangerines and plums. There is also a lingerie-inspired aspect to the clinging dresses and separates made of raw silk and lamés.
Pugh’s Sci-fi Darlings – For his eponymous label’s spring 2014 collection, British designer Gareth Pugh showcased his signature gothic style with a science-fiction twist. As always, the silhouettes are sculptural, clinging onto the body with winged shoulders or high necklines for a dramatic effect. The color palette for the new season offers black, white, grey, silver and a sampling of turquoise. In addition to the alien-esque looks, Pugh also delivered more pared down pieces such as wide-legged trousers or slinky silk gowns fit for evening wear. Head gear is almost a requirement for a Pugh runway show at this point, and for spring, the headpiece in question is made of ostrich feathers.
Rochas’ Sweet Spring – For Rochas’ spring 2014 show, creative director Marco Zanini cites his inspiration as water, glass and crystal in the show notes. However, the words that comes to mind when looking at ultra-feminine designs of the new season is sweet and light, and we could use a little unadulterated femininity after the minimalism of Milan Fashion Week. The Rochas woman is a delicate vision in sheer organza, a splash of Swarovski crystals and tinsel-like embroidery in light colors ranging from ethereal silvers to diaphanous pastels. On her feet she wears ostrich adorned slippers or crocodile heels decorated with buckles.
Van Noten’s Gold Season – Dries van Noten delivered his trademark romanticism with an opulent refinement for his spring 2014 collection shown during the second day of Paris Fashion Week. The Belgian designer presented dreamy floral prints and relaxed silhouettes featuring a strong theme of gold ranging from metallic vests to more subtle accents like gold pleats. Skirts decorated with ruffles add some volume to the spring season as well as large floral-shaped ornaments in ruched silk and gold plissé. Accessories for the new season include retro, circular-shaped frames and embroidered bags with tribal details.
Vaccarello’s Skin Show – Showing on the first day of Paris Fashion Week, the spring-summer 2014 collection from Anthony Vaccarello’s eponymous label displayed the Belgian designer’s body conscious designs that were not afraid to show a little, or a lot of skin. A color palette of mostly black with pops of white or red revealed dresses and skirts in slinky silhouettes. The designs were embellished with large and round silver gems which either accented cut-away swimsuits or completely decorated skirts with futuristic, V-shaped hemlines. Despite all the show of skin, there were some more covered-up elements like cropped jackets in leather and slouchy trousers.
Armani’s Light Spring – Reserved for the final day of Milan Fashion Week, Giorgio Armani’s mainline collection for spring 2014 featured the Italian designer’s signature loose silhouettes and suit work in light colors ranging from bright corals to midnight blues. The theme of the show was “Lights and Shadows” which translated into clothes with dreamy layers of jacquard silk, elasticized cotton and transparent fabrics that reflect like moonlight. Dresses feature detailed embroidery in floral and other natural motifs. For accessories, the Armani woman wears sandals with plexiglass heels as well as multi-colored bags.
Ferré’s Shape of Spring – Marking their fifth season at the helm of the brand, Gianfranco Ferré designers Federico Piaggi and Stefano Citron looked towards the Italian label’s past for inspiration with the spring 2014 collection. Ferré’s signature architectural shapes were out in full force for the new season in subtle shades of ivory, beige and blue. Sculpted shoulders, draped fabrics and soft folds dominate the looks which strike a balance between powerful and feminine. A more pared down aesthetic took shape in the form of belted dresses, wide-legged pants and cropped jackets.