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January 1, 2014updated Feb 11, 2014

Spring Forward

By Chris Boyle

With spring around the corner, designers are offering an array of sartorial options that will be a breath of fresh air. A new year brings the always uplifting idea that spring is just around the corner.

Bottega Veneta

Christian Dior



With that thought in mind, designers sent out resort collections to stock store shelves with pieces intended to build on that desire for the wonderful mild weather months—that time before the humidity hits and cool afternoon breezes are replaced with summer heat waves or freezing air-conditioned office spaces.

GucciChristopher Kane

Calvin Klein

Ralph Lauren

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Inside that ever-shrinking window of picture-perfect weather, designers have proffered ensembles that focus on the idea of handicraft. Crochet, needlepoint, and macramé turned up in the collections of Valentino, Bottega Veneta, and Alexander McQueen, respectively. And when these old-school techniques were not being incorporated into collections, then lace, known as the fashion standby, picked up the slack in sporty interpretations that felt more modern then retro. Two great examples came from Raf Simons at Christian Dior, with his spun sugar lace dresses, and Christopher Kane, whose twig-like trim and inserts made for a rather graphic-looking lace embellishment.

As for transitional outerwear, suede was a big favorite with designers looking for a material that could act as a sartorial middleman. But don’t think this means sticking to neutral shades of beige, off-white, or sand. Instead, designers brought out royal purple (Ralph Lauren), emerald green (Calvin Klein), and rich chocolate (Gucci).

The growing appeal of these resort designs is that they are not as quickly identifiable as belonging to one particular label because they are not a part of one of the media-saturated runway show collections. Not only does that allow these pieces to have a longer shelf life but it also keeps them from outshining the wearer. It might have been fun not so long ago to be a walking billboard for a brand, but those days are over. Discretional dress is now the name of the sartorial game.

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