From the Runway to Ring Mall

The sun is shining and the breeze is balmy—spring has definitely arrived. Some days, the heat is sweltering enough to drive a girl into the ubiquitous shorts and flip-flops uniform. What can you do to get out of a hot-weather fashion rut, especially on a college student’s budget? Here are a few spring and summer trends to take from the runways to Ring Mall.

In this spring’s shows, ROY G. BIV ruled the runways. Color was bold, bright and unapologetic. Designers did not shy away from color, and neither should you. To interpret this trend in a subtle way, try taking one item of clothing and wearing it in an unexpected color. Buy jeans in a striking lemon yellow, or for those who take baby steps, a pale blue. Accenting neutrals with brights, like the chartreuse miniskirt or the lipstick red jacket paired with pale colors at 3.1 Philip Lim, is quite a brilliant move. More ways to add punch to an everyday outfit are to layer with a bright cardigan or wrap oneself in a scarf in an eye-catching color—why not both? Spring is no time to be shy. Even Ralph Lauren, which is known for its classic designs and color palette, sent models sashaying down the catwalk in vibrant, saturated hues in the label’s 40th anniversary show. From Easter-egg pastels to Day-Glo neons, fashion went full spectrum.

Many designers took inspiration from global cultures in their collections, from Christian Lacroix’s outlandish feathers and prints to Proenza Schouler’s more subdued palette. African motifs and Asian ikat patterns were prevalent on this season’s runways. Fortunately, for those on a budget, this trend can easily translate into an accessory, like a scarf or piece of jewelry, to update a basic outfit.
Another global-inspired trend of the moment is the gladiator sandal. Although the shoes have appeared in past seasons, they are everywhere this spring. If you want to keep the style a bit more subdued (in other words, if you want to avoid looking like you’re about to fight Russell Crowe) try the style in black or silver with just a few straps. With these global looks, you can dress like you’ve traveled the world, even if the most exotic place you’ve been lately is Fashion Island.

Vivid colors, expressionistic and aggressive brushstrokes—does this sound like a critique from a studio art class? Actually, we’re talking about dresses from Chloé and Dolce & Gabbana, among others. This season, many pieces appear to be streaked with paint and covered in a myriad of intense hues. Art and fashion unite more than ever this spring. In addition to fashion inspired by the abstract expressionism movement, designers have been inspired by illustration.
A prime example lies in the fairy illustrations printed throughout Prada’s collection. Are you artistically inclined? Grab a fabric pen or even some acrylic paint (because it’s permanent, it works as fabric paint) and make some fairy figures (or anything you’d like!) of your own. If you’re more on the crafty side, a bottle of Rit dye is your friend as designers were also inspired by the look of watercolors. Dip-dyeing a shirt, skirt, scarf or even a dress will create the much-desired ombré effect. Tie-dye shirts and scarves are also fresh ways to bring the artistic trend to everyday wear.
Now that you are familiar with some of the trends of spring and summer, make them your own. Don’t fear color, pattern or personalization. As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is made to become unfashionable,” so embrace changing trends as different outlets for self-expression. Have a stylish spring!