By: Leah Devorak and Lauren Zawatski | For The Duquesne Duke
At last, it’s that time of year when the snow melts and temperatures start to become bearable, and occasionally even pleasant. After a brutally cold winter where the only clothing options seemed to be layers, layers and more layers, it’s finally time to break out those treasured spring fashion pieces. Although a few trends this season may be quite familiar, many that have hit the scene are original.
One of the key styles for this spring falls under the established trends category. This trend is none other than ’70s-era style. Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent and Derek Lam have all showcased pieces in their Spring 2015 collections that possess a ’70s flair.
Georgia Fowkes, a local model and actress, has noticed the definite ’70s takeover.
“Seventies-styled looks are coming back,” Fowkes said. “A big trend is fringe: fringe jackets, fringe shirts, fringe dresses. Fringe, fringe, fringe! This style also has a sort of ‘loose, free’ feel to it.”
Pairing a fringe shirt or jacket with wide-leg denim trousers is a great way to exhibit this popular trend.
Arguably the most popular pattern that this spring has ushered in is gingham. Not just for picnic blankets anymore, this trendy design has emerged on dresses, skirts and tops alike on the runways and in retail outlets.
Harpers Bazaar reports that Oscar de La Renta, Diane von Furstenberg and Michael Kors all boasted gingham patterns in their Spring 2015 runway collections.
Sonya Novick, an employee at Jules Boutique in Lawrenceville, agrees that the trend is crucial.
“Gingham is always a good look to have,” Novick said. “It’s bold without being too crazy. It’s very, very classic.”
Another popular pattern this season, floral, is a more common one. Usually seen on dresses and skirts, floral designs have been found on outerwear and tops now as well.
Stephen Skiba, department manager at H&M in the Mall at Robinson, noted that the type of floral pattern worn usually depends on age.
“Ladies clothing right now is a very pastel floral whereas younger groups are being drawn to more of a bright, neon flower design,” he said.
As winter starts to fade, the dark grays, browns, burgundies and blacks that are so closely associated with it are very quickly following suit, being replaced by drastically brighter, more eye-catching colors.
“The biggest thing is color, lots of color. There’s more color this season than anything,” said Corrine, an employee at Capricco boutique in Squirrel Hill who requested her last name not be used.
As for specific shades, the runway has been partial to brighter hues of dandelion yellow, with the unique color being featured in shows from Cushnie et Ochs to Michael Kors to Rosie Assoulin, as Glamour magazine reports.
Locals seem to agree with expert designers that this shade, which most shoppers typically tend to shy away from, is going to be a big hit this upcoming season.
“I’ve been noticing a lot of almost neon yellow, which is odd because yellow is definitely not everyone’s color,” said Skiba. “But it’s something fresh, so I think a lot of women will be drawn to it anyway.”
Aside from sunny yellow, bright pinks and greens can also be seen popping up in shops all around the area, as Natalie Murphy, visual manager at the Bebe store in the Ross Park Mall, has noted.
“They’re everywhere, the deep yet bright, saturated pinks and greens, and I love it. Wearing those colors is so fun. You can pair them with anything: a white top, a flowing skirt or printed bottoms, and always look amazing. It’s fun yet put-together without really trying,” she said.
But even though loud hues are being noticed and embraced by almost everyone in the fashion world, don’t think that neutrals have been phased out all together. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; the dark blacks and grays of cold weather styling have simply been replaced with white and beige, as shows from Givenchy, Erdem and Chloè all have shown.
Corrine pointed out, “Beige is really making a comeback. A lot of beige and a lot of crisp white are really big this season.”
But if brights, whites and beiges start getting a little old, have no fear, for pastels of all shades are still as trendy as ever, according to Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for Spring 2015.
With colors and patterns aside, one garment is quickly turning into a wardrobe staple as stores begin launching their spring collections is the classic shirtdress.
“A basic that every girl should have this spring is a shirtdress,” said Emily Slagel, proprietor at Mid-Atlantic Mercantile in Lawrenceville. “It’s very easy to style.”
The newest versions of the classic are very reminiscent of the early 1970’s, with, according to Glamour magazine, materials now being made mostly of light denims and given drop-waists. High slits up the sides and deep v-necklines still keep the new takes from looking frumpy, however, as collections from Altuzarra, Charlotte Ronson and Rebecca Minkoff have shown.
Out of all the shoes flooding stores for the warmer months, there’s really only one that every woman seems to be buying: flats. From oxfords to slides to smoking slippers to barely-there heels, added height is being quickly pushed aside for extra comfort. But what’s so appealing about this next season’s plethora of flats is not the lack of pinched toes. Rather, it’s the beautiful takes on the styles that are drawing women in.
“I’ve seen everything from smoking slippers that are also pandas to completely bedazzled oxfords,” said Fowkes. “We can thank the runways for that. Designers went crazy over flats this year, and all to their benefit, too! It’s all so over-the-top that no one can resist!”
But despite the glitz, the flat trend that’s gaining the most momentum off the runway is one that’s actually a bit more subdued. It’s the “flatform,” or the flat that features a platform, and it’s not just big in Pittsburgh.
“Platforms are starting to get huge. I was sitting in a seminar with Kate David Hudson [editor of Editorialist], and even she agreed,” Fowkes said. “Women – and men – everywhere just love the look, the comfort and the style they give. And the best thing? Even though a bit intimidating at first, they can be paired with literally any outfit you wish.”
As for this year’s spring accessories, hats are the most obvious and most bold trend. From wide brimmed to floppy, the different hat styles are endless.
Jacqueline Stone, owner of Phoenix Upscale Consignment Boutique in Lawrenceville, believes that hats are now perfectly acceptable in everyday wear, not just for more formal occasions.
“Hats are huge,” Stone said. “You don’t need to go to church on Sunday to wear a hat.”
Fowkes that watches are some other popular accessories for Spring 2015. She said that watches aren’t just for functional purposes anymore – they’ve become a fashion statement as well.
“They’re arm candy,” she said. “Personally, I don’t use a watch for the time, which I know sounds idiotic, but I just love the whole style and attitude they can bring.”
All of the aforementioned trends have carried over into the hair department, with either a distinctly bohemian or a ’70s, Brigitte-Bardot-inspired style dominating.
“There’s lots of bohemian waves, low ponytails, braids and undone buns,” said Rachel Zawodniak, stylist at Salon Icon in the South Hills. “And there’s no more ombré. It’s being replaced more and more with face framing highlights, which is still unique but a lot more naturally flattering.”
In general, she says that long and glamorous is in, even if it’s with the ever-popular “lob,” or long bob.
“Flowing and glamorous is what the feel is right now. That’s why even short hair is still long,” said Zawodniak. “It’s just a very pretty style, especially the ’70s blowout, which is my personal favorite. And with face-framing highlights added, it just seems to flatter everyone.”
Lastly, for makeup this season, there is one primary trend that stands out from among the rest: contouring. This trend is accomplished by using bronzer, blush, foundation or other makeup products to highlight specific parts of the face, such as the cheekbones.
Samm Krauth, the operations lead at Sephora in the Mall at Robinson, notes that contouring is essential for this spring, makeup-wise.
“The really big trend right now is contouring,” Krauth said. “It gives a nice, slim look to the face.”
As for makeup colors, one of this spring’s trending shades is marsala. This color, a rich maroon, is Pantone’s 2015 color of the year. Thus, most of the trending makeup colors this season tend to follow a similar palette.
“Everything is based on neutral colors this year because of Pantone’s color choice.” Krauth said.
The general consensus is that, to be trendy this spring, all one has to do is appear effortless. From makeup and hair to clothing and shoes, easy-going and flowing – made a little less boring and a little more feminine by pops of bright color – is the fashion goal ladies everywhere should be striving to achieve.