Spring Fashion

by Daniel Jameson, Fashion Editor, and Fashion Writers Jen Anderson, Marlee Katz, Caroline Kreul and Paige Schultz

Though it seems spring is perpetually just around the corner, what with Mother Nature constantly delaying its arrival with cold storm after storm, as any ambitious fashionista will tell you, waiting until the season itself to tweak your wardrobe already puts you at a strategic disadvantage. As such, our team here at MODA has created your ultimate guide to style this season, featuring the biggest, wearable trends in fashion and how to put them together with everything already stuffing your closet. So whip out an extra sheet from your class notebook, grab a funky pen, and jot down your favorite suggestions so you’re set for the sun!


Mixing Black + White

It’s all about geometry and the mixing of black and white stripes, shapes and patterns this spring. From Prada’s mod looks to Proenza Schouler’s abstract dresses, one can incorporate the trend into any outfit for any occasion. The style has a range of influence, from Louis Vuitton, whose models were clothed in checkerboard prints and color blocked suits, to Céline, who subtly incorporated the trend into plunging dresses with contrasting mesh necklines.

Although these runway looks may be “un peu” over the top, any fashionista can draw inspiration from high fashion and weave the look into their everyday attire. The finest way to mimic the trend is to begin with a statement piece, such as a white and black polka dot blouse or a striped A-line skirt. If you choose to go black and white from head to toe, try a bold striped dress and pair it with a modest black sandal. For the daring type, consider mixing polka dots and stripes together. Pair a defined striped pant with a demure polka dot cropped t-shirt for the ultimate effect.

Alexander Wang

Creative Cutouts

Cutout pieces are making an even bigger and better comeback again this season. With incorporated laser-cuts, mesh detailing and subtle windows of organza, Louis Vuitton, Alexander Wang and Emilio Pucci take the trend to the next level. Cutouts are no longer reserved for a night on the town, and thus can effortlessly mix into almost any look for any time of day.

A dress with delicate threaded peekaboo spaces on the sleeves and near the hemline is perfect for the workplace, with the added bonus of adeptly transitioning from day to night without looking overly business casual. Draw inspiration from Pucci’s cutout dresses that accentuate the neckline or bare your waistline in a similar manner to Roberto Cavalli’s spring gowns for a formal occasion. To incorporate this trend in an everyday method, pull ideas from Louis Vuitton’s geometric cutout organza skirt. Pair a perforated maxi with your favorite tank for a flawlessly daring spring look.

Stella McCartney

Saturated Color

After a long winter of blasé, neutral color palettes, designers brought fashion back to life with collections that featured bold, saturated hues for Spring 2013. Yet transitioning from browns, blacks and greys to hot pinks, lime greens and bright blues can be a bit of a drastic change – especially when the weather has barely begun to warm up. Fortunately, there are ways to wear this trend that are not as extreme as the all-over monochromatic looks that were seen on the runway. For example, simply infusing a neutral ensemble with a pop of vibrant color from bright accessories is more than enough to do the trend justice.

For those who wish to make more of a statement, color blocking is also a fabulous option. Unfortunately, mixing and matching complementary colors is not necessarily as intuitive as you would imagine. Thus, as a general rule of thumb, stick to pairing two colors at most. If you try to mix three or more your outfit stands to look more like a hot mess rather than something effortlessly chic.

Bold Stripes

Stripes are notoriously known for their difficult. Horizontal stripes have the habit of making certain body types look hefty, whiles turn ensembles into something bordering on “The Hamburglar” or Steve from Blue’s Clues. Vertical stripes also come with their own problems, like making other body types appear too tall and gangly.

However, stripes are hard to avoid this spring. All kinds of stripes sprung onto the runways, creating a whirlwind of excitement. Of all options, one trend in particular seemed fresh and tantalizing. In order to not look like a creature of the 90’s, designers have put forward the idea of mini-stripes. These stripes are easy to wear and look classy both vertically and horizontally.

In these looks, stripes are smaller, though their effect on the ensemble is just as great as their larger counterparts.


This first look, inspired by Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2013, incorporates a bright patterned scarf along with a striped button down, in order to tone down the stripes and avoid an overall jailbird look. Finished with some harem pants for added dimension, this look idealizes stripes as a complimentary pattern for spring.


In the second look, inspired by Oscar de la Renta Spring 2013, the small stripes are taken on a much simpler level in just one piece. Their presence on this dress is eye-catching but not too overwhelming, like some color-blocking stripes tend to be on maxi dresses.

Rag & Bone

Light-Hearted Leather

Contrary to popular belief, these days spring seems the best time of the year to play around with leather. Though the texture and toughness of the material can appear frightening, designers this season reinvented leather as something much more girly than most would think. Colored leather, leather mixed with fun materials, cutouts, imprinted leather…the possibilities are endless.

This spring, leather is fun. There are so many ways to wear it without feeling the strains of looking like a complete biker chick. For example, brands like Elle Marissa, Valentino and Mugler showed various ensembles featuring chiffon materials along with leather. These takes on leather are simple to achieve with the current fashions in stores and online.


This light leather look, inspired by the Spring 2013 ready-to-wear outfits of Mugler, integrates two fun leather trends of spring: colored leather and leather with light fabrics. For spring, light-weight white chiffon is ideal to match with any look. The top, paired with these oxblood shorts, creates a joyous look for the season despite its use of leather.

Remarkable Ruffles

Once a look exclusively attributed to flamenco dancers and prom attendees of the 1980s, oversized ruffles are making a comeback this season in the lines of some of the fashion world’s biggest names. Designers like Balenciaga, Lanvin and Chanel have all renovated these once overly flamboyant accents into looks that are both elegant and chic. Unlike those seen on the collar of your great-grandmother’s turtle-necked blouse, modern ruffles can range from feminine, free-flowing frills to architectural statements. Some designers, like Alexander McQueen, opted for dramatic, colorful, head-to-toe ruffled ensembles while others, like Dolce & Gabbana, worked them into daintier, minimalistic silhouettes.

When wearing ruffles, it is important to let the style speak for itself. Whether you’re wearing a flowing, ruffled top to grab coffee or a ruffle-trimmed jacket to the office, opt for minimal jewelry so as to not distract the eye from your frilly detail. It is also just as important to not “over-ruffle” yourself. While ruffled tops and skirts are chic, wearing both at the same time runs the risk of embodying the unwanted “cha-cha-cha” vibe.

Giambattista Valli

Monochromatic White

Under normal circumstances, wearing head-to-toe anything is strictly for those who wish to earn on a spot on worst-dressed lists. Yet the Spring 2013 collections proved fashion this season has gone the route of the unconventional. Dressed in monochromatic white, models sporting the blank canvas look wowed fashion industry professionals worldwide – in a good way.

However, it wasn’t the ability of the designers to match color that made everyone fall head-over-heels for this trend. Rather, it was their way of combining different cuts, shapes and textures to create an ensemble that is visually stimulating without having to rely on color for intrigue.

Therefore, to style your own monochromatic white ensemble this season we advise you to channel the vision of these designers in presenting their own runway collections. Playing up a look with structured silhouettes and contrasting textures like lace, leather and various fabrics allows the utilization of multiple elements to drive attention away from a blasé color palette. Though, for those who simply cannot live without a pop of color in their outfit, we suggest incorporating brighter accessories or applying a shade of statement lip color. For inspiration, check out Gucci and Missoni’s styling techniques.

Global Traveller-Tory Burch

Global Exotics

This spring, designers encourage us to step out of our own style boxes and into the eye-opening realm of the global traveler. Bright colors, extravagant prints and a variety of textures peppered the runway, with models donning everything from patterned burlap to puka shells. While most of us are familiar with the ubiquitous tribal print of last year, don’t be fooled. This new spring look is entirely, honing in on and celebrating ethnic styles from around the world. Tory Burch’s collection exemplifies the global exotic look, featuring fabrics from Guinea, jewelry from Ghana and slippers from Morocco, all in vibrant hues and a variety of textures.

Like the “tribal” print of yesteryear, it is simple, with a little bit of confidence, to embrace this season’s traveler-chic look. The key is to not fear color and texture. So go ahead, pair those bright blue shorts of yours with a bright red, patterned tunic. Throw on that canary-yellow maxi with a big woven necklace and matching dangling earrings.  This look is all about being bold and exploring your own style limits.

Photo Credits



Accessories Magazine

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