From retro fringe and military-grade color palettes to futuristic mesh cutouts and head-to-toe white, this season’s hottest styles are fresh off a time machine. Here’s the lowdown on where to shop, what to buy and how to style—and you can do it all here in New York City.
The boho-glam fashion of the Me Generation is in full swing this spring. The breezy style has never been easier to wear, with loose-fitting garments like maxi dresses, muumuus and bell-bottom jeans flattering all body types. The music festival fashion gets a chic update with bold floral prints, funky fringe accents and suede in every color of the rainbow.
Shop the trend: Designer Lisa Perry, queen of contemporary “mod” style, designs sleeveless swing dresses, futuristic jackets with transparent plastic layers and oversize red maxi dresses with stripes for her Upper East Side boutique (988 Madison Ave.). Shoppers can venture to the NYC outpost of French fashion house Chloé (850 Madison Ave.) for gauzy floor-length dresses that pair perfectly with the brand’s knee-high gladiator sandals and round sunglasses. LIE SANGBONG’s new boutique (30 Gansevoort St.) goes psychedelic with hippy butterfly prints on flowing gowns. The ’70s revival trend seems tailor-made for Valentino (693 Fifth Ave.), as the fashion house plays with paisley prints on collared dresses and clutches, along with feminine floral cutouts on skirts. And fringe is in focus at Proenza Schouler (822 Madison Ave.), with skirts that set style in motion with swinging strands of black, white and gray.
Designers salute the armed forces this spring. But leave the camo to the soldiers—this style focuses on sophisticated solids of olive, navy and khaki. Utilitarian cuts get dressy upgrades, like trench coats with brass buttons, boxy dresses cinched at the waist with thick buckle belts, and uniform-style skirts with oversize pockets. Even fatigue pants are elevated when worn with crisp shirting and statement heels. Not ready to fully enlist? Toy with the trend by adding a patch to your favorite denim jacket.
Shop the trend: Marc Jacobs commandeers the army trend with sheeny green skirts, button-down shirts and cargo pockets galore at the SoHo boutique (163 Mercer St.). Swedish brand Acne Studios (33 Greene St.) deploys lengthy officer overcoats and high-waisted sailor shorts in its collection. Ralph Lauren (888 Madison Ave.) amps up military-style coats, vests and fitted trousers with pops of magenta, fuchsia, lemon and tangerine. Gucci (840 Madison Ave.) debuts two-tone denim dresses with long sleeves, arrow-shaped belt loops and round buttons that look more high-powered general than troop in the field.
Fashionistas show some skin as the weather warms up, embracing edgy fabrics that rebel against lace’s traditionally sweet reputation. Body-wrapping garments showcase complicated laser-cut textiles, rather than old-fashioned, doily-style lace. Futuristic mesh windowpanes on structured shirts and miniskirts continue to up the sex appeal. Stick to monochrome black and white outfits for a no-fuss look that lets the beauty of the fabrics come through.
Shop the trend: Balenciaga (148 Mercer St.) experiments with sporty, diamond-netted dresses and trench coats. Lace takes on geometric, architectural shapes in Erdem’s collection (sold at Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave.). Kardashian-favorite Balmain (sold at Barneys New York, 2151 Broadway) crafts body-hugging dresses that reveal skin through cutout strips. And Swiss label Akris (835 Madison Ave.) defines this look with contrasting solid and sheer shapes that create mesmerizing silhouettes.
“Jitney” cotton dress, $422, by Carleen
White poplin men’s dress shirt, $215, by Craft Atlantic (115 Greenwich Ave.)
It may be minimalist, but spring’s stark white fashion is anything but boring. Grecian togas, belted kimonos and versatile linen trouser-and-blouse sets offer an elegant contrast to the more intense elements of other trends. Look for billowing, belted dresses, accents of knots and ties, and the perfect pale shade (snow, ivory, cream) to highlight your natural skin tone. This is a trend that begs for bold accessories, so layer on necklaces, bangles and stacking rings without restraint.
Shop the trend: Linen dresses and two-piece cream sets with black statement belts from Marni (161 Mercer St.) turn the dojo into the catwalk. The Row (sold at Barneys New York) contemplates cream in a set of simple garments that wrap, tie and twist. Stella McCartney (112 Greene St.) effortlessly incorporates big buckles and ribbing into drapey dresses and skirt sets. Master of neutrals Eileen Fisher (166 Fifth Ave.) chooses white for soft tunics and buttoned blouses.
Gladiator Sandals: Roam like an ancient Roman in strappy leather sandals that can be dressed up or down. Step into sandals that buckle at the ankle for a casual style fit for shopping or strolling, or lace up kicks that tie just beneath the knee for a luxe look that transitions from day to night when paired with a gauzy spring maxi dress.
From left: Judie gladiator sandal, $135, by MICHAEL Michael Kors (101 Prince St.); Lafayette sandal, $99, by Adrianna Papell (Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Ave.); Leather abyss gladiator, $1,875, by Valentino Garavani (693 Fifth Ave.)
Round Bags: Circular shapes make a chic statement this spring, and it starts with the handbag. Whether you prefer a cross-body or a clutch, high-end designers have crafted smooth orbs and flat discs that work for anyone. Eye-catching color palettes, a range of fabrics and surreal accents (brass giraffe, anyone?) keep this trend cool. Say bye-bye to box bags.
Chunky Chokers: Tuck away those long, dainty pendants from seasons past as architectural chokers take hold this season. Look out for modern sculptural designs that showcase vibrant gemstones or flatter the neckline and collarbone with grace.
From left: Dresser necklace, $475, by Lizzie Fortunato (similar styles at Intermix, 98 Prince St.); Jarama choker emerald, $975, by Paula Mendoza (Owen, 809 Washington St.); Hex neck wire, $485, by Stephanie Kantis (similar styles at Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave.)
Fashion for Him
New collections from Billy Reid and Reiss exemplify what color expert Pantone describes as the “En Plein Air” palette for spring 2015. Guys should look for airy blues, forest greens, soft grays and even lavender as they shop. While color gets a boost, tailoring nods to loungewear; and it’s perfectly appropriate to pair crisp-cut jackets and blazers with relaxed denim, cuffed at the ankle. Finally, avant-garde floral prints for guys echo classic feminine styles as fashion continues to break down traditional gender barriers.
For accessories, smart staples reign supreme for men. Guys can slip on a chic set of shades from 100-year-old optical expert MOSCOT (108 Orchard St.). Jet-setting gents can carry their travel essentials with ease in a stylish folio from Ernest Alexander (98 Thompson St.). And all fellows can look regatta-ready with an anchor wrap bracelet from Miansai (33 Crosby St.): yacht not included.