On the morning of February 19, 2010 I sat at my desk with my eyes focused on the small yellow post-it listing the biggest fashion trends for spring. My mind ponders the answers for the transient changes in fashion, since the detrimental effect of the economic recession. It was then that I realized I was no longer looking at a mere list of fashion and accessories. This was a much deeper pattern of trends that people have adopted as a result of the political and economical forces in society. When I reflect back to 2007, I notice the past augmentation of everyday items: the oversized Jackie-O sunglasses and handbags big enough to carry our lives in.
Three years later, with an unemployment rate of nearly 10%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, people are no longer interested in the next “big thing” (literally). With less cash in our pockets, several designers are being forced to become creative and produce more affordable and trendy merchandise that will cater to a wider audience. Let’s take a look at what spring 2010 offers us.
Forget flip flops and boring flats, it’s all about the “caged shoe” this spring. What exactly is a caged shoe you may ask? Quite sexier and more intricate than the gladiator sandal from last year, the caged shoe has a trellis-type design that incorporates more straps forming a cage around your foot. It gives off a powerfully dominant appeal, whether you prefer stilettos, wedges, embellished sandals or flats. Sam Edelman is perhaps one of the better designers to master the art of the caged shoe with beautifully embellished beads and jewels along the center. You can find his line at Nordstrom ranging from ($100-$200).
Now that you have the shoes, now what are you going to wear with them? This spring, I suggest you go for a colorful buttoned down dress shirt. (Notice the emphasis on the dress) I’m not talking about the dressy shirt your boyfriend wears to work. I’m thinking of Sharon Stone in her husband’s white button down on the red carpet back in ’98. What I love most about the dress shirt is the versatility it gives to a wardrobe. Dress it up with a skinny belt, lace hosiery, and a pair of heels or go for a casual look with a pair of leggings and strappy sandals. Go for bright shades of orange, royal purple, and yellow this spring and save the boring neutrals for your dad.
Speaking of skinny belts, I’m glad we’re finally putting a decade of oversized waist belts behind us. Accessories add a hidden “language” to an outfit and give it personality that basic clothing lacks. For spring, have fun with skinny belts by experimenting with different looks. I find that a bright purple dress shirt with a nude cardigan and a black skinny belt is both classy and fun. Don’t be afraid to take risks by wearing two at the same time, in different colors of course.
My next favorite spring accessory is literally a “timeless” piece you can keep forever. The chronograph watch is my newest obsession. Both sexy and sophisticated, the chronograph watch looks flawless on a woman’s wrist with anything she decides to wear. Whether you use it to tell time, or simply because of its classic beauty, this watch will not disappoint. Michael Kors designs an impeccable line of chronograph watches that you can find for just under $200. Toy Watch is also a new craze on the west coast because of its unlimited selection of colors and designs. Bright colors can be fun, but remember, neutrals will allow more flexibility if you plan on wearing it daily.
Finally, I have left the best accessory for last. No outfit would be complete without this spring’s must-have cross-body bag. Forget that oversized suitcase of a bag from last year. Perhaps this is the designers way of mocking us for having less cash to spend, but I can’t help but admire the compact simplicity of a cross body. The thin and longer straps allow more view of a woman’s shoulder, which many designers have agreed is the sexiest part of a woman’s body. With less space to store excess items, it also allows us as women, to analyze our core needs and reconsider what we really need to carry around. Henri Bendel is the ultimate place for cross body bags with quality smooth leather and embossed suede materials in a gorgeous array of colors and designs for every price range. (www.HenriBendel.com)
As I take one last glance at my yellow post-it, I fall into a daydream of ten years in the future and fantasize how fashion will again transform itself. I see nothing but a blur of what will become of fashion over the next decade. What I do know is, we all have the power to influence how our future is shaped, through the choices we make, the people we meet, and the actions we take. Two years ago, on Feb. 5th, 2008, President Obama said during a speech, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Today, his words still impact my thoughts. This is not just about fashion, for fashion is simply an artistic reflection of the times. It’s also about each and every one of us and how our decisions will ultimately affect the future generations to come. Instead of wondering what the future of society and fashion will be like years from now, let’s start building it today.