With each 2012 Spring collection, we've been treated to a peek at the swimwear the upcoming season will bring. This time around, the one-piece rules. From sleek iterations at Michael Kors to the retro-inspired, sporty style at Marc by Marc Jacobs and the sexy, tribal-infused cutouts at Herve Leger, we might be seeing less of the bikini, but with so many ways to wear a one-piece, we doubt we'll miss it all that much. Click through for 16 of our favorite swim styles from the Spring runways.
The inspiration for Donna Karan's Spring 2012 DKNY collection took the best of both American worlds, combining "West Coast ease" and "East Coast edge." That meant a refreshing, utterly wearable mix of structured blazers and skinny pants, mixed with flowy asymmetric dresses in crepe de chine and georgette silk. Sequin skirts were layered under oversize, slouchy silk blouses and worn with sky-high platform wedges. Her palette veered effortlessly from red, white, and blue — we loved the floral print — to soft peach and and beige. It was the kind of collection where you wanted everything in it, because you know you'll wear it every day. This is Karan's thinking; after all, the models walked in right off the street, past a parked yellow taxi outfitted with a DKNY sign, and into the show, which was set in a open garage-like space in Manhattan's art gallery neighborhood. It was New York City street style at its best, and on 9/11, a day when many showgoers had an opportunity to think about how much New York had changed in the last 10 years, it was a brilliant reminder that thanks to creative forces like Karan, much hadn't changed at all.
- Trends: Asymmetric hems, soft layering, sequin skits, digital florals.
- Colors: Red, white, blue, peach, nude, black.
- Key Piece: Asymmetric hem dresses, the floral pieces, sequin skirts.
- Accessories: Wide-brim hats, the platform wedges in neon pink and floral print.
- Who Would Wear It: Girls who transition easily between work and play, breezy and edgy. Think Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, or Whitney Port.
Jason Wu showed an exceptionally beautiful, frothy and surprisingly sporty collection for Spring 2012, and singlehandedly made us stick peplum skirts at the top of our must-have list. While Wu promised to go "back to femininity" in our behind-the-scenes interview, he did it playfully. He partnered with the artist KAWS to create a floating petal print that at close view revealed the artist's signature "hands" motif, which suggested how many hands played a part in creating the soft blouses and skirts. "Floating skirts" flew away from the body on an asymmetric angle and boasted big peplum trims, ladylike blouses had intricately beaded collars, and sporty windbreakers — windbreakers! — brought a whole new definition of polish to an outerwear staple that rarely makes its way to a designer's runway. While some pieces, like the white peplum top and black cigarette pants worn by Joan Smalls, were seriously elegant, it was hard not to smile when Wu sent out his floating skirts and dresses in colors like canary yellow, cobalt blue, and candy pink. It was a fun show that beautifully melded Wu's couture-quality workmanship with a sporty, playful attitude.
- Trends: sporty, peplum, asymmetric hems, ladylike, windbreakers.
- Colors: candy pink, canary yellow, cobalt blue, petal prints.
- Key Piece:"floating" skirts, the windbreakers, any of the peplum pieces.
- Accessories: edgy black lace-up stilettos, blue and green python handbags.
- Who Would Wear It: Jason Wu's muse, Diane Kruger, is our prediction to be the first one in look 36 —the pink floating skirt and silk v-neck top.
Easy, breezy, crisp — these are the basic tenets of Jenni Kayne's California-rooted line, and they were on full display in the latest collection from the 29-year-old designer. Kayne, who five months ago became a mother for the second time, forewent a show in favor of an intimate preview that allowed her to personally show the collection to editors, while her 5-month-old daughter stayed nearby. Balancing work and family life has informed her approach to design, because the clothes are all wearable, basic silhouettes — a louche pantsuit, boxy tops, flowy pants — that showcase their specialty in the details — a shot of bold pink, lace, a thigh-high slit. When asked if she might expand her stores to one on the East Coast, Kayne demurred with a smile, citing her need to be in control of her stores: "I'm a Virgo. I need to be able to walk in and change things, reorganize, re-merchandise."
Steven Alan stayed true to his classic cool aesthetic for Spring 2012, showing a collection filled with chic basics: cropped and wide-leg trousers, colorblocked tunic tops, and breezy plaid dresses. The presentation was a refreshing nod to classics with a twist thanks to modern details like a back seam slit and the most notable look, a perfectly tailored checked suit, equally fitting for a day at work — or relaxation in the Hamptons. Leather brogues, low-wedge wraparound sandals, and sweet simple satchels complete the classic cool collection. Get the quick lowdown below, then click the slideshow to see the rest of the collection.
Photo courtesy of Chi Diem Chau
While we admit we're focused on getting our Fall wardrobes in order, we've always got an eye on year-round dressing, and Club Monaco is giving us some fantastic ideas. Its Spring 2012 collection, set to debut in January, was recently previewed to editors, and we love the soft color palettes, louche layering, and modern interpretation of classics. Here our favorite styling tips from Spring:
- Deep rust and mustard tones work with lighter colors and fabrics for those transitional months.
- Soft chiffon skirts benefit from a strong jacket or coat.
- Look for textural details: sequins, llamé, embroidery, and raffia add interest to versatile basics.
Now click to see the first look at Club Monaco's Spring collection.