Colgate Couture – Springing into Newness: Reinventing Wardrobes

Laura Stoloff

The turn of the season allows women in vogue a measure of self-reinvention. It’s a time of rebirth — well, that may seem a little harsh, but this is a time to bury the over-worn, over-styled black sweater and to emerge into a halo of bright color that will leave every other woman in the dark.

A new year, a new you. This cliché statement appears year after year on the cover of January fashion magazines. And every woman wants to see what the lovely ladies of ELLE, Vogue and Harpers Bazaar have picked for them this spring, straight from the top runway shows in New York, Milan and Paris. Whether it’s a revamp in the beauty department with loose flowing hair, that perfectly glowing skin and the brightest pout, come January everyone wants to don the leading trends of the season before anyone else. Who wants to be the last one wearing bold jewelry and slouchy hobos?

This season, reinvent yourself with optimism. With the nation getting a fresh taste in Washington with a new celebrity couple, this brightness translates itself to the individual. There’s a fresh start for all, and there is no better way to start the year off than in some of spring’s hottest trends. After all, ho said we need to wait until the snow melts and the temperature rises?

Spring forward this month in bright color (think neon), sheer fabrics, liberating skirts and shorts, statement jewelry and hobo and drawstring bags.

It’s a return to color. After a fall season of nude shades and cream colors (can anyone say boring?) the newest colors will stand out from even the farthest distances. And for those whose shyness will stop them from wearing a hot pink oversized pea coat with high waisted silk shorts in bright tangerine from the 2009 ready-to-wear collection of Alexander Wang, accessories will add the perfect punch of color. An easy way to freshen up for spring is to pair an American classic, khaki, with beaming hues in blues, oranges, pinks and yellows. Look to bring out the bold in footwear, a gladiator sandal (yes, this isn’t a fashion faux-pas yet), flats or a stiletto heel, evening clutches and belts. Tighten up khaki shorts and a tank with a thin vibrant belt.

Sheer fabrics transform the most timid women into flirtatious vixens. Goodbye flowing tanks, and welcome body revealing tops. Everyone from model and socialite Alice Delall to Lindsay Lohan have taken cues from Alexander Wang’s sheer sexiness and young designer William Tempest. If playing the vixen isn’t really your thing, you can also be sweet but sexy as seen at Chloé. The look was sexy-girly with silk fabrics, scallop-edge coats and sheer blouses. And instead of waiting to wear the trend in the spring, choose sheer black pieces with embellishments. You can go totally sheer in a silk blouse or flaunt only a little for a hint of spring fever. Milly, Rag & Bone, Nanette Lepore and Vera Wang Lavender Label all feature a sheer style (all on sale on shopbop.com). And to cover up unnecessary skin, pair the look with a tuxedo jacket or classic blazer.

The handbag always garners the most attention, especially during the winter months bundled up in not so lovely jackets. The best way to add a spring favorite into the wardrobe is through the slouchy hobo. In snakeskin white, suede grays and metallic bronze, the hobos will not only carry all, but they will give you all the attention needed. Store the structured bags for day, let loose and relax from a stressful winter season. So get ready for the next season with a few trends that will leave everyone asking, “where did you get that?!”

And my designer obsessions from the spring 2009 runways: Vena Cava, who went casual with sportswear silhouettes and fancy with flowing gowns in dark grays paired with teal blues; 3.1 Phillip Lim who mixed Spanish culture with classic khaki while also reinventing the pea coat and Thakoon who featured rose print dresses mixing pinks and reds for a daring yet feminine look.