Colgate Couture: Red, White and You

Colgate Couture: Red, White and You

Zoe Gordon

There is something so refreshingly liberating about this time of year. The days get longer and lighter and the persistent piles of snow have finally given way to the grass (and mud) below. With the frenzied mid-point behind us, there is some semblance of light at the end of the academic tunnel, and as the weather continues to warm, everyone is eager to enjoy the final weeks of school. This is the moment of the new – new season, new attitudes, new clothes.

In the spirit of this most wonderful time of year (I do believe it rivals the holiday season), I wanted to share some of the new things I am looking forward to in the material world. With the closing of fashion weeks worldwide, a few new names emerged from the typical standouts, and much of the murmurings were about Americans and the new American sportswear. When thinking about cleaning up or starting fresh, few clothing items do it as successfully as a crisp, white tee or a pair of perfectly proportioned blue jeans. The designers that stood out have the vision and functionality to inspire a sense of patriotism in editors and pedestrians alike. These individuals, though not necessarily new to the business, are names that I will be keeping on my radar for future appearances in magazines and department stores. Regardless of the fact that many of their pieces may be out of my price range, folks like Reed Karkoff, Gary Graham and Daniel Vosovic (from when Project Runway was good) have shown outstanding collections that we can all take cues from in order to bring some newness to the everyday.

As the head of Coach, Reed Krakoff is really no stranger to fashion industry, though the executive creative director recently debuted his own namesake line “in the tradition of Great American Sportswear.” His take on chunky knits, cozy cashmeres and structural separates doesn’t disappoint for fall, certainly check him out. But with sundresses and sandals in mind, we must find ways to make Krakoff’s freshly patriotic aesthetic weather friendly.

Although not for knits and trousers, America is everywhere this spring. Be bold with your red, whites and blues. Madison Marcus has created a polished white blazer with sassy blue stripes that will complete any outfit, be it casual cutoffs or a khaki mini. Rag and Bone has some desirable separates with an American heritage feel – their ready-to-wear looks included knit culottes and several updated blazers in crisp colors. Speaking of, cherry-red is the newest color to covet and can be used appropriately anywhere from legs to lips. Look for star patterns to add to the regular mix of sailor-stripes and playful polka-dots in dresses and silky tops. Finally, oxfords are taking it up a notch with wedge heels and peep toes as a perfectly preppy finish to your wonderfully American outfit.

When you step out to shop for all your new goods, there is no place more American to head than Target. While that suggestion may not sound all too appealing, you might reconsider come April 25 when the mega-retailer launches its latest one-off line. The newest designer signed to create looks for 199$ and under is none other than Zac Posen, the 29-year-old native-born New York fashion superstar. The collection, inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry, is peppy, perky and full of color. Posen is known for creating red carpet looks that are tailored perfectly to the female body, and by insisting on using high-end silks, satins and washed leathers in his dresses, skirts and tanks for the Target line, every woman can now have a new piece of his fashion genius. Although Target has only released a limited number of pieces to the public eye, so far, so good.

In order to get in the spring spirit and embrace all the newness around us, seek out sportswear inspiration, add some stars and stripes to your closet and even score a little piece of American history on the cheap. All you need is something new to put that extra marching band pep back into your stylish step.