Getting ready for Spring/Summer 2012 needn’t involve a complete wardrobe overhaul, so here are five simple steps on what to buy, what to ditch and what to keep for the coming months.
Era to embody: 1920s
Already one of the most talked about films of 2012 despite not being scheduled for release until December, fashionistas will be getting in the mood for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby during the spring and summer months.
Gucci led the way at its Spring/Summer 2012 show with geometric print flapper dresses, while the Jazz Age was a key influence at the Etro show.
Ralph Lauren was also enamored with the flapper style, with fringed skirts, elaborate beading on dresses, and cloche hats dominating its Spring/Summer 2012 presentation.
Motif to embrace: floral
There are certain motifs we know will re-emerge season after season (nautical, lace, floral), and for Spring/Summer 2012 flowers are particularly prevalent.
Colorful bloom prints were all over the catwalk, ranging from the iridescent creations adorned with multicolored blooms at Christopher Kane to the broderie anglaise Louis Vuitton frock sported by Lana Del Rey on the cover of UK Vogue's March issue. Floral pieces from the Vuitton collection have also been seen on covers including British Elle (by Alexa Chung) to Vogue Japan (by Kate Moss).
For the coming months, Paul Smith is offering cropped floral blazers, Diane von Furstenberg leaf-print pants, while 7 For All Mankind is offering floral print denim and Uniqlo has teamed up with English fashion and lifestyle brand Laura Ashley for a Spring 2012 collection comprising floral prints, T-shirts, stoles, and tunics.
Item to keep from Fall/Winter 11/12: Anything Leather
One of the biggest revelations to emerge from the Spring/Summer 2012 shows was that leather is no longer the reserve of the winter months -- with labels including Hermès, Céline, Balmain and Margiela all championing the material in its various forms. Winter's leather shorts minus tights and teamed with a sheer blouse makes for an on-trend Spring/Summer 2012 look à la 3.1 Phillip Lim.
However, if you do want to invest in something new in the material, lighter tones and minimalist cuts provide a far less wintery aesthetic -- Topshop has a variety of neon colored leather jackets for Spring/Summer 2012.
Item to revive from Spring/Summer 2011: The Pleated Skirt
The influence of ballet thriller Black Swan on the fashion world for Spring/Summer 2011 saw an array of balletic silhouettes dominating the catwalk, and fashionistas who invested in the ubiquitous pleated skirt will be glad to know it's back for another season.
This style ruled the runways at Spring/Summer 2012 shows including Chloé, Etro and Erdem, and can be easily updated for the coming months. For example, combining with a crop top (big news at Spring/Summer 2012 presentations including Versace/D&G and Alexander Wang) will offer an edgier take on the style.
Meanwhile, high street retailers including H&M have their own take on the trend, with pleated pencil skirts among the highlights for the coming months.
Items to swap: forget skinny slacks, go wide leg
Since their re-emergence in the early 2000s, slimline slacks have become a wardrobe staple and despite the palazzo pant's brief moment in the spotlight for Spring/Summer 2011, wide leg trousers have been left in the sidelines.
But this is all about to change for Spring/Summer 2012, after labels ranging from Nina Ricci to L.A.M.B. and Roksanda Illincic went for slouchy, ultra wide trousers -- many with a high waist.
The look has taken to the high street too, from retailers such as Maje to more mass-market brands including H&M picking up on the trend for Spring/Summer 2012. This look works best pared down with a simple T-shirt and ballerina shoes. Petite ladies should add wedges to avoid being swamped by all the excess material.