The summer trends this season are a lesson in restraint. As fuss-free and functional become the fashion watchwords, it's clear that minimalism has arrived . “The hippie chic look is jaded for this season, as the trend now is slick and clean," says designer Namrata Joshipura. While the past few seasons have been a style quagmire — with everything from kaftans to dowdy midi skirts making the cut — most catwalk shows for spring-summer 2012 channelled precision tailoring. Jonathan Saunders showed slim trousers, while Valentino brought back romance with lace. So, if you are looking to restock your wardrobe, we asked experts to work out five key looks to help you breeze through this summer.
That 80's vibe
The look: The 80's vibe is evident, albeit in a grown-up manner. "It's time for pop-coloured skinnies and there are a spectrum of sherbet shades to choose from. Bubblegum pinks, canary yellows, Bordeaux blues skinnies paired with striped tees," says designer Rina Dhaka. The multicolour mayhem for spring was seen on global runaways too with Theysken's Theory showing green cellophane pants and Armani showcasing acid brights on spring runways.
Style it right: "Pair neons with patterns like stripes," says designer Gaurav Gupta
Ace it with lace
The look: Say buh-bye to all elements of coquettish zeal (read bling and frou-frou) as lace takes a centre stage. "Lace is being used on everything from saris to shorts. And is a sure-fire shortcut to glamour this season," says Gupta. At the People's Choice Awards held in Los Angeles earlier this year, lace emerged as the biggest trend with stars like Ashley Greene and Jennifer Lawrence wearing it."
Style it right: Celebrity stylist Manjaree Jindal says, "A top-to-toe lace look can be balanced with pearl earrings and minimal make-up."
Acid wash effect
The look: What's a summer without the quintessential mini? High-street stores this season are stocking denim minis in two-toned acid wash patterns. The de rigueur blue has been ditched for strawberry pinks contrasted with whites. "The look is about taking a leaf out of rockstar dressing but taking off the punk. So, there are no metal accessories or big hair. Pair the mini with a functional tee and you are good to go," says Joshipura.
Style it right: "Wear your minis with flats in the day and with kitten heels for an evening look," says Dhaka.
The look: While slouchy harem pants had become the mark of relaxed fashion over the past few seasons, the focus is now back on the waist. Billowy pants that made your proportions look like that of a parachute are out. Trousers that taper, not just at the ankles but also on the waist, are the to-go-for trend. "The fit is streamlined and styles like dhoti drape and frontal pleats have been retained," says Gupta.
Style it right: The shape should be fitted for a polished look. And the best part — anti-harem pants make your rear look as flat as pancake.
Polka cowl dress
The look: "Easy-fit cowl dresses with drapes are an instant summer hit. Like the pants, the focus here too remains on the waist. So, tie a high obi belt for a sharp look," says Gupta. "Cowl dresses in tiny polka dots are doing very well this summer. says Dhaka. Polka dots in miniature sizes remains a classic — like the herringbone, it always works. Polka dots on dresses were also seen at Gareth Pugh and Christian Dior spring-summer 2012 runways.
Style it right: "Avoid accessories and let the print do the talking," says Dhaka.