This is a review of the key fashion looks for the
spring summer season of 2012. This article describes in
detail the main styles
in women's dresses, footwear, bags, jewellery and other female fashion
Women's Fashion Looks - The strongest fashion trend stories
for Spring & Summer 2012
include Pretty Pastels, Peplums, 60s A-line Silhouettes, 1920's
Jazz Age Retro, Red to Tangerine Peach Tones, Perfect Pleats, Leather
& Lace, Sporty Styling,
Scarf Prints,TropicalTribal Prints, Summer Body Reveal - Midriff Hi
Tops & Shorts.
Above Left - Matthew Williamson - Burnt Orange Tangerine Narrow
Pants and Coral Jacket.
Centre - Peach Themed Tibi Catwalk - Orange Peach Shorts/Jacket.
Right - Philip Lim Catwalk - Pastels Top.
Colours - All of these moods acknowledge colour as
such an important fashion element. Choose from pastels, bright
paint box colours, whites or shots of dazzling neon colours.
Prints - to this add the extra dimension of POWERFUL
PRINTS. Select from Tribal Ethnic Desert Prints, Silk Scarf
Traditional Print Patterned Pieces, Tropical Birds/Butterflies, Botanical Jungle Prints
- Lost Atlantis
Sea/Ocean Prints and Art Deco Designs.
Right - On Trend Colour & Print Mix - Marks & Spencer Per Una
SS12 Pastel Aqua Lemons
Paisley Scarf Print 60's Retro
Tunic Shift Dress.
Colour Mixing - Look for Pretty Pastels, Dolly Mixtures, Sugar Almond, Sweet
Pea, Macaroon or Sorbet Ice Tints. Pastels come in every fabric
- silks, satins, matt cottons, brocades, textured contrast yarns.
Sixties Silhouette Influences. Nuclear Sharp A-line
Neatness. Cutaway Armholes and Halter Necklines. Perfect
Preppy Elements. Peter Pan Contrast Collars/Cuffs. Baby Doll
Above Left - New Look Striped
New Look Stockist Number: 0500 454 094 or
Centre and Right - River Island Dress From River Island SS12
WW Campaign. River Island Stockist Number: 0208 991 4904 or
Twenties Jazz Age Retro Styles - Dropped Waist Dresses.
60s meets 20s.
Peplums - formally Structured
to Frilly Swinging Peplums.
Sassy 80s Woman. Perky Peplums have become more innovative
with origami folds or bell-shapes.
Woman in White - Girly White Lace. Clinical Precision
Tailoring. Contrast Edge Bound Trimmings.
Body Beautiful - Midriff Bralets, Hi Tops, Waistline
Pastel, Denim or Floral Shorts.
Above - Pastel Coloured Jeans From New Look SS2012.
Decorated Daywear. Marvellous for those who love to bring
evening into day or carry day to evening. Shimmer and sparkle,
glisten and glow with gemstones, beading and dazzling
diamante. Glowing High-Tech materials embedded with studs or
metallic foil embellish and brighten everyday wear. Dolce&Gabbana devotees can find a similar look at
high street retailer River Island - Right.
Glossy Leather Ladies - Laser cutwork in dresses, skirts
and bags. Metallic leathers.
Many fashion designers re-introduced peplums into their
ranges, but in 2012 the peplum has a different look. It comes in
many variations so for this season call it a modern peplum since fashion designers have given it a more architectural shape.
The modern peplum has greater volume, structure and padding
to keep that architectural shape alive. It echoes much of the
volume led fashions of the past decade
Left - Tangerine Coral Red Box Pleat Peplum Jacket - Various
Items At TKMaxx SS12.
Right - LE PETITE ROBE DI CHIARA BONI Peplum Dress £324 :farfetch.com.
Left - Dorothy Perkins SS12 - Coral Pink Peplum Shift Dress £28.
Right - Marks & Spencer Pastel Pink Peplum Dress.
Phoebe Philo designer at Celine showed a big
peplum belt that was a detachable accessory. Peter Pilotto, Osman, Thakoon, House of Dior, Dries van Noten, Jason Wu, Acne
and high street store Zara all have peplum elements in their
collections. Peplums were added not just to tops and jackets, but
also to skirts and as waist highlighting to dresses. See and
read about more fashionable peplums on the
The perfect peplum flatters the boyish girl or the curvy
woman. The peplum is especially kind to a thick waist whilst
flowing over a soft abdomen. The peplum tailors in a feminine way
re-sculpting the body imperfect into the body beautiful. Make no
mistake about the peplum - it can reshape you into an hour glass
silhouette even if you haven't got a single curve and have a
straight down boyish figure.
Laser cutting is everywhere and not only will you see it in
fashion pieces but also in interior items such as lampshades or
ceiling light fittings.
Left - Catwalk Fashion SS12 - Metallic Leather Laser Cut Dress.
Centre Left - Ben de Lisi Laser Cut Dress £110/€170.
Stockist Number: 08445616161.
Centre Right - Giles Deacon - Made to Order Silver Laser Cut
Right - Marks & Spencer SS12 - Silver Laser Skirt .
Laser cut leather pieces enable intricate patterns to be made
and which emulate lace borders. Laser Cut & Embroidered Cowgirl Boots or laser cut bags
are an easy way to wear this trend but in a small amount.
Orange Peach to Tangerine Tango Tones
Hip Focus Dropped Waistlines
Twenties influence was very evident on the catwalks.
Left & Right - SS12 Philosophy Catwalk -
Pastel Peach Retro Twenties Dropped Waist Beaded Dresses.
Centre - P.A.R.O.S.H 1920s Decolletè Sequined Dress £419 - Farfetch.com.
Films that are influencing twenties retro
fashion silhouettes include W.E; the film depicting
Marilyn Monroe's life, plus TV's Downton Abbey and Birdsong.
At Max Mara lace, sequins and fabulous prints were the fabric
mainstays of the showcase.
The High Street Tackles The Drop Waisted Dress
Left - Dress By A|Wear SS12.
Right - Burnt Orange Dress - John Lewis SS12.
The use of pastel or strong bold colour, rich pattern and textural passementerie can be
found in garments and fabrics. Or add embellishment yourself by
accessorizing with brooches and
pins. Decorate necklines, hats, bags and scarves with jewellery
or trims. Try using
clips on the corners of necklines for a true retro touch.
Think of tasselled trims, feathers, rich lavish beading and
dropped waist dresses that swish and swing. Elastication was
also a feature at No. 21 where Alessandro Dell'Acqua used it the
give a new look to hemlines. Peach, toffee, caramel, icy blue
and silver were tints to tempt.
Alberta Ferretti collections always seem modern and fresh
with spring/summer 2012 no exception. Colours included - peach,
mustard brown and yellow, blue, cobalt and emerald. The looks
varied from twenties drop waist lines in for example blocks of
white with emerald, monochrome slip dresses, to jungle safari
Tribal meets art deco styling in these boldly designed
patterns. The high street does some brilliant takes on catwalk
fashion designs. Today fashion is for everyone not just
for the latest celebrity.
Left - SS12 Art Deco Twenties Black/Gold/White
Centre - High street Interpretation By River Island 2012.
Geometric Aztec Beaded Fringe Ivie Dress £100 -
Gucci's Frida Giannini also took inspiration from the early
twentieth century with Art Deco inspired glamorous party wear.
Art deco was evident in the geometric prints and the bold use of
striking statement making coloured lining flashes such as
emerald or tangerine. Strong colours continued into high waisted
silk trousers. Beaded, fringed and chevron patterned drop-waist
styles added a Charleston vibe for the modern world.
Variations and spins on Art Deco pattern formations work so well
in beaded dresses. The art deco styling of the black and gold
dress above adds a retro touch to this beaded shift. This piano
keys pattern beaded dress below and shown in nude/black has a
twenties feel with its dropped waist and swishy fringe beaded
Left - Pastel Contrast. Biba Pastel Nude Beaded Retro Flapper
Dress £225/€257. Biba Ivory 'Faith' Clutch £145/€174. All
at House of Fraser - Stockist Number: 020 7003 4000. Centre &
Right - Ben De Lisi Bead Embellished Dress
Debenhams Clothing - Stockist Number: 08445616161.
These retro sixties A-line shift tunics can be worn as short
dresses or tunics. The beaded dress features birds and the
cutwork dress a stylised version of the paisley motif so popular
scarf print fashions.
Left - Miss Selfridge SS12 - Pastel Pink Cutwork Dress - £55.
Right - Love Label SLV Pink Coffee Bow Embellished Tunic £65 -
Lace & Pleated Textures
Left - Dorothy Perkins SS12 Pastel Pink Lace Peplum Dress £45.
Right - Miss Selfridge SS12 Ivory Corded Lace & Peach Pleated
Bold Blues - Cobalt blue is so beautiful. I declare it my
favourite colour of 2012. I like it so much I'm decorating my
new kitchen with cobalt blue, azure blue and aquamarine soft
Left - Catwalk Fashions - Paul Smith Cobalt Blue Shirt.
Right - The Skinny Alternative. Phase Eight SS12 Royal Blue
Skinny 7/8th Jeans Pants £59, Hemming Stripe Top £49, Leanna
Strappy Shoe £125, Snake Tie Necklace £25. Stockist Number: 0207
471 4422 or Phase-eight.co.uk.
This season stylist everywhere are teaming
orange or coral pink tones with the colour wheel opposites the
complementary hues of aqua and turquoise colours.
Left - New Look SS12 - Dip Hem Colour Block Shirt £19.99/€24.99.
Mint Green Contrast Trim Running Shorts £17.99/€22.99.
Right - Warehouse Long Line Blue Jacket £60, Tailored Coral
Pink Shorts £35, Paisley Scarf Print Blouse £50 -
Warehouse Spring Summer 2012.
Warehouse Stockist Number: 0845 122 2251.
Left - Miss Selfridge SS12 Womenswear.
Centre - Miss Selfridge SS12 Womenswear.
In The Pink
Left - Pastel Colour Mixing on The Philosophy Catwalk SS12.
Centre - Marks & Spencer Park Avenue Pink Mini Dress £39.50, Bag
Left - Pastels At Matalan SS12 Women's - Sorbet Coloured Block
Vest £7, Multi Hoop Drop Earrings £6, Coloured Skinny Jean £16
Matalan. Stockist Tel: 0845 330 3330.
Spring Floral Blooms
Art Scene Prints - Think Rodarte/Vincent Van Gogh, Jill Sander/Pablo Picasso.
Afro Tribal/Jungle Mix
Classic Prints - The Easy Way Out - Try
Spots and Stripes Trend.
Below dresses featuring border prints that meander and soften
in motif size and colour depth.
Left & Centre - Oasis SS12 Blue Print Dress.
Right - Primark Flower Print Dress £15.
Primark UK Ladieswear Stockist Number: 0118 9606 300.
Peter Pilotto's fashion show had the most beautiful prints with
detailed sculptured shapes making each garment a piece of art.
More print was at Jonathan Saunders with paisley print shots
and frocks in pastels that spread in Ombre wave bands from
richer tones at hemlines softening to paler shaded above. Polka
dot bib dresses offered softer more classic pattern for those
scared of big prints.
Beautiful blues feature in many prints and plains.
Printed Pyjama Palazzo Pants
Printed Pants have captured the imagination of
Left - Blue Floral Trousers €50/£38 - NEXT. NEXT Stockist
0844 844 8000.
£25, Earrings £7.50, Necklace £15, Bracelet £7.50 Marks &
Centre - Gucci Printed Silk Pyjama Trousers - Farfetch.com.
Right - Blue & White Scarf Print Pyjama Pants.
Choose from patterned pants that are skinny or wide. Both suit
Paisley prints offer incredible variety in SS12. In multi
colours the paisley motif looks joyful and trades on its Indian
heritage of spectacular colour mixing.
Left - Catwalk Lookalike - Scarf Print Handkerchief Hem Dress BHS £30.
Right - Dolce&Gabbana SS12 Scarf Dress.
The horse emblem, paisley and leather hardware imagery was used on many pieces of clothing and
accessories and fitted perfectly with the history of Gucci in
its 90th year. It looks especially good in scarf print blouses.
But expect to see scarf prints across the whole spectrum of
garments including dresses and pyjama styled trousers.
The high street has their version of silk foulard styles.
Left - Blue/Gold Scarf Circle Kaleidoscope
Border Print Tunic Dress From SS12 Very.co.uk.
Right - Missguided Scarf Print Dress - Spring Summer 2012 -
The Classic Scarf Print Shirt
Left - NEXT Red Roses Scarf Border Print Black Shirt £30/€40, Ring £6/€8 - Both NEXT Clothing - Stockist
Number: 0844 844 8000.
These scarf prints make use of the borders associated with silk
scarf prints and they are incorporated into the garment design
Foulard Silk Scarf
Today Hermès and Liberty still makes silk foulard headscarves.
In the past square silk headscarves were often made in a
beautiful glossy richly patterned silk material known as silk
foulard. Today silk foulard is still used, but since the middle
of the C20th many silk scarf materials have been made
from satin polyester.
Left - Minted!
Etro Paisley Blouse £575 - Stockist Number:
Right - Skinted! Marks & Spencer Scarf Print Blouson Top.
Dependant on the grade of polyester used, it can sometimes be
almost impossible to distinguish between the fabrics at first
glance. It is only on handling and wearing the fabric that the
wearer notices differences in drape and feel, especially in
hotter climates. Since this type of pattern is as
distinguishable as the same found on headscarf foulard,
retailers in 2012 are once again describing these garments as
Left - Top £14, Skirt £10 by F&F Womenswear Spring Summer 2012 -
Right - Hobbs Unlimited Spot Print Scarf Blouse,
£129/€150. Animal Maxi Skirt, £139/€160 - Stockist Number: 0845
313 3130 - Hobbs.co.uk.
For SS12 D&G used inspirational silk foulard printed
squares to create designs and accessories that stretched the
imagination. Orange apple and fuchsia all clashed baroque-style
patterns as prints were mixed in a joyful way. You
can read and see more silk scarf prints here.
Bralets, Crop Tops & Sundress Bodices
In Milan for Spring Summer 2012 Dolce & Gabbana showed fitted
and flaring circle frocks with the inspiration clearly Italian.
Continuing the 50s theme Dolce and Gabbana mixed high waist circle
skirts with pin up girl corset bra crop top sun and swimwear.
Yes - the crop top is back, but only for those with superb abs. If
you have any flab forget this look unless you are prepared to
spend hours in the gym or doing Pilates. Please don't show that
muffin top as this look sits above high waisted trousers. It's
not low slung, or on the hip, but firmly placed well above the
Left - Miss Selfridge SS12 - Peach Bra Top & Pastel Stripe Skirt.
Right - River Island Black Gold Stud Embellished Bastille Bra Top TBC, Naomi Skirt £85.
For 2012 D&G obliged with bling accessories of charms and pile 'em
high gold chains which the high street has emulated so well.
Left - Boohoo SS12 Penny Crop Bra Top £20.
Stockist Number: 0161 237 7700 - Boohoo.com.
If you feel you want to wear this fashion then consider
how you can make it more elegant with a less is more attitude.
if you are not on the beach then wear it well.
Wear a simple jacket or semi sheer blouse to soften all that
exposure in an era of more modest looks. Note how high waisted
these peg harem trousers below are when teamed with a bra band.
Left - Anthony Vaccarello White Jacket £125, Bust Band £9, Pants
£89 - La Redoute Anthony Vaccarello - Stockist Number: 0844 842
Right - Monsoon Semi Sheer Pippa Shirt, Jafar Trousers, Lydford Sandals.
The tropical border on the skirt and bra above are another take
on the hothouse jungle prints so abundantly used in dresses,
skirts, blouse and pants for 2012.
Bold dynamic unusual prints have earthy ethnic tribal motif
elements which are combined with a melange of pseudo animal
prints. These tribal prints are straight from the designer's
vivid imagination and the facility of a psychedelic approach to
the possibilities within digital printing.
At Max Mara Spring Summer 2012 - tobacco, aquamarine, beige
and gold, were the colours
Left - F&F at Tesco Top £12, Skirt £16 - F&F Womenswear Spring
Summer 2012. Stockist Number: 0800 505555.
Right - F&F Womenswear Spring Summer 2012, Top £12, Bag £8,
Shoes £22 and Sunglasses £5 by F&F. Belted skirt £18 by F&F
Limited Edition. Stockist Tesco.com/clothing.
Yellow ochre, tan and black highlight the earth tribal ikat
relationship. This year designers have played with stripes,
geometric zig zag or the suggestion of animal striations to
create modern prints that appear simple, yet are strikingly
effective. See more tribal
fashion styles on the SS12 tribal webpage
Maxi Dresses have continued to attract fans as they are well
suited to all day dressing for holidays. The loose flowing lines
and gorgeous prints means that a wide range of body figure types
feel happy and comfortable in a maxi dress.
Tropical Hothouse Flower Print Maxi Dresses
The maxi dress is especially suited to exotic prints that flow
up the length of the skirt dress. Border prints and tiers
of frill also utilise fabric cutting to show off the printed
fabric to maximum effect.
Centre - Wallis SS12 - Tropical Red Flower Animal Print Maxi
Right - Monsoon Gazella Print Maxi Dress £225/€350 Stockist
As it is intended for daywear a true maxi dress unlike an
evening dress should hover at the ankle and allow the wearer to
show off pretty sandals or shoes. Maxis are often yoked, empire
line or halter necklines and as beachwear offer easy comfort for
those who wish to go braless. Yummy mummies also find a maxi
dress an attractive alternative to other maternity wear!
Flowing maxi dresses are often made in less expensive materials
as they can be used as beach cover up wear. Crinkle cotton or
viscose fabric offer value for money, are cool to wear and flow
well. Dresses with halter necklines allow the wearer to tan and
stay cool. The women's maxi dresses above show how effective
striped arrangements can look especially up to date when the
fabric has a tribal fashion look.
Centre - Miss Selfridge Tribal Print Fashion Pieces SS12.
Right - Monsoon Ikat Print Trouser £45/€70 - Stockist Number:
Abstract tribal animal inspired prints in dark and brooding
earthy tones are also used for jeggings, treggings and flowing
Floral prints and border prints add a dimension that make
some garments appear to be a complete tropical jungle or garden
These tropical print dresses are all very different, but each
uses the hothouse print them to make a style very different from
the piece next to it. Orange, desert ochre and contrast blue are
some of the typical colours available in tribal pieces.
Left - River Island SS12 Tropical Flower Fifties Tie Halter
Centre - Boohoo Jungle Tribal Print Yellows Sundress. TBC.
Right - Sunset Pencil Dress, White, £59.99 Fever Designs Spring
Summer 2012 - Fever Stockist Number: 020 7636 6326.
Left - Border Print Dress TBC - John Lewis
Right - Phase Eight SS12 - 50's Full Skirt Floral Print Prom
Luxe sportswear takes inspiration from the
track or field. This look embraces techno fabrics. Look for
silky track pants, tops with sheer mesh panels, racer backs, go
faster stripes that define garment shapes on shoulders and leg
At Max Mara Spring Summer 2012 Neoprene shell tops, pencil skirts, and tube dresses gave a slim line
silhouette with an added sporty touch marked by elasticated
wrists and collars. All ideal in an Olympic year. MaxMara luxury
label's collection uses a clean uncluttered sleek silhouette
that uses high performance fabrics in desert sand colours as
well as leather and organza.
Left - SS12 M&S Trackstar Limited Coral & Peach Colour Blocking
Parka £65, Lavender Lilac Top £25, Trousers £22.50, Bag £89 -
All Marks & Spencer Ladies Fashion.
Centre - New Look SS12 - Yellow Neon Sheer Shell Shirt
£19.99/€24.99 Under Orange Neon Bandeau £3.99/€4.99, Nude With
Neon Go Faster Stripe Tracksuit Pants £22.99/€29.99 -
Right - Green Oversized Green Sports Team Number Jersey T-shirt
£14.99/€17.99, Yellow Pleat Midi Skirt £19.99/€24.99 -
For practical sporty cover up consider layering of
cycling shorts with tunic dresses. for outer cover choose
lightweight zipped hi tech parka/anoraks from long to short
If you like more girly looks and are currently fixated on
dresses then try this River Island body con dress which makes
use of this effect with a contrast mesh insert.
See more sporty styles here.
Left & Centre - River Island SS12 -
Hartley Neon Lemon Aertex Dress, £40 - River Island SS12 WW
Clothing Stockist Number: 0208 991 4904 or Riverisland.com.
Spring has brought new life to separates with statement
knitwear. Buy one outstanding knit piece and wear it with
similar toned, but contrasting texture pieces on the bottom
half. Choose from matte or lustrous yarns, silk and cashmere
mixes or cotton with rayon and linen for a cooler top.
Right - Miss Selfridge SS12 Womenswear Separates.
Right - M&S Crochet Vest. Tribal Natural Earth Inspired Knit
Crochet Vest Top With Tribal Look Costume Jewellery.
Knitwear is set to make strong fashion statement for Autumn 2012
so get stocking up on all season quirky knitwear now.
Women's Footwear Styles for Summer 2012
Strappy Ankle Boots
Deep Wedge Shoes
Heeled Mules - Clickety Clack Marilyn Monroe Inspiration.
Left - Schuh Cherry Pie Check Fruit Print Ankle Strap Peep Toe
Shoe £45/€60 Schuh Spring Summer 2012 Collection - Stockist
Right - Faith Fried - Spot Shoe £68/€92 Faith At Debenhams
Footwear Stockist Number: 08445616161.
Handbags for Summer 2012
Diane von Furstenberg has said 'your handbag is your home during the day'
and I really do agree with her - it is so important to be happy
with your handbag.
Fashion History Note - Dolce & Gabbana 2012
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's announced that After the
2012 show D&G, their diffusion range, will become part of
Dolce&Gabbana. Future shows will merge the two brands.
Copyright of images courtesy of Prshots.com,
Apricot, A|Wear, BHS, Boohoo, Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams, Fever,
farfetch.com, fashionworld.co.uk, F&F at Tesco, George At Asda,
Hobbs, House of Fraser, Isme, John Lewis, La Redoute, Marks &
Spencer, Matalan, Mint Velvet, Miss Selfridge, M&Co,
missguided.co.uk, Monsoon, New Look, NEXT, Oasis, Phase Eight,
Primark, River Island, schuh.co.uk. Swarovski, TKMaxx,
very.co.uk, Viyella, Wallis, Warehouse.
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