Saturday, January 10, 2015

Happy New Year, Where Is Spring?

Once the winter holidays are over, there comes a period of hibernation enforced by the gripping cold, seasonal illnesses, short daytime hours and a general sense of vacuum during a long wait for spring. To make the longing worse, magazines and clothes stores display spring and summer fashion collections as early as New Year's Day. If you start shopping for warmer weather now, you'll get bored with what you've bought even before the right season begins and then you'll want something new and different yet again.

While I was nursing a bad cold these past few weeks I went through a plethora of fashion magazines and Internet sites as my brain did not work well enough for serious literature. There have been some interesting discoveries.

A score of young fashion designers have cropped up that have made their names through Instagram and/or word-of-mouth. If their names are hardly known to most of us, someone must be paying attention because their prices are not low. Take for example Australian designer Karla Spetic whose name betrays her Slavic descent. Her simple white shirt dress costs more than $400.

Karla Spetic
 H & M

Several versions of the oversized white shirt or tunic are available at H & M for as low as $29.95.

Similarly, the dress by Bianca Spender (above left), which can be yours for a mere $315 at half-price sale  (the original was $680), is available in various forms and patterns from H & M (above right) for a fraction of that price.  And you can get it in different colors and patterns:

An earlier H & M version of the dress

One of my most interesting discoveries this winter is Italian shoe designer Chiara Ferragni. She is barely in her 20s and already in high demand by big fashion houses.  Apparently thanks to Instagram. Wow! I guess soon they will start making millions while still in their cradle.

Chiara's shoes with whimsical designs such as an open eye one one shoe and a winking one on the other, cost about $300 a pair and you cannot quite find an H & M alternative for them yet.

But many places, including H & M and Steve Madden, have a wide variety of sneakers and loafers almost identical to Chiara's at prices 5 to 10 times lower than hers.

Another interesting site I discovered this winter is the Nordic Style Magazine:

Not that you could wear many of these creations to office in the conservative Washington, but it's worth taking a look for inspiration.

The images that really make one long for spring are haute couture designers' creations such as those by Roksanda Ilincic  (below left) and my favorite of all, Dries van Noten (below right)

Who can wait for spring?  That's why bears and other intelligent animals hibernate.

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