Posts tagged “Spring 2012

Femme Friday: Scarf Prints

Today’s Femme Friday focuses on one of the most colorful and exotic trends this season: scarf prints. Bright and bold, scarf prints were seen on Spring 2012 runways in dresses, blouses, blazers, and even shoes. No other design house more elegantly captured these prints than D&G.

Retailers worldwide were quick to offer easy options to incorporate scarf prints into any woman’s spring/summer wardrobe. Pairing a printed blouse or skirt with simple neutrals like white highlights this trend without being overwhelming. Accessories like bags or actual scarves are also a great way to dip your toe into the scarf print pool.

Despite today’s hot weather, look cool and stay stylish and have a very Femme Friday.

Row 1: John Zack dress via ASOS $53; Zara blouse $60 Row 2: Zara blazer $129; Lipsy dress via ASOS $96 Row 3: Gypsy 05 Belted Venus maxi via Piperlime $253; Zara shorts $80


Femme Friday: The Power of Peplum

❘ Note from The Modern Minion: Today’s post comes straight from the girl next door; the next door being Canada and the girl being friend and fashion fan Amber Coghill. Amber lives and works in the Toronto area and has an incredible talent for brand development and management. She’s been an invaluable friend and business asset and stands as one of the most beautiful and stylish women I know. I’m both honored and excited to have her as a contributor to The Modern Minion. ❘

When we talk about trends this season, peplum is arguable one of the hottest. It’s almost impossible to watch a read carpet event this season without seeing this über feminine throwback trend born in the 80’s. Initially I had my doubts that the style would be flattering on a wide range of body shapes, but peplums create an instant hour glass by accentuating the waist and masking any problem areas in the midsection.

The incredible slimming silhouette of this fashion phenomenon can be had dresses, skirts, jackets, and blouses in styles versatile enough for work or play, weekday to weekend.

Ladies, this spring show off your curves or create new ones by tapping into the power of peplum. Cheers to a very happy and feminine Femme Friday!


Top left: Blouse via Mango $45 CAD; Talkshow Sweetheart Dress via Modcloth $53 Bottom left: Dress via Zara $100; Pencil skirt via Zara $80

Now & Then: Lanvin

The evolution of fashion is a given. Lapels get slimmer then wider again while pants are skin tight one season and almost JNCO-esque the next. But that constant tide of change is what drives re-invention and gives the industry an excitement like no other.

Headed by Creative Director Alber Elbaz, Lanvin has become one of my favorite fashion houses. It’s quintessentially French collections combine the brand’s inherent romanticism and whimsy with the edginess that permeates the streets of Paris. The men’s label, designed by Lucas Ossendrijver, showed it’s first collection for the Spring 2007 season.

I thought it might be interesting to compare Lanvin’s first spring line with its most recent, pulling my favorite looks from each and seeing how the brand has changed (and stayed the same). Think of it as a five year report card. Spoiler: it’s acing everything.

Now (left): Blues prevail while black lace up boots give a regimented feel. Bags, from duffels to portfolios, take center stage. Then (right): Trying to align itself with the women’s brand, the line is soft and relaxed. Even with almost every model wearing a tie, the collection feels casual.

Now: One of the edgiest looks of the season, the asymmetrical jacket is a favorite of mine. Then: Somehow this jumpsuit looks completely work appropriate.

Now: This jacket is killer, although I’d probably opt for pants myself. Then: The belt is the perfect update to the military jacket.

Now: The boots add a clever Parisian twist. Then: A silvery palette that worked then, still works now.

Now & Then: Both collections highlight pieces in the forget-me-not blue synonymous with Lanvin.

Now & Then: Prep isn’t the first word I’d use to describe most French runway looks, but here it’s the most appropriate.

Now: Both the collar and lapels are wide. Then: Ossendrijver opts for neither.

Now: Like so many other designers this spring season, Lanvin showed some incredible bags. Then: The line seems a bit more reserved, almost timid.

Now & Then: Lanvin has become much more playful in the last five years, stepping out and taking risks with silhouettes and materials. Where the first spring collection was well conceived and well made, it’s missing an element of surprise. It will come as no surprise, however, if the brand continues to deliver chic and progressive collections for another five years.

Joe Fresh, eh?

In honor of Toronto Fashion Week wrapping up last Friday and at the behest of a loyal Canadian follower, I decided to turn my sights north and review the Spring 2012 collection from Joe Fresh. With the brand opening its US flagship store on Fifth Avenue this month, the Canadian retailer is taking America by storm. Joe’s line, designed by Joe Mimran, offers incredibly chic and trendy clothing at affordable prices. Think H&M but better. The Spring 2012 collection is no exception.

This season’s line is almost a perfect checklist of every major trend. It’s got bright colors, bold prints, and white solids as far as the eye can see. I’m loving the blazers paired with shorts, a combination we saw time and time again on spring runways. Orange, tangerine tango to be exact, took center stage, appearing prominently in jackets and pants and accenting the soles of classic oxfords.

As Joe Fresh plans widespread expansion into the American market, expect to hear much more about the Canadian retailer.

This jacket is the color for spring and the perfect open to the collection.

The trench is great. The pants are amazing.

The toggle jacket is a flawless convergence of two trends: nautical and color.

Neutrals, clean and simple, can be incredibly chic, too.

These white pants are loose fitting and accented by a belt that perfectly pops.

There’s no endorsement I can offer for nautical that this look can’t argue better.

Green was another big color story of the season.

This yellow is anything but mellow.

This is by far my favorite printed blazer from the collection. I hope it comes with the matching loafers.

If you learn nothing else from Joe Fresh, at least swap out your suit pants for a great pair of shorts.

A ticket to the next Joe Fresh runway show (or any of Toronto Fashion Week) would be amazing. Hint.

Antonio Azzuolo

The Spring 2012 collection from Antonio Azzuolo delivers classic pieces impeccably tailored for the sun loving gentleman. Long shorts, hemmed and not, anchor trim blazers and bright anoraks. Double breasted jackets are slim, while pants are light and loose.

Azzuolo sells us summer in a clean and sophisticated package. Tan sold separately.

Nothing says summer like white pants, especially in a loose fit with a nice drape.

The short vest under the longer jacket is the perfect play on proportions. The unfinished hem of the shorts is a clever foil to this classic look. Love the tortoise shell sunglasses? Here’s a similar pair from Warby Parker.

In case you’ve been someplace without printed media, television, or the Internet, double breasted jackets are back. The new DB has been slimmed and trimmed to give every man a great shape. H&M welcomes you to the band wagon for just $60.

For the timid gents among us, a great way to diffuse a bold color is pairing it with black.

The nautical stripe is the summer pattern. The Saint James tee from J.Crew exemplifies this trend.

Anoraks are the jackets of the season. They’re lightweight, easy to throw on, and handy for those pesky pop up showers.

A hooded nylon zip up, like one from Old Navy, is a great alternative to an anorak. Just think color. Bright color.

While I don’t wear shorts myself, I can appreciate the perfect pair. Check out this offering from Express.

“Extra, extra! Twenty years after Newsies’ release, Azzuolo offers a fashionable update!”

Wear this to those half dozen summer weddings you’re getting dragged to this year. I guarantee you wont’t regret it.

A General Idea

When I first saw the Fall 2011 collection from General Idea last February, I was admittedly not familiar with the brand. The Korean menswear label immediately grabbed me with its ingenius mix of high fashion and practicality. The line was a refreshing blend of traditional plaids and khakis with clever outerwear and re-interpreted camo prints. And while the collection was clearly design oriented, everything seemed surprisingly wearable.

Fast forward to the Spring 2012 show and the same can still be said. Bright colors are paired with bold stripes and muted neutrals. The use of color is often brazen but never overwhelming. The jackets are ridiculous, in a good way, eliciting thoughts of lounging on a sail boat off some beautiful coastline. But make no mistake, the ship has definitely not sailed on General Idea.

This color blocked jacket sets the tone for the entire collection.

I love the stripes and the mix of blues is simple but really smart.

I fully endorse a good tie tuck, especially when said tie is bright orange.

While the jacket and pink collar are exceptional, the neon belt is a perfect pop of color.

This is not your typical nautical. It’s better. I can’t get over those jeans and belt (as I Google “neon cord”).

Before I saw this collection, I wasn’t an orange person. Mea culpa.

These colors pair perfectly together; one doesn’t overpower the other.

Keep an eye on General Idea as it continues to do everything right.

Goodbye, My Lover

When it was confirmed last year that the D&G line would be closed down and merged into its parent Dolce & Gabbana, I was devastated. D&G had been one of the primary brands attracting me to menswear. With its vibrant, youthful feel and brazen attitude, the line was a distinct departure from the less playful, often slightly austere collections from Dolce & Gabbana. And while Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce assured the fashion world that the decision was to add “even more strength and energy to [their] collections,” I saw no hint of D&G anywhere in the Fall 2012 show this past January, the first collection since the brand’s dissolution. I found myself missing the cheekiness of D&G that had defined the brand for years.

To pay homage to D&G’s Spring 2012 collection, its finale, I’ve assembled my favorite looks from the runway. The show was rich with vibrant Moroccan prints and light, heavily distressed denim. It is a quintessential summer collection and a fitting farewell to an incredibly influential brand.

I couldn’t get over the the denim waistbands mixed with the silk prints. It’s absolute genius.

Those denim waistbands are insanely clever, a trait inherent in all of D&G’s collections.

Guys, if you don’t have a faded denim shirt, get one immediately. For the next 6 months, it will never look wrong.

And while you’re at it, grab a pair of loose fitting ripped denim in a medium blue. It’s hot outside, so it’s okay to betray your skinny jeans for awhile.

When denim shorts initially resurfaced on runways several seasons back, they were short, tight, and generally terrible. A loose fitting pair is a much better option and works on almost every guy.

Denim on denim? Cool on cool.

Gentleman, cargo shorts can be stylish! An added plus is that they can be purchased everywhere and on any budget.

Find, steal, or purchase a denim jacket this year. Medium is good. Lighter is better.

So long, D&G. I’ll catch you on the fashion flip side.