Spring Fashion: The Designer's Guide

Ah, Spring fashion! You can feel it in the cooler cuts, the shorter styles and the crisp colour. We get the low down on this year's Spring fashion trends and tips from two of Australia's leading designers. 

Once winter has drawn it’s final icy gasp, a wonderful fashion moment is heralded in, making spring the most celebrated season of Australian fashion.

Here we speak to two stars of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2014, a viscerally vibrant series of events offering established and emerging local designers the chance to present new season looks – and the adoring public the change to be front row!

Prints and Tints:

This spring, unique prints take centre stage with femininity revealing itself within androgynous, asymmetric patterns. For Lui Hon, this season is all about showcasing unique shapes with her exciting new “Tetris print” material. “Our garments contain a high-fashion minimalistic monochrome motif that stands out in any season,” she says. 

This monochromatic approach is a popular thread within the fabric of fashions sunnier moment. Prints and fabrics pulse with graphic geometry, from slick pastel pink skirts to digitally petal-heavy shorts.

For designer Alice McCall, spring is all about diluted pastel tones that are “more dusty and muted – less candy” than previous seasons. But she agrees with Lui that the future is now when it comes to print and tint. “Fabrications are bonded and have modern tech appeal, with silhouettes quite sculptural,” she says. Alice’s top textures this season include chiffon, Lurex, jacquard, satine, twill and bonded crepes. “Whilst the prints are loud, they’re so strong you’ll keep them forever!” she assures. 

Shaping and Draping: 

“There’s still a nod to a longer hem-line,” notes Alice who sees spring as a festival of ‘park time rather than beach time. “It’s galleries, outdoor lunches, wearing relaxed tailoring and flowy dresses,” she muses of her design ethos, meaning that draping, long dresses are still king, but the prints are more killer than cute.

Her range encapsulates “relaxed, easy tailoring,” she notes, with the soft chalky pastel tints giving separates the girly lilt she has always loved. “It’s a good balance of light-weight and structure,” she surmises, saying that her range “really came back to what I would want to wear. The pieces I felt I was missing in my wardrobe.” And the muse for such a fashion moment? “A cool girl like Chloe Sevigny mixed with a bohemian 90’s Vanessa Paradis,” Alice explains.

Lui’s hero style is the LBD, but her shape is razor sharp and colour, dense. A great fan of spring designing due to the need for less layering, she has really made a modern statement with the silhouette of her Little Black Dress; all bold shoulders, peek-a-boo décolletage, feature pockets and asymmetric hemline. “Individual pieces can stand out as stunning, iconic outfits,” she says, highlighting that the Lui Hon LBD “perfectly matches this description.”

Winter Winners:

Winter may be gone, but some of its styles may linger in your wardrobe. Both designers give the thumbs up to this. “Fashion should be an individual pursuit and not dictated by whether something is currently a “fad” or not,” notes Lui.

For Alice, a distressed, much-loved, tried and true black leather jacket is the perennial partner for her designs – even if it was a winter purchase – but she cautions that statement pieces like this from last season should work as a quotation mark, not the entire sentence.  For example, “a nod to 80’s is fine, but when it is an exact replica, it has shorter shelf life,” she explains, adding that this spring its best to avoid “pieces that take retro too literally.”

Tips for Spring Dressing:

  • Invest in a good quality handbag to give a strong on-trend tilt to any outfit.
  • “A black leather biker jacket will always make an outfit cool and give it that Kate Moss edge,” notes Alice. Not distressed enough? Nothing rolling it up and running over it with your pushy a few times can’t fix! Better yet, leave it out in the sun a day or two; shake it off, and voila! A worn leather jacket that would make Ms Moss proud!
  • The accessories of the season are a fun evening clutch with colour and a platform loafer to pair back with any outfit.
  • Remember, it doesn’t have to be tight and short to be sexy. “Length and transparency can be more appealing,” assures Alice.
  • Spring’s too short to play it safe, says Lui. “Spring really ushers in the ‘New Year’ in fashion, so it’s always refreshing to bring in a new look and watch others do the same.”

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