Spring 2016 Fashion Trends: Playful Escapism


What do Cinderella and Kate Middleton both have in common? Distinctive style. For Cinderella, the right dress and the perfect pair of shoes proved to be life changing. Today, little girls everywhere own reproductions of the shimmering, blue ball gown. Kate Middleton, a former commoner, has seemingly achieved fashion icon status with ease since she married into the Royal Family. The clothing Kate wears often causes such a sensation that it sells out mere moments after she’s spotted wearing it. Do women want to own the same dress simply because they like the style, or because they believe that by wearing the same thing they too will somehow be transformed?

This season’s trends seem to be a direct reaction to these exact questions. Coined ‘playful escapism,’ there are nods to Paris and the Far and Middle East, eclectic print mashups, goddesses, sportswear, sensual sheers, sexy swim looks, watercolor florals, dazzling embellishments, something for the downtown cool girl, and a laundry list of other things.

“Colors this season transport us to a happier, sunnier place where we feel free to express a wittier version of our real selves,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.


Unlike some seasons when you get the feeling designers sipped from the same pool of inspiration, Spring 2016 is swimming in variety. This year holds no particular decade as inspiration on its own, but instead mixes some very modern attractions. That means everything you have from last year can be mixed and matched to suit the 2016 expectations with relative ease, allowing you to create your own personalized style and playfully ‘escape’ into whichever princess fairytale you’d like to indulge.


Que Lindo

This season, fashion is drawing inspiration for a dramatic and classic Spanish style of dance known as flamenco. If you’ve ever seen this style of dance preformed, then you’ve witnessed the passion and emotion in which this distinctive art form is rooted. Along with all of its drama and flair comes some spectacular dresses, skirts and tops with large oversized ruffles, bright, bold colors and fun feminine patterns. Flamenco inspired clothing is meant to enhance all of the curves of the female form while still giving you a romantic, powerful edge.


Key Style Details

  • Flamenco Skirts
  • Ruffles
  • Off Shoulder Silhouettes
  • Neck Ties

Style Tip

For a subtle, yet fashion forward, way to rock the Latin trend, opt for a ruffled shoulder-baring top. This silhouette is very popular within the Spanish culture and the ruffle will be a subtle, but obvious, nod to the flamenco style of dance.

Feeling like a drama queen? Take ‘the bull by the horns’ and choose a flamenco inspired skirt. This type of skirt is best balanced with a simple top – a perfect way to revive last spring’s simple crop top.


Vintage Redux

While 2015 focused heavily on the ‘70s revival, introducing some huge new styles, Spring 2016 instigates an experimental, subdued twist on the era. Proven by color palette and textiles, this season’s vintage aficionado is less disco and more earthy-embracing suede at the core of her design aesthetic; mostly staying true to its sandy, neutral hues. However, embracing vivid colors in a modern take on tie-dye.


Key Style Details

  • Flared Jeans
  • Suede
  • Fringe
  • Mongolian FurModern Tie-Dye
  • Oversized Plaid
  • Mixed Prints
  • Neck Ties

Style Tip

If you haven’t already, now is the time to jump on the 70’s inspired disco train! 70’s inspired fashion is already appearing in pre-Fall 2016 trend forecasts, so you are sure to get some longevity out of this style. If you choose to only invest in one trend this season, this is the one to go with.


New Romantics

Out with the sugar and spice, and in with the frills and ruffles – that’s what Spring 2016 romantic girls are made of! This season’s romantic devotee epitomizes feminine softness; relying heavily on the use of soft, sheer fabrics and ruffles to express her point of view. Living in the 21st century, take a look back on the Victorian and Elizabethan periods and fall in love all over again. Wardrobes filled with distinctive Old English aspects; smothered in floral prints, full skirts, puffed sleeves, interesting high necks and gorgeous lace allows for the Victorian romance to bloom plunging necklines forgotten.


Key Style Details

  • High Neck Styles
  • Bare Shoulder/Off the Shoulder Silhouettes
  • Ruffles
  • Micro-pleats
  • Neck Ties
  • Lace
  • Chiffon

Style Tip

While this trend may be enticing, it can easily overwhelm. Try balancing a romantic blouse with a fitted, tailored pant or jacket. Remember, though shown on the runway, a head to toe romantic look may seem better suited for an English castle than a modern office.


Bomb Squad

Giving a sporty edge to any look, the bomber jacket is the favored topper for the modern enthusiast. Versatile enough for casual days, bomber jackets keep looks cool and comfortable. While styles are minimalistic in design, they embrace pops of color, balanced with a crisp white or cool lilac grey. This trend’s minimalistic designs are complimented by mesh, leather and the deconstructed appeal of a modernized white oxford shirt, creating an intriguing juxtaposition.


Key Style Details

  • Contemporary Bomber Jacket
  • Deconstructed White Oxford Shirt
  • Mesh/Netting
  • Leather

Style Tip

The bomber jacket has been making quite the statement in recent collections and street style imagery alike, and is selling out on retail sites left and right. Channel this trend with the variety of new colors and materials available to keep things more contemporary. Whether through lace, knits or embroidered, these jackets up the “cool” factor almost immediately.

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