A Snapshot of Late Summer Fashion in 2012

Courtney Morgan Rodriguez

Embrace Color for Summer

New York City’s Spring 2012 Fashion Week in September set the ruling trends for summer fashion in 2012, and lookbooks and store windows have echoed their calls. Full disclosure here: I sometimes lack the chutzpah to wear and embrace full colour in fashion. I blame it on my wintery Canadian ways, and being enveloped by darkness for more winter months than summer ones. We can be a landscape of neutrals, and in fashion this has always been a safe haven. But with the colours and trends of the season, I dared myself to try them on for size and, as a result, brightened up my wardrobe considerably. Young women can and should inject some fresh color into their wardrobe, August or not.

A Citrus Twist

Along with pops of 80’s-inspired neon colours on the runway, one shade put them to shame: tangerine. Nanette Lepore stitched up a skirt, Charlotte Ronson rolled out a punchy red-orange sundress, even newest It Brit Jenny Packham joined in on the fun with this one-shoulder gown capped off with a thigh-high slit that might even make Angelina Jolie blush (I know – who am I kidding?).

Summer Fashion 2012 - Citrus Colours

I’ve sported some neon, especially in yellow – even my ski attire has switched from tamer neutrals to loud, neon yellow Burton ski pants to contrast my black jacket (you know, just to stand out a little).

Last summer, I happily dabbled in coloured jeans and electric blue, particularly a silk Wilfred number for a Vancouver wedding. But orange was a consistent no-go. Until now, that is. I can’t help but be won over by this. It’s delicious, it adds punch, and the colour is vibrant and eye catching. So I picked up a loose knit T. Babaton sweater with three-quarter inch sleeves, wore it to work, and received compliments galore. The colour and lightness of the material means I can convert it from work to cottage to a throw-on item when I visit Italy in July and need to cover up the shoulders to get into museums and cathedrals. Slam dunk.

Nothing Screams Feminine Like Florals

And nothing screams summer fashion like sunshine, so is it any wonder where trendsetters got their inspiration from?

This Proenza Schouler design felt like it had been imprinted onto my brain. Any time I searched for a summer dress with the floral feel to it, this was always in the back of my head. A couple of months ago I was shopping for dresses that would be suitcase-friendly and offset the summer Italian heat, which is no small feat. I found this mesh trim floral dress by Staring at Stars. The fit is so flattering, the material is light, and I love the mesh.

Summer Fashion 2012 - Florals

In keeping with the floral trend, I found this dress by Free People and couldn’t resist. The fit is perfect. Now, I did get it in black, but at the time I was ordering it the dress was only available in black, white, or a soft peach. Dare or not, I don’t do pinks.

Summer Fashion 2012 - Floral Dress

Aside from florals, designers also hit an array of yellow shades from the colour wheel. Elle Canada reports that the runways featured saffron at Sonia Rykiel, butter at Marc Jacobs, Burberry Prorsum dabbling with mustard tones and sunflower at Louis Vuitton.

Summer Fashion 2012 - Yellow Floral Dresses

Lanvin S/S 2012

This was an easy sell for me and last month I picked up Club Monaco’s Veruca Embellished vest after it caught my eye during my gym-to-home transition. It was an admittedly impulsive moment but I regret nothing.

Summer Fashion 2012 - Club Monaco Veruca Vest

My challenge to all young women is to escape their comfort zone this summer and embrace color.