S/S 11 Trends

Being in the know is kind of an obsession of ours. That means we keep reading when we see spoiler alerts and never skip a behind-the-scenes TV show, and naturally this information-crazed attitude informs the way we digest fashion too. In addition to going to the shows and studying the runways, we spend months pouring over every single collection, searching for the best looks and the most important trends for you, dear readers. Now, after much careful consideration and debate, we've finally settled on a handful of standout trends and must-have pieces for spring. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the season and a taste of what's to come in our S/S 11 coverage--we hope you enjoy!

There are loads of noteworthy shoe styles available for spring--clog details are still big, as are other '70s-inspired options like wood platform heels and wildly huge wedges--but the shape we're crazy about is the flatform. Yes, you read that correctly. The flatform is exactly what it sounds like: a uniformly tall platform wedge, which gives you some height without wearing a pitched heel, per se. The perfect punctuation to many of the season's trends, these shoes turned up as strappy sandals at Chanel, menswear-inspired styles at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Prada, and complimenting Derek Lam's minimalist ensembles. While the majority of flatforms haven't hit stores yet, we did find a few standout options already in stock. Our suggestion: check out Derek Lam's Stacked Wedge Platform Pumps ($590), Marc Jacobs' 110 MM Glitter Mule Wedges ($828), and Fendi's 110 mm Platform Wedges ($1067) now, as they're all certain to sell out soon.

Images from left: Derek Lam, Prada, Chanel, 3.1 Phillip Lim

If the S/S 11 season had an inspirational soundtrack, we imagine that it would include Chic's "Le Freak" and Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way." What up, disco madness. So what does this mean for your wardrobe? Well, the runway interpretations involve vivid violet jumpsuits (Fendi), maxi skirts and dresses with thigh-high slits (Louis Vuitton), plus billowy, high-waisted pants, big-brimmed hats, and platforms galore (Marc Jacobs), to name a few key looks. Personally, we'll be seeking out spaghetti-strap leotard tops, ultra-long earrings made out of slinky metals, and stocking up on shoes that look like they could do the Hustle...

Images from left: Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs

Downtown Lady
Last season, the ladylike trend meant lots of full skirts and polished beauty looks, in other words: pretty, but prim. For spring, we're still seeing a certain amount of soignée styles, but this time around, they have a much more youthful vibe. For example, at Loewe, designer Stuart Vevers updated a classic sheath dress by making it in walnut brown leather, detailing it with tiny embroidered leather flowers, and styling it with sharp pumps and a leather headband. Proenza Schouler also offered timeless staples--a Tweed Skirt ($1570) and Terry Tweed Jacket ($1839)--albeit in an anything-but-sedate fluorescent yellow. Or consider the accessories at Valentino, like the Small Chain-Strap Flap Bag ($1845) with its understated silhouette and pyramid-studded details: it's luxe but tough. All in all, this look is very cool and is already turning up on trendsetters like Alexa Chung and Gaia Repossi, so start pulling similar pieces now!

Images from left: Valentino, Proenza Schouler, Loewe

Tiny Pleats
When you're shopping for dresses and skirts this season, we highly suggest investing in at least one pleated piece. We're crazy about the simple versions shown at Michael Kors and Chloe; the former created an almost casual Floor Length Pleated Skirt ($1195) in the perfect shade of grass green, while the latter offered a ballerina-like Mousseline Midi Length Skirt ($2836) in the most delicate shade of blush. Interested in a more '70s-inspired take on the trend? Preen showed a Printed and Pleated Georgette Skirt ($4049) that has a disco earthiness, thanks to a combination of a mosque tile-inspired print and lurex thread details. Or check out Haider Ackermann's Silk Satin Pleated Skirt ($1639), which has a voluminous shape, up-to-there slit, and knockout Yves Klein blue hue that's perfect for a modern Studio 54 queen. Whatever style you pick, just make sure you go for something with small (ideally accordion) pleats to get the most of-the-moment look!

Images from left: Stella McCartney, Chloe, The Row

Rainbow Brights
Perhaps in response to the slew of neutrals that have been so popular lately, one of the boldest trends for S/S 11 is ultra-bright colours on everything from shirts to shoes. We love the way brights were shown at Jil Sander, where designer Raf Simons offered simple ways to wear this look (a vivid tangerine Fish Tail Fluorescent Skirt ($1674) with a simple white t-shirt), as well as more intense iterations (like wide-leg bright yellow pants with a fluro pink shirt and a sprightly green jacket, shown above). While there were contrasting brights galore, we also adore simple, monochromatic ensembles as well, like the orange look from Fendi, above. If this seems like too much for your personal taste, don't fret, wear a bright shoe or bag with your favourite all-white outfit; Prada, Versus, and Sonia Rykiel all have amazing options to pick from.

Images from left: Prada, Versus, Sonia Rykiel, Sonia Rykiel, Jil Sander, Fendi, Nina Ricci

Relaxed Minimalism
One of the biggest buzzwords for spring is minimalism, but that overarching idea can mean lots of different things. While some designers went for an austere, '90s Calvin Klein interpretation of this look, we think the more approachable version shown at Celine, Michael Kors, and Stella McCartney is going to be equally, if not more, important. So what does that mean? Think: typically monochromatic ensembles with unfussy silhouettes, like the grey linen gauze turtleneck and floor-length skirt shown at Michael Kors with a tonally harmonious trench. Refreshingly understated, but still full of style, no wonder this is a trend to watch!

Images from left: Stella McCartney, Michale Kors, Celine

Skinny Belts
Looking for a fun new accent piece to freshen up your wardrobe essentials? Go for a skinny belt! A neon belt will add the perfect pop of colour to your favourite neutral or white pieces, or you can always invest in a classic tan, brown, or black option too. Regarding the latter, don't miss Michael Kors' Long Skinny Trouser Belt ($225) in Peanut, which would look amazing with an easy grey maxi dress, per the runway. Need more head-to-toe styling ideas? Check out Burberry Prorsum, Proenza Schouler, and Miu Miu for inspiration.

Images from left: Burberry Prorsum, Proenza Schouler, and Miu Miu

Wide-Leg Slouch Trousers
In addition to buying a clean pair of high-waisted flare jeans--Derek Lam's Denim Trousers ($550) are the gold standard--the other key pant shape this spring is the wide-leg slouch trouser. These silky, relaxed pants turned up at Celine, Dries Van Noten, and Proenza Schouler, and they offer an excellent way to try the season's minimalist look or you can make them a part of a slightly '70s, cocktail chic ensemble. Check out Haider Ackermann's Silk Satin Trousers ($1144) in cobalt blue or Marc Jacobs' Belted High Waist Silk Pants ($950) for inspiration now and keep your eyes peeled for the perfect pair!

Images from left: Dries Van Noten, Celine

Neon Lips
Whether it was a shocking pink pout at DVF or a tangerine smile at Marc by Marc Jacobs, when it comes to spring beauty, one thing is certain: neon lips are the next big thing. So put away your nice nudes and get ready to start wearing strong, sunny shades this season. Ready to try this look today? We suggest picking up some of our go-to hues, like Shiseido's Perfect Rouge Lipstick ($25) in Day Lily, NARS Lipstick ($24) in Schiap, and MAC Lipstick ($14.50) in Neon Orange or Something New.

Images from left: Dries Van N0ten, Jil Sander