Style Guide 2012 - Spring/Summer fashion to focus on fresh, cool colours

We take a look at the forthcoming fashion trends for 2012

Style Guide 2012 - Spring/Summer fashion to focus on fresh, cool colours

Picture: Alberto Seveso /

Blame the long, grey winter. Blame the soaring unemployment levels. Blame it on the margaritas and piña coladas that fashion designers had apparently been knocking back before sketching out this season’s collections. But as spring approaches, gingerly, it brings with it a giddy, feminine, light-hearted sense of … fun. A word not often associated with the po-faced worlds of ‘LFW’ and ‘NYFW’ or the unveiling of the new S/S collections, but still, there it is. Girly shades of lavender, lemon and powder blue swirl into view, like some blurred out still from The Virgin Suicides, and clashing blocks of bold cyan and magenta vie for attention, like a particularly extrovert Mexican rug.

The Aztec patterns and geometric angles of last year are still around too, but they’re topped up with botanical prints, tropical florals, and in some cases, the odd flamingo or cactus motif. For those who had their fill of Rave Nation brights during the 90s, and are ready for something more toned down, the inky hues and pale washes of this season’s pastel takeover might be a little more soothing to the eye.

It’s not just the colour palette that’s calmed down either – the fabrics (organza, lace, oversized broderie anglaise and silk seem to be everywhere right now) keep it floaty and featherlight, with a nod to the carefree summers spent sipping iced teas on Jay Gatsby’s garden lawn. (Dropped waists and flapper tassle details are showing up just in time for this year’s cinema version of The Great Gatsby, starring Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan.)

American Apparel, Odyssey Boutique and Indie Chic have all gone big on lace – bodysuits, loose vests or clinging dresses in smooth shades of peach and cream, while second-hand boutiques like Herman Brown, Watermelon and Circa Vintage have brought their sherbetty-coloured items to the fore. Like a bowl of Neopolitan ice cream, the fresh colours and easy-breezy styles seem to be ready and waiting for summer.

While the Scottish weather takes its time catching up, there’s a moment to trawl the net for supplies. As much as we love the independent shops on Scotland’s doorstep – Goodstead’s considered pick of Scandinavian casualwear; Welcome Home’s sophisticated round-up of accessories by local creatives; Those Were The Days’ collection of statement Bakelite jewellery from the 80s – sometimes shopper’s wanderlust takes over, and we need to look elsewhere for fashion inspiration. As our chats with local designers and stock-buyers prove, most people top their wardrobes up with a mix of high street finds, internet treasure and thrift store gold (sometimes brought back from trips abroad). Blending eBay bargains with US mail-order deliveries or one-offs from an Etsy boutique helps the pay cheque go further, and keeps things interesting. Just like buying sweets, it’s often clever to pick and mix.

Elsewhere on the web

Circa Vintage

37 Ruthven Lane, Glasgow, G12 9BG

Packed-out vintage store with a broad selection. Really good for Art Deco jewellery, and at the other end of the spectrum, fabulously tacky 1980s elasticated belts. Prices range from £5-£75

Herman Brown

151 West Port, Edinburgh, EH3 9DP

Seriously gorgeous selection of top-end vintage accessories and shoes hang alongside a carefully selected, colour-coded range of 1950s-1980s fashions. The very best place to lay hands on retro sunglasses, diamante hat pins and patent stilettos.

Those Were The Days Vintage Boutique

26 St Stephen Street, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 5AL


603 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 8HX

As a former employee of Armstrong's - celebrated purveyor of vintage clothing in Edinburgh - Gavin O'Brien was the ideal candidate to revive Glasgow's second-hand and retro clothing market with his fabulous and quirky shop, Watermelon. Almost everything…

Welcome Home

CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD

A beautiful, well-curated collection of books, furniture and jewellery (mostly from local, emerging designers), in new, more central premises at the CCA.


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