If there is one ringing affirmative statement that I can make regarding fashion, it's that Grace Coddington is the greatest living stylist in the world. There is a great reason why her work in Vogue, as one of its editorial stylist and the magazine's creative director, is so iconic and influential in the industry and why she's pretty much my ultimate fashion icon -- It's because she is an artist. She can interpret fashion and style in such a way that makes you feel inspired. She just doesn't put together an editorial spread, have it photographed, and then call it a day. But rather she tells a story with it in such a way that the clothes themselves, apart from the model or actors/actresses in it, tell the story. But I think that her greatest strength is her ability to tell which direction fashion is heading, or in technical words, fashion forecasting.
For this upcoming spring season, the ultra feminine but modern woman is back. If there are certain key words that I'd like you to memorize for this season it's the comeback of positive dressing in terms of modest hemlines, ultra feminine and lady-like silhouettes, pastel hues, and the modern feminine, yet powerful woman. You have no idea how thrilled I am for this trend to be making a huge scene in style and fashion right now, because dressing like a respectable lady is often passed over for sexy sexy, skin tight, cleavage bearing, bandage wearing and body conscious looks. No offense Herve Leger and Max Azria, but it's time for the Audrey Hepburns of the world to make a statement this season. And hopefully it's here to stay for a while.
The January 2012 editorial spread appropriately titled, Always a Woman, is a great overview of all looks and trends that are featured in the February and March 2012 issues. From Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton pastel skirts and eyelet collars to Oscar de la Renta's delicate lace appliques, the femininity and romanticism in dressing is back. The February 2012 spread, titled Love in the Afternoon (titled after that Audrey Hepburn film, perhaps?) featuring model Lara Stone and actor Aaron Eckhart is what I would imagine the story of How to Kill a Mockingbird would look like if Scout Finch's mother was still alive. The looks and especially the skirts is almost a mesh between that story by Harper Lee and the 1920s Gatsby era. There is something very romantic, yet tragic about this spread, but all at the same time very beautiful. The March 2012 spread, titled Eternal Optimism, on the other hand has a very Mad Men office feel to it with the looks of Betty Draper, Joan Harris, and Peggy Olson (and I feel like Don Draper is nearby smoking a cigarette and drinking at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices.. at noon.) The pleated lady-like skirts and dresses and the vibrant prints is so ultra feminine, yet there is something very powerful about them (like a woman CEO kind of powerful) and not to mention very modern (these aren't your grandmother's clothes from the attic, but as inspired by them.)
So for this spring season and inevitably spilling over to this upcoming fall season, expect these lady-like and ultra feminine looks to make a huge scene not just in the glossies, but in the streets and hopefully your closet. I'll take a woman with a modest skirt hem over the one with the dramatic boob spillage because her top can't restrain those girls. This season, think more Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly (I'm reading her biography by Robert Lacey as we speak, and I'm utterly inspired) and less like Marilyn Monroe.. or worse, Christina Aguilera's looks in The Voice. Yikes.
January 2012: Always a Woman
The spring collections speak to the myriad expression of modern femininity.
Photographed by David Sims
February 2012: Love in the Afternoon
Spring's affair with the skirt ushers in a refined mood for day. Model Lara Stone works its ultrafeminine charms on her cowboy hat-wearing paramour, played by actor Aaron Eckhart.
Photographed by Peter Lindbergh.
March 2012: Eternal Optimism
From pastels to patterns to pops of color, the pervasive message of spring is the power of positive dressing.
Photographed by Craig McDean