Style sartorialist: spring fashions

Michael Kors Blue Windbreaker.
Michael Kors Blue Windbreaker.

During the past month or so, most of the major designers have been busy releasing their lines for fall 2009. As interesting and creative some of these collections may be, the trends for a season more than eight months away is the last thing on the minds of the general public.

However, the designers focusing on fall means that the trends for spring 2009 have been set and pieces will be hitting stores near you very soon. Over the next few weeks the Style Sartorialist will outline some of the must-have pieces and colours for this upcoming spring while providing tips on potential bargains that can be found at major retailers for clearance winter goods.


This week our discussion will start with mens fashion for spring 2009. Although spring seems like a distant reality during these long winter months, many designers took a very different approach in developing their lines which may make it easier for you to start thinking about updating your wardrobe sooner rather than later.

A unifying theme for all of the different trends is a focus on colours normally reserved for fall and winter. Browns, grays and black have been used for base pieces in many collections, with splashes of colour and white to add a spring-like flair to the ensembles. One particular trend is the decidedly 80s twist on this general pattern. Seen in the use of bold primary colours and polyfiber windbreakers coupled with high top sneakers, many designers have been inspired by the 80s in developing their collections for this season.

The lineup that best exemplifies this style is perhaps Kris Van Assches line for Dior Homme. In his show in Paris last summer, models were clad in dark outfits paired with one or two highlight pieces, often in bold primary colours, neons, or metallics, which were used to provide an extra pop of colour needed to make the outfits suitable for spring wear. However, it can be argued that Assche may have taken his inspiration from the days of NewWave a little too far by having his models sport comical interpretations of futuristic eyewear and more extreme pieces such as gold denim trousers encrusted with faux jewels.

On a more subdued level, Michael Kors line up includes more simple designs with outfits that were more tastefully paired with a few bold yet understated pieces such as a cobalt blue rain coat (made of neoprene) or a yellow turtleneck worn with a black blazer.

Yves Saint Laurent in typical minimalist fashion also managed to incorporate certain outfits that lead us to believe their designers took a glance into the past, showcasing blazers matched with turtlenecks and light-coloured pants.


Because of the colour scheme used by many of the designers this season, certain pieces will be easy to incorporate into your wardrobe before the snow melts. The hidden blessing is that many of the things that you already own from last fall may still be trendy.

THE LOOK: This trend is very easy to follow and you will most likely find yourself re-using items you already own for highlight pieces. But beware, 80s doesnt mean Miami Vice or your fathers 25-year-old neon sweater.

SHIRTS: Dark colours. The colour of the shirt is more important than style for this look, so stick with black, browns and grays. T-shirts, both V-neck and round neck, are great for casual wear. If you are dressing it up, a dark dress shirt with the same coloured tie or turtle neck paired with a similarly coloured blazer works best. Remember that base layer clothing is supposed to be more subdued, with bright colours used only for highlight pieces.


PANTS: For pants you have two options, dark or white. If you want you want to wear denim, pick something with a very dark wash or go with a completely white pair (and Imean white and not just a very light wash). For dressing up, keep it simple with a pair of black trousers.

OUTERWEAR: This is where colour can seriously come in. Be creative and make your jacket your highlight piece. Stick with strong primary colours (red, blue or yellow) if you want something that will last a couple of seasons. If you want to be bolder, go for metallic or neon. Many of the jackets used in the lineups of the major designers were windbreakers or raincoats made of polyfibers, and if you pick something that is waterproof you will have something that is both trendy and practical.

SHOES: Footwear is a very important aspect of this trend. I recommend high top sneakers, but you must be careful how you choose them — avoid the bulky ones. If you spend a little extra you can get a dressier pair, allowing you to dress everything up a little more. Both up-andcoming trendy shoe companies, as well as higher end brands, offer their own take on this type of shoe and they will be better constructed — you might also treat them better knowing you spent a little more.

ACCESSORIES: If you chose to accessorize, exercise lots of freedom. Your accessories should also be your highlight pieces, so dont be scared to use some colour. Stick with cloth or rubber wristbands for watches (just replace your leather one or put it in storage) – you can thankGQfor that one.