Summer has officially arrived to Sunny South Florida, and so has the wet season, bringing a much-needed drink to the parched Floridian landscape. Fitting, then, that as we enjoy the lush greenery and bright colors of the season, we turn to Mother Nature for our style inspiration. Taking a tip from the pages of Audubon’s FLORA, we discover that not only is floral in use in women’s fashion, but we find it blooming in men’s fashion as well. Dominating this Spring/Summer 2013, we see an array of lightweight fabrics, lace, and linen, even leather and exotic skins blossoming straight off the runways on to our stylish streets.

Past garden-inspired prints and dated floral patterns step aside as designers bring on 3-D floral designs that make for richer embellishing in this season’s collection. Leading the scoreboard, we find brands such as Erdem, Chanel, and Oscar de la Renta taking a much more subtle approach, with faint blush base colors and bright floral appliqués. Not only did we see a wide variety of patterns and designs but we also discovered a new skirt length. Far from the miniskirts we saw last spring, 2013 brings a more conservative length with a fun flair in cut and style.

Prints promise to become a fashion staple of the season. Dolce and Gabbana and the house of Moschino turn out a fresh bouquet of florals, including intricate dresses and pant suits heavy in bright patterns and color blocking, thus giving their refined style and chic appeal a more feminine and flirty feel. Structured and yet utterly delicate and sensual, investing in garments with statement floral prints or embellishments is where it’s at.

Another beautiful take on flora was seen on the runways of Rocha, Valentino, and Giambattista Valli, where print was substituted for floral cut lace. Soft, exquisite and lightweight see-through dresses, combinations of neon hues and cut out blooms, and chic trouser ensembles that exude sophistication and class create statement looks that are ideal for hot summer days.

Florals took over menswear as well, appearing on everything from ties to coats. The flower craze can be intimidating, but it doesn’t mean you can’t rock it. Opt for a tie in floral print and see how it goes from there…Bottega Veneta offers a faded floral-printed suit, which is a great way to wear florals subtly. Then there are sports jackets like the ones seen from Dirk Bikkemberg in floral prints, which are another way to incorporate this motif into your spring wardrobe. Solid, bright-colored pants or shorts lend busy prints a more subdued representation in your wears.

Although not floral in print, we saw the use of camouflage at Dries Van Noten, Valentino and many other shows. As a trendy print for the season, camouflage goes well as a neutral in when paired with solids or chambray worn as outerwear on trousers or shirts. At Valentino the “camo” coat was paired with classic pleated trousers and a matching handbag. Camouflage isn’t just a standard military-issued uniform anymore. Look for fun color combinations, color blocking and mix-and-match floral prints to turn out your spring ensemble.

As for accessories, the floral motif blooms rampant in hand bags, clutches, and shoes. And, of course, what floral outfit isn’t complete without jewelry. Contrasting colors and floral designs accentuate and individualize your look when paired with simple bracelets and rings. Heavy neck layering and delicate earrings play well with busy textiles, and a classic strand of pearls never looks out of place when paired with a WASP-Y garden-inspired outfit.


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