Flower Power: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Spring’s Biggest Fashion Trend

I don’t know about you, but after months of battling cold harsh Winter winds, it seems as if Spring might be inching a bit closer and you know what that means… no more ugly Uggs!  Instead, we get vampire-esque pale skin poking out of Spring’s fashions.  Although there were many wonderful trends sent down the runways for Spring Summer 2011 (click here to read our runway report), no trend turned out to be more pervasive than flowers.  Although it seems an obvious inspiration for a Spring collection (so goes the popular saying, “April showers bring May flowers”), designers brought us the good, the bad and the simply ugly!  I have been asked many times how to wear florals the right way and I will make it very easy for you- its all about your body type.  If you happen to be petite (stop reading now because I hate you with a fierceness only envy can cause), you are lucky because any size/type of flower print can work for you.  However, if you are like me and have a larger frame, be careful not to go too big/obvious, or risk looking like Blanche from Golden Girls hanging out in Boca Raton, Florida.  Not sure what I mean?  Let Stella McCartney explain:

Oy.  So, yes Stella chose to include leaves and oranges/grapefruits in her prints  and I seriously think this might be the most unattractive outfit I have seen in a while.  This is such a literal print, it is almost as if she took a picture of my parents garden in Florida and screened it onto the cotton canvas fabric.  Also, the silhouette is not helping at all. The square cut of the top with the slim pencil skirt would compliment not a single body type (sorry Gwen Paltrow, not even you. And we all know how much you love to support your girl Stella). Let’s have another example. As much as it pains me to call out Raf at Jil Sander (I adore him),  no one is spared when teaching a lesson:

Saraliously?!  Here the print is not an issue, in fact is is a gorgeous smorgasbord of strong vibrant colors. However, the silhouette of this voluminous dress is great for the editorial world, but lousy for the real world.  With this much fabric, you could eat not only a big lunch and still have room to breathe, but probably enough left over to reupholster that chair in your sunroom you’ve been wondering what to do with for a couple of years now.

Moving onward. Even high end, refined and classic designers can make a mistake by taking a much too literal take on florals. This was the case with Carolina Herrera:

No, no, no, no Carolina.  The styling of this look is off. To begin with, the Korean straw hat (typically worn by men) and oblong bow with the stencil like botanical flower has me totally confused as to where I am suppose to wear this outfit (to a chic luncheon, on a weekend to the farmers market, in the Hamptons?)Plus, the placement on the flower on the right hip/front is so obvious I cannot take my eye off it and frankly, I don’t relish the idea of people staring at my crotch area while I walk (in this skirt, there is no where else for the eye to go).  But, have no fear, Carolina can do floras the right way, especially when she sticks to her core skill set:

Yes please! This is how to do a singular flower the right way. The placement of the flower tucked into the folded fabric is absolutely gorgeous and it enhances the bodice of this column gown.  The color palette chosen is quite complimentary to women of all skin tones, so Carolina gets an A+ on this dress for understanding that fashion is a business and if women won’t buy your dress, game over.

Talk about running out to buy! Here are a few more fabulous examples for inspiration to pull you out of the winter doldrums:

Erdem lace over applique lace makes these red flowers pop.  The Nicholas Kirkwood shoes are the perfect compliment.

Peter Som is a master at combining prints and textures and the takeaway here is prints can be worn together when the color story is the same.  Can we also talk about the fact that ghost designing Tommy Hilfiger’s collection is bleeding over into Peter’s own line?  Not a good idea as the key to longevity of a brand is its ability be distinguished amongst every other collection on the market.

In all honestly, I am not a D&G lover, but the use of complimentary florals in this short one-piece and jacket is so lighthearted and young, I can’t not smile at it.  Plus the platform wedge is spot on for Spring, especially in the bright red hue.  Now, how anyone without stick legs gets away with this outfit without a Saraliously comment hurled at them is another story all together.

Now, to the important part.  Most of us don’t have the budget for a new designer Spring wardrobe, but fear not, Target is  celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Go International designer collaboration program by bringing back 34 dresses from 17 of its favorite past designers. Lo and behold, there are tons of florals!

Tucker for Target Button-Front Dress in Floral Print $34.99

The black ground of this dress with the concentrated vibrant red and orange flowers will make this dress really stand out!  If you want a brighter, warmer effect, Tucker also has this great, 3/4 sleeve boho style dress:

Tucker for Target Signature Dress in Floral Print $39.99

Or, if you are one of the millions that admire First Lady Michelle Obama’s style, you can get a gorgeous floral frock from her go to designer, Thakoon (powerful husband who rules the free world sold separately, natch.):

Thakoon for Target Gathered Dress in Cyber Floral $39.99

Looking for something more ladylike for a romantic dinner out?  Tracey Feith is a wonderful print designer and this dress is soft and whimsical, so please be wiser than Target’s merchandising team who idiotically chose clunky and ugly black heels.

So my friends, there you are.  Cough up $40.00 and one of these dresses can be yours on  March 13, when the collective launches in stores and online.

Photos courtesy of Style.com and Target

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