Structural elements are popping up all over the country, and I’m not talking about all the road crews hard at work repairing the damage that Mother Nature wreaked on our city streets, but instead clothing and, in particular, dresses featuring a strong dose of construction in their design. Countless designers at New York Fashion Week have shown fabulous examples of these timeless, simple designs; and a few shook them up a little with special twists to make them special. Now that spring has officially sprung, let’s look at a few of the runway’s best!
Carolina Herrera welcomes spring with this lemony day dress featuring clever darting at the waistline and a slight a-line skirt. The details here are what make the simple cut really sing. It fits without being too tight, and the seaming gives it some architectural elements.
On the runway at the Art Institute of New York, student designer Charles Flavia gives us a futuristic look at spring in shades of white and gray. This out of the ordinary look isn’t for everyone but it does demonstrate the geometry involved in creating a structured silhouette. Jetson’s anyone?
Just peachy is this flirty full-skirted dress from David Tlale’s S/S 2015 Collection. The interesting cutout at the bodice and high neckline make it a unique juxtaposition of hard and soft lines. The flow of the skirt seems to help balance the harder shape of the top of the dress. Did I mention peach is a big time trend for spring?
Society designer Dennis Basso gives us a lady who lunches in a lovely dress featuring some of spring’s best trends. The embroidered detail at the neckline, waist and hem take this simple shape into the realm of couture, while the pockets and slight metallic sheen of the fabric make it playful and day worthy.
Futuristic is what I would call this zip front dress from Exteberria. The simplicity is what makes the statement here with darting at the waistline and the line of a contrasting zipper. The cap sleeves and popped collar make it a little edgy, and when you factor in the wedge-heeled shoe, it’s hard to place what decade this is from. Modern design at its best.
Lela Rose knows what women like, and they like her feminine designs. The effortless seaming of this dress make it shine as bright as the springtime sun. Off white, but not sterile at all, goes perfectly with the movement of that wonderful skirt! Remember, white looks best in simple items like a white linen dress, shirt, slacks, jeans or skirt. Not into white? Get some white flats or tennis shoes and use them to pop other colors in your wardrobe this spring and summer.
Taoray Wang does minimalist with little twists, such as the one-shoulder effect on this dress. What makes it work is the subtle asymmetry in the skirt, echoing the bodice design. A few box pleats in the skirt give some fullness without being too voluminous.
Structured items of all kinds can be found at Goodwill, of course! So, if you’d like to try on some spring construction for yourself, let me make a suggestion … start with the blazers first, then move to dresses, on to skirts and slacks, and then end with blouses. This is how I ALWAYS shop when I’m at Goodwill. Why? Because understanding construction and finding well-crafted items isn’t as hard as you think! Adding some infrastructure to people’s lives is what we do everyday with our job training programs, which are supported through your Goodwill purchases, as well as your generous donations. There’s always strength in doing good isn’t there?