Spring is a time of new life— flowers bloom and everything is young, fresh and alive. There is nothing more wonderful than dew drops on bright green grass and pink petals on a crisp spring day. Days like these hold so much promise for what is to come; a downpour of rain or a pleasant day of sun is more exhilarating than the constant gray drizzle of the Seattle winter. For many of us it is also a rebirth of one’s wardrobe, thanks to the warmer climate that brings the opportunity to break out of the pants-rain jacket-boots combo that our winter forces us to wear.
Yet, in spite of those relentlessly gray days, no one is more appreciative than we here in Seattle of the light and color play once the new season gets momentum. The famous cherry trees of the University of Washington’s quad is the destination for thousands of people in the few weeks that they bloom. These subtle whites and pinks are beautiful in contrast with the far off mountains and rolling clouds. This feminine softness can be utilized in style for a more casual and romantic setting like a picnic down by the waterfront or a spring wedding. Both the colors and textures are themselves romantic and can be found in silk organza and flowing silhouettes; or pieces with crocheted elements are just like the plumes of cherry blossoms that spring to life and gracefully move in the wind. A nice change from the austerity and masculinity of so much tech-wear.
Further North is the Skagit Valley, which holds a tulip festival each April. The festival is a viewing ground to see the endless crops of tulips bloom before they are harvested. The rows of bright pinks, reds and yellows are a beautiful sight and source of inspiration. To experience the vibrancy is sublime… and after such an experience it is hard to feel enthused by simple knits and jeans, especially if going out for drinks or to a party. Incorporating these same colors into one’s ensemble immediately ups the ante for any day or event. Going out to dinner in a hot-pink dress becomes the foreplay to a night of champagne and dancing. A simple electric-orange top or heels is enough, but when a full color-blocked look is committed to, things start to intensify. But the colors are not the only inspiration—the shape of a tulip is very feminine like that of a bubble hemline. Dior Couture Spring 2013 showed this silhouette in different shades of pinks and creams with appliquéd flower details. This silhouette can be found at a myriad of stores including Seattle’s Baby & Co. and is something that makes an interesting statement. The white look they currently have in-store is a simple version that could be accessorized to be elegant or casual.
Makeup and accessories are another way to bloom this spring. Simple pastel shades or vibrant pinks are on lips, nails, and even hair. Givenchy Fall RTW showed coiled colored “rosettes” of hair, and more practical are the popular hair chalks that come in bright hues offering a temporary burst of color. Hair accessories also offer an opportunity for a literal take on floral—fake flower headbands, and even fresh wreaths have been spotted several times this year; from fast fashion locales like H&M to the streets of Paris Fashion Week. At the Conversation of the Art of Fashion Manufacturing at the Henry, Nordstrom employee Claire Haranda sported a handmade garland of paper flowers that added a unique element to her bleached-out locks. Bold and precious.
When living in the Rainy City, spring is a source of hope and happiness for everyone—possibly a better pick-me-up then coffee. The blooming flowers and bright greens of the new foliage is our gleaming rainbow, and our sunshine is as exciting as the pot of gold it promises. No one deserves to celebrate the gifts of so much abundant rain than we here. Our love for nature’s beauty and feminine strength are a source of inspiration that is delightful when showcased in one’s fashion.