Spring’s unabashed hues
Vail CO, Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” Move over wimpy pastels. Daring colors are commanding storefronts across the Vail Valley this spring.
Inside Blitz boutique in Vail, owner Barbara Smith drapes a string of kelly green beads over a school-bus-yellow dress.
“There’s going to be no rules within the colors,” she says.
Lime green, turquoise, fuschia and orange appear in everything from wedge peeptoes to clutches. Absolutely no colors are off limits.
“Yellow and purple are really hot,” Smith said. “Purple’s everywhere. Versace started it. It’s going to be huge in the industry.”
At Luca Bruno, another boutique in Vail, the theme continues. A mannequin sports a silk tunic in bright pink with a green and orange floral design.
“Even with designers that are a little more subdued with the color palate, I’ve seen some really fun pieces that aren’t odd for their collections but make their collections even stronger,” store co-owner Jenn Bruno said.
Color is creeping into the men’s line at the store as well. With the introduction of orange and pink button-down shirts, co-owner Luca Bruno bets conservative Americans will embrace fun colors. Paisley cuffs finish a Graham Christopher button-down shirt with colorful stripes.
“I’m refusing to buy kaki,” Luca Bruno said.
If the colors are loud, the prints are screaming. Designers wove festive hues into florals, polka dots and paisleys. Patterned dresses are more flattering than last year’s models, Jenn Bruno argues.
“I think the silhouettes are easier to wear and more flattering and designers are using fabrics that keep the bodies in proportion,” she said. “You don’t see a lot of horizontal stripes. You see prints that work to create a more slimming effect.”
Although prints are bold, feminine details steer collections away from gaudy. Silk and chiffon are popular materials at Blitz while paisley “burnout” decorates shirts at Roxy in Vail.
Burnout happens when garment-makers harshly treat designs until those patters are nearly see-through. Tank tops and T-shirts with burnout come in a teal that fades to lime green and finally yellow.
At P.E. 101 in Edwards, white flower embroidery decorates a white cropped jacket. A pair of pink knee-length shorts have ruched pockets.
Along with femininity, rock glam persists. At Cool Waves in Vail, a tank top is embellished with the phrase “Lost Soul” and sparkling rhinestones. Women are flocking to shining gems this season.
“A diamond is a girl’s best friend, right?” store manager Michael Jimenez said.
The most popular jeans at P.E. 101, from True Religion in Los Angeles, sport rhinestones and thick white stitching.
Also edgy, a line for men at Cool Waves borrows from tattoos. Shirts and hats by Christian Audigier are based on designs from renowned tattooist Ed Hardy.
One T-shirt shows a sword piercing a heart with a banner that reads “True.” The garments capture body art’s naughty allure.
“Everybody wants to be a rock star ” a rebel, I guess you could say,” Jiminez said.
On the accessories front, the bright colors continue. Slingback wedges at Blitz will come in everything from magenta to yellow.
“It’s going to look like a madhouse, but a great madhouse,” she said.
Gladiator boots in snakeskin and blue will lace up the leg with open leather braiding.
The outrageous palate extends to scarves and clutches as well. Finally, peace signs have returned. Hanging from chain necklaces and peppering scarves at Roxy, the resurgence of the symbol is a nod to the 1960s.
At Billabong in Vail, a hot pink peace sign appears on a hoodie. California resident Denise Watkins, who was shopping at Billabong with her 18-year-old daughter, said the meaning behind the peace sign has changed since the 1960s.
“It had a way more radical meaning then,” she said. “It was more in your face. Now it’s more establishment. Then it was more of a protest. Now it’s more of a fashion statement.”
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