Friday, February 22, 2008

Spring Things

Nothing cheers me more than knowing (or at least hoping!) that the weather will be warming up. I look forward to strolling the Square and walking along the lakefront path, not to mention hanging out at the Terrace. Yes, I love the warm weather and often think I would do just fine in a warmer climate like L.A.

But I do love the changing of seasons and it gives me something to look forward to—rotating my wardrobe to something less substantial than, say, a winter jacket and snow boots every day.

That’s why I’m excited about some more of the spring retail trends I’m seeing. We all think of spring as a time of growth and change. I think local retailers are hoping their sales will grow and change, too! Many I’ve spoken with have had slow sales as a result of the cold weather and slowing economy.

But if you are looking to treat yourself and have some tax return money, check out these trends to look for in the next couple of months—some of them cheap and chic!

Thymes’ Red Chérie Collection smells heavenly and evokes springtime with just a spritz or sniff of this fragrance. The press materials say the fragrance is a combo of “ripe red cherries, passion flower and jasmine. Sparked with subtle hints of Asian lychee and a tease of fruity musk …” Mmmm! I have tried the cologne spray and body exfoliant and they instantly perked me up because I love the scent of cherry. Pick up Thymes Red Chérie and Thymes products at Little Luxuries, Orange Tree Imports and Willow Creek.

Did you know that fashion influences home décor? It’s true—colors and styles that fashion designers roll out appear in modified versions in home furnishings as well. Maybe that’s why fashion designers Vera Wang, Kate Spade, Missoni and Versace (among countless others) have home decor lines. Take the mod look that was popular this fall. I saw reinterpretations of that in decorative accessories sold at Target.

Closer to home, interior designer Barry Avery incorporates the “Hollywood luxe” look beautifully in his décor and furnishings at his store Fontaine on East Johnson Street. This look will be here to stay for a while; writer Jennifer Garrett mentions it in her “Lucky Loos” piece in this month’s Habitat Handbook and local event planner Ginger Gant told me the opulent “Louis XIV look” is all the rage with interior decorators right now.

Gant attended a special event show in Atlanta and reports that “on the coasts they do very blingy … lots of crystal. It’s rich, encrusted ceiling chandeliers and fans. [It was] very ornate, very rich.” Pier One’s “Springy Thingy” catalog weaves hot spring trends in their stuff, too: bright pops of color, an international flair, even a mirrored “Hayworth Vanity” for the bedroom. In turn we’ll see clothing trends including metallics in clothing, shoes and handbags; safari and international-themed clothing; and vibrant, Crayola colors.

Where to find any of these of-the-moment trends, décor or otherwise? Your local retailer! I will mention one non-local retailer as well just because they DO make gorgeous things: J. Crew. The eponymous store that makes high fashion within (closer) reach is doing ruffled trenches, full skirts, bold prints and ornate jewelry for spring. Creative director Jenna Lyons states via press materials, “Vintage architecture and glamorous mid-century interiors were a big inspiration for our collection. We love the bold intensity of upholstered prints … the way bright, acidy yellows and quirky oranges played off warm woodsy neutrals.”

To go with your spring outfits pick up Sam Edelman shoes (found at Karen & Co.). These very affordable shoes offer lots of new and different styles like a gladiator sandal (shown is the "Gilda"), flats with a chain detail (shown is the "Carmen"), wedges and peep-toe metallic sandals—in shimmery metallics, vivacious prints and intense brights.

Check out now:
Anthropologie 702 N. Midvale Blvd. 318-9011.
Bop 222 W. Gorham St. 255-2570.
Fontaine 811 E. Johnson St. 310-8002.
J LaMore 2701 Monroe St. 238-2119.
JC Madison2140 W. Greenview Dr. Ste. 1, Middleton. 1-877-475-7018.
Karen & Co. 309 State St. 258-5500.
Little Luxuries 214 State St. 255-7372.
Orange Tree Imports 1721 Monroe St. 255-8211.
Patricia Shoppe 137 W. Johnson St. 256-1111.
Twigs 1925 Monroe St. 255-4363.
Willow Creek 6909 University Ave. 836-3911.

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