Part 2: First Spring Deliveries Rely on the Tried and True
Black and white, plus red/white and blue were overwhelming early spring colour statements in Paris and Milan. European retailers usually receive merchandise closer to the actual season, and, indeed, there was only a sprinkling of newness in Paris this past month. However, Milan windows had transitioned into spring more extensively, not only with the traditional crisp graphic colour story but also with an abundance of pales and floral prints. Milan Fashion Week was about to take place at the end of February, an excellent opportunity to show the fashion world what the current spring season was going to be all about.
Clean graphics were the backdrop in many designer flagship stores. Simple shift dresses in lace, satin or a rubberized perforated material in front of a grid added a graphic mood to classic black and white at Tom Ford. Max Mara opted to transport black and white to the tropics with palm trees in the background and plenty of star motifs.
Bold stripes, zebra stripes and simple alternating stripes went across the footwear spectrum, from casual wedges to dressy t-straps, from tailored oxfords to comfort ath/leisure shoes. Patent leather was a favourite material, and jailhouse stripes over a subtle snake print added a whole dimension.
Diffused tie-dye, pronounced stripes on croco or on delicate snake prints alternating with smooth leathers created new graphic patterns. Note that sometimes a third colour was added into the mix, either taupe or light brown, giving handbags in this classic colour combination a forward push.
Black and white and red and navy are often referred to as “spectator” combinations, a colour story that always signals a fresh start for spring. Milan was at the forefront with plenty of red and white, red, white and black and/or navy colour combinations, not only in ready-to-wear fashions but in shoes ready for the golf course as well as small leather goods.