Spring 2012 Trend: Mixing brights with neutrals

This spring, it’s going to be all about the brights. Whether you like it or not, traffic-stopping neons and fluorescents were all the rage in New York and Paris, popping up on the catwalks of Michael Bastian, J.W. Anderson, Loden Dager and more. To learn how your favorite designers were styling this trend, read on.

Michael Bastian

Bastian opened his show with a bright red track jacket in a solid color paired with cropped light-wash jeans and square-toe black loafers. From there he moved into sporty red racer stripes paired with athletic fabrics and matched with jackets, shorts, and cropped pants in olive green, gray, and dark blue. A summer suit in a bright blue with cropped pants and tassel loafers offered up an alternative to the bright-red-mixed-with-neutrals theme that overwhelmed the casual sphere. In either case, take a cue from Bastian and don’t be afraid to mix your brights with neutral cargo separates this spring.

J.W. Anderson

J.W. Anderson played with both patterns and solids for spring 2012, introducing whimsy summer outfits featuring retro geometric prints on both top and bottom. The real show stopper came towards the middle of the show when Anderson introduced a line of ready-to-wear skinny jeans cropped just so and available in mustard, periwinkle and turquoise. Anderson pushed boundaries by exploring garment matches in different color saturation, but the main theme was brights mixed with beige and black.

Loden Dager

Loden Dager took us back for spring 2012, back to the early days of rap, back to suburbia, back to Gen X’s beginning. The models walked down the runway to Ol’ Dirty Bastard and kicked it old school with one pant leg rolled up. Despite the tongue-in-cheek associations, the major theme of Loden Dager was brights. Everything from cuffed tailored shorts to trim hoodie sweaters came in practically every shade of fluorescent. You name it: orange, red, pink, blue; it all came in neon. Mesh was also a throwback detail, inset in shorts, jackets, tank tops, and pockets.

Parke & Ronen

Yellow, sky blue, and citrus orange were the major color themes at Park & Ronen for spring. The show opened with the perfect representation of neutrals blocked with brights: a pair of tailored khaki shorts matched with an orange striped belt, muted button-up, and yellow blazer. Park & Ronen demonstrates throughout the collection that its imperative to keep your fluorescent pieces tailored and polished in order to avoid looking too juvenile. A highlight was orange separates matched with light grays: a sophisticated take on this often taboo color.

Paul Smith

Paul Smith is the alternative to the full embrace of the bright, offering a different point of view on the trend. Paul Smith’s spring ready-to-wear collection featured signature tailored separates with muted neutrals like camel, dark blue, black, and rust. As an accent, Paul Smith laced in this season’s hottest bright: fluorescent orange, by lining his jackets with it. As the models walk, the effect was spectacular as a totally conservative (yet explicitly cool) outfit was transformed. The collection also featured color blocked shirts with grays and blues wrestling the orange.


Manosh Rey 
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