Today is the first official day of spring, and for my fellow Iranians around the world, the spring equinox also marks the beginning of a new year, known as Nowruz. I love this time of the year, it’s not only a happy celebration full of yummy food and warm visits from family and friends, but it also means for a renewal and a refresh of our homes and closets, something I always look forward to.
My love for the spring season was fully realized when I was asked by Pacific Centre to host and style Sunday Occasion, their charity spring fashion runway show, just held last week. It was such an honour being involved with this event; in addition to having the chance to inspire attendees on incorporating the hottest spring trends using mall retailers, 100% of proceeds went to an incredibly vital organization in our community, Coast Mental Health. I am happy to say that the event was a complete sell out, with 150 fashion-loving guests being treated to an afternoon of delicious food, cocktails and three runway shows from Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen and finally, Pacific Centre retailers (styled by me)!
Coast Mental Health Foundation’s Board of Governors Chair, Shirley Broadfoot, addresses the crowd.
To celebrate the arrival of spring, here is a breakdown of some of my favourite looks from my runway presentation, along with which Pacific Centre retailers I used to create them. My inspiration was simple: I wanted to show men and women simple ways to recreate the hottest spring trends from international runways (Paris, Milan and New York), while using a variety of accessible price points.
Look #1: A Men’s Dressy Look
This look was inspired by mid-century modern styles we saw in men’s runway shows, think 1950’s, 3-piece suits with fluid lines and softer fabrics. We saw that in the men’s Armani runway show and now we see it in a 3-piece khaki suit from Le Chateau. I paired it with a navy polka dot dress shirt from Banana Republic, a brown leather belt from Coach, Ted Baker brown leather loafers from Town Shoes, Tom Ford wafer-style sunglasses from Eyes Inspire, finished off with a fun men’s umbrella from Coach, to be prepared for when the Spring showers hit.
Look #2: A Women’s Dressy Look, Perfect for the Office
This look was inspired by floral and neon trends we saw from Oscar de la Renta and Michael Kors. Don’t be afraid of incorporating neon hues for the office, in a sea of black and grey, adding pops of colour in your work attire is a great way to freshen it up and make it fashion-forward. Here I have put the model in a hot pink and black floral blouse from Banana Republic, a hot pink blazer from Ever New, pencil leg dress pants from Judith and Charles, a black leather handbag and gold pointy-toe pumps from Miss Sixty, finished off with a classic pair of Dolce and Gabbana cat-eye sunglasses from Eyes Inspire.
Look #3: A Casual Men’s Look, the “Jet-Setter”
After a long workweek, it’s time to have fun on the weekend. Casual wear is a perfect chance to experiment and play with fashion. This casual look was inspired by the floral prints we saw (even for the men!) in menswear shows like Prada and Dries van Noten. Gentlemen, if floral is a bit intimidating for you, do it in more subdued tones like Navy and blue (another big trend), seen in this shirt from Le Chateau. It’s put together with pink khakis pants and matching canvas and leather belt from the Gap (pastel hues are also another major Spring trend, more on that in another look), a denim jacket from Mexx, brown leather loafers (no socks!) from Geox, a brown leather duffle bag from Coach (perfect for any spring getaway, and then finished off with Gucci aviator sunglasses from Eyes Inspire.
Look #4: A Casual Women’s Look, “Weekend Sparkle”
For this look, I was inspired by the embellishment trend we saw on runway shows like Marni and Balanciaga. Casual pieces that are transformed with sequins, studs and crystals, either all over or on select places like collars and cuffs. To showcase this I put our model in an embellished denim shirt from Ever New, which can be dressed up or down. I paired the denim shirt with Kelly green trousers and a hot pink thin belt from Banana Republic and finished with Kate Spade + Keds sneakers from Town Shoes that had a fun polka dot pattern and hints of hot pink.
Look #5: A Casual Men’s Look that Screams the Navy Colour Trend
Stars like Kevin Spacey opted for navy suits rather than the traditional black at this year’s Oscars red carpet, and here I’m showing you different ways to wear navy in a more casual look, starting with a lightweight linen navy shirt from Banana Republic. It’s paired with striped navy and cream Bermuda shorts and a cream belt from RW&Co., a red and navy nylon bomber jacket (a bomber jacket is the perfect spring alternative for layering), Ted Baker brown leather loafers with contrast laces from Town Shoes, and finished off with Prada sunglasses from Eyes Inspire.
Look #6: A Casual Women’s Look, “Perfect Pastels”
As mentioned before, spring 2014 runways screamed pastel hues, from accessories to evening wear to coats. This pastel look, also has another major trend I saw on the spring 2014 runways: leather biker jackets in pretty much any pastel colour, not in traditional black! Versace gave us pink pastel biker jackets for women and here I’m giving you one from Club Monaco. The rest of the look played on other trends as well, floral shorts from Ever New, a cotton white tee from RW&Co., white leather wedge sandals from Le Chateau and an Inzi black and white striped faux leather clutch from Town Shoes, demonstrating how easy it is to mix print on print!
Look #7: A Casual Women’s Look, the On-the-Go “Sports Lux”
In Vancouver we love to be active and comfortable, be it walking on the seawall or running around doing weekend errands. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice style for comfort or functionality. This is what I am calling my sports lux look, inspired by the rise of chic sporty elements in high fashion. It all starts with this comfortable stretchy zip black and white graphic patterned dress from Club Monaco. I put it under this fabulous, water resistant black polyurethane trench coat from Banana Republic, a neon green baseball cap from J.Crew and neon pink and green New Balance sneakers from Town Shoes. Being sporty never looked so good!
I hope you can take some of these trends and incorporate them into your spring wardrobe. A big thank you to Pacific Centre for their amazing partnership, and to Holt Renfrew Vancouver for dressing me for Sunday Occasion in a Peter Pilotto dress and Jimmy Choo nude heels.
Happy Spring everybody!