Four cities, three weather systems, 308+ runway shows and countless glasses of Diet Coke later, the spring/summer ’12 shows are finally over.

Flaptastic

The ’50s wasn’t the only decade to make a comeback for spring. Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Etro and Gucci all served up fantastical flapper collections with one key element that is sure to trickle its way down to the H&Ms and Zaras of the world: the drop-waist dress.



 

Sweet and pretty

Just when you were beginning to get used to fall’s kinky fetish wear, the fashion pendulum swung the opposite way for spring. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Givenchy are just a few houses that turned out the kinds of feminine, universally appealing dresses that both your mother and homegirl would approve of. Think shimmery, ethereal dresses that resembled oyster shells and lace frocks the color of lemon drops. The trick will be figuring out how to wear all the pastels without looking like an overgrown 15-year-old.

Sporty chic

Designers such as Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney and MaxMara showed athletic-inspired lines complete with perforated leather, high-performance knits and enough mesh to outfit an entire BMX team.



Back to Africa

The use of African prints for spring/summer collections is hardly new. But this season, the trend seemed to reach a tipping point with Burberry Prorsum, Donna Karan, Michael Kors and Alberta Ferretti — among a long list of others, all showing prints that were inspired by the continent in some shape or form.

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