If one thing can be said about this past month’s spring/summer ’11 shows, it’s that it was rife with sudden change.


Forget about all the ’50s stuff you’re wearing right now. Next season, tall, platform wedge shoes will replace the kitten heel, which has been having such a moment for autumn/winter '10. Floaty peasant-style dresses that could have come straight out of your mom’s closet in 1976 will make those Mad Men-inspired skirts look like old news. And all that blush and camel you’ve been wearing this fall? Colours will be brighter by the time the summer comes — a lot brighter (think fuchsia, purple, orange and neon green) — and often come in stripes or blocked patterns.


But hues and dress shapes aren’t the only things changing at a dizzying rate. Significant, long-term trends are emerging as well. For one, an increasing number of designers are paying less and less attention to the seasons they’re designing for.


Much of the clothing showed for spring/summer ’11 could also work for colder weather. The looks at Prada, for example, came accessorized with fur stoles in electric, saturated colours that would be perfect for the coming holiday season. Meanwhile, Burberry Prorsum, showed leather biker jackets that screamed chilly-day-in-October, rather than, say, balmy-afternoon-in-June.


Truth be told, most of what we’ve seen during the spring/summer ’11 catwalks will look old by the time it hits stores next year.

Considering how accessible the shows are these days (anyone can stream them live online or see the images just hours later), a girl can’t help but want to shop directly off of the runways. It’s enough to make one wonder when the retail cycle as a whole will catch up and make it possible for a shopper to do just that.

Top trends
The top three trends of spring/summer ’11

  • Long, diaphanous skirts and dresses

  • Bold, pops of colour

  • Sheer, transparent separates and dresses