There's more than just a glimmer of Southern California's sporty beach, surf-inspired aesthetic coming from designers for spring. Plenty of pieces seen on the runways, as well as what's trickling into retailers now, bring to mind '80s Maui and Sons and Body Glove, combined with the street-wise edge of Vision Streetwear and Powell Peralta. It's as if the gritty, sandy surf-and-skate scene of L.A was translated by designers such as Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone and Lisa Marie Fernandez and worked into their collections.
So for L.A residents and, really, people all over the world who grew up during the '80s and '90s wearing bright, beachy pieces created in Southern California, it won't be hard to digest the vivid highlighter colors, athletic piping and racer back-cut tops that will be popping up everywhere.
Lim, an Orange County native, has tapped into his youth, turning out sporty pieces in sherbet colors. There's a '70s athletic cut to the silk shorts and pants he's known for, and plenty of breezy tank tops perfect for layering under a cream blazer.
Rag & Bone designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville were also inspired by '70s surf style, and their splashy printed leggings and aquatic-hued clothes are hitting stores now.
Wang put his signature grungy spin on sporty silhouettes, which are feminized with rosy floral prints. Some mesh items have a particularly skate-like appeal, not surprising because the designer has tapped the skater image in the past.
And Fernandez, a swimwear designer known for vivid color and sexy, body-conscious pieces, collaborated with Britain-based designer Peter Pilotto on a spring collection of bikinis, high-neck one-piece swimsuits and strapless, skin-tight dresses -- all reminiscent of a wetsuit.
-- Melissa Magsaysay
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Upper photos: From left, looks from the 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang and Rag & Bone spring-summer 2012 runways, Credit: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com
Center photo: Lisa Marie Fernandez for Peter Pilotto, Lisa Marie Maillot in Wing, $435 at www.netaporter.com. Credit: Lisa Marie Fernandez
Lower left photo: Rag & Bone "Surf" dress, $995 at www.shopbop.com. Credit: shopbop.com
Lower right photo: Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony T-shirt, $78 at www.shopbop.com. Credit: shopbop.com