Prada's Spring 2012 collection was not only eye-catching, with its 1950s automobile-inspired prints and flames shooting out from the back of shoes to look like a mint-condition car on the go, the line echoed a retro aesthetic common in Southern California. As fashion critic Booth Moore says in her review of the line, there's a distinct feeling of the SoCal Kustom Kulture, which draws hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts to car shows and car clubs from L.A to San Diego.
The collection put a fresh spin on a retro theme. Incorporating the look into your spring wardrobe doesn't have to mean buying the Prada fire flame car shoes (though if those fall into your budget, then by all means wear them and bask in all the envious glances they'll get). I love the all-American look of this Joie Eloisa car sweater.
It can go preppy if worn with a crisp white collared shirt underneath or fun and '50s if worn with a fitted pencil skirt and kitten heels or the polka dot denim that's so hot this season -- Current/Elliott makes a cute green and white pair of polka dot skinny jeans and G Star does the abbreviated version, seen in their polka dot short shorts.
Cat eye sunglasses always bring that '50s vibe to any outfit. I love the rich red shade of this Givenchy pair. The cat eye shape in unexpected hues feels right this season and punctuates easy spring basics with a pop of color.
This Pinky Lee "Deluxe" clutch is done in a sparkly red vinyl to echo the interior and seat of a '50s style car. It adds that quirky touch to a streamlined look of cropped capris, ballet flats and a tailored button down shirt -- ponytail optional.
Top - A model in Prada Spring/Summer 2012 women's collection during Milan Fashion Week Sept. 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Left - Joie Eloisa car sweater, $298, at www.joie.com
Right - Prada car shoe/Prada
Below - G Star polka dot denim shorts at G Star store Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Left - Givenchy sunglasses, $350, at www.barneys.com
Bottom right - Pinky Lee Deluxe Red Sparkle Handbag, $140, at www.uniquevintage.com