Bold colors, mixed prints and lace at Neiman Marcus fashion show


Put on your sunglasses: bright blues, orange, mixed prints and colorful lace are trendy this spring

This year’s spring fashions are meant for South Florida, with a kaleidoscopic array of colors that are sure to glow under the tropical sun.

Bright orange, shades of blue, lace and a mix of colorful prints are among the trends for women this spring, according to Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing, who presented a jaw-dropping show Friday at Neiman Marcus Coral Gables.

Paper-thin leather jackets thrown over the shoulder, looks that embody relaxed chic, and the return of matching earrings and necklaces as “face framing jewelry” are also on tap for the season, as are ankle-strap shoes and wide cuff bracelets layered over sleeves.

Most of all, bright color stood out on the runway, from oranges to hot pinks and yellows to greens.

Blues — electric, cobalt, navy — form the “most important color story,” for spring, said Downing, who is also senior vice president at Neiman Marcus.

“Harmonious hues — that’s how you have to think about blue,” he said as a model strutted by in an ocean blue, Prada mini cocktail dress skirted in feathers, a tweed Lanvin jacket and Brian Atwood booties in neon pink, electric blue and shocking yellow. “Colors working together.”

Downing also paired bright cocktail dresses with lightweight leather motorcycle jackets in contrasting shades, from a Theory mint green to one in lilac by The Row.

“I love the motorcycle jacket going out for the day, and then going out for the night,” said Downing, who lives in Dallas but travels to fashion shows around the globe and makes a dozen personal appearances each quarter.

Among his tips: Never wear a wrap over an evening dress; it will age you by 10 years. Choose a jacket instead.

Just as important as blue is orange, Downing said — worn from head to toe, or as an accent, highlighted in the stripe of a dress, a shoe or handbag.

“I’m insane for this shade of safety cone orange,” he said, as a model walked out in a Tom Ford dress with a zippered, open back and the same designer’s orange gladiator stilettos. “When you walk into a room wearing orange, people notice you.”

Prints also promise to come alive this season, with “collaging” looks of mixed florals and jungle prints.

“Designers are taking the guesswork out of mixing prints together, and doing it for you,” Downing said, as models showcased the style in colorful Peter Pilotto digital, multi-print dresses, including one for evening that was adorned in beads and sequins.

Lace also returns for the spring, in neutrals, colors and metallics, both for daytime and nighttime — adding edge with a short leather jacket. A pink lace cardigan from Valentino brings a delicate finish to a gown. Even shoes feature laser cut lace designs, like Charlotte Olympia’s, in bright silver.

As the season approaches, South Florida will be the ideal backdrop for the sensuous warm weather looks, Downing said.

“The spring season is perfect for this part of the world,” he said after the show — “because there is so much bold color.”

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