Thursday, January 19, 2012

Arlene Goldstein says Spring fashions will dazzle and delight

Arlene Goldstein, vice president of Trend Merchandising and Fashion Direction for Charlotte-based Belk department stores, was right on trend, naturally, during a recent Spring fashion presentation for members of the media held at Belk at SouthPark mall.

She was giddy with excitement over the upcoming season, and that attitude of optimism and happiness is the overarching theme that consumers will see reflected in stores. "Spring fashions will dazzle and delight," she told her style-obsessed audience.

Among the biggest trends she talked about were the continuing influence of the 1970s. Whether it's bohemian chic or Studio 54 glamour, it's the decade that continues to inspire designers.

Another is a vintage lace look and classic American preppy style, both of which are reflections of the ladylike trend that is mercifully making a comeback.

My favorite is what Goldstein calls "color hype," which are bright colors, especially if worn in unexpected combinations. She let her lips do the talking by wearing an almost neon shade of Mac lipstick called Morange (as in More Orange) that was both cutting edge and elegant.

Citing research from Pantone, the ultimate source of color trends, she says the color for Spring clothes is coral. Whatever color appeals to you, she's thrilled because it fits with Belk's new tagline: Modern. Southern. Style. "The Southern state of mind is synonymous with color," she said.

Here are five more of Goldstein's thoughts that I found inspiring:

1. When we see new trends, it sometimes takes our minds awhile to adjust. Don't write off a new look right away until you let it percolate in your brain for awhile.

2. It's a season of options. One day, you may want to wear a shorter skirt, the next you may want to go for a maxi dress. (Maxi dresses will continue to be a big trend but the newest versions have a sleeker silhouette that Goldstein says will broaden their appeal from barbecues on the weekend to be something you can wear to work.)

3. Showing the shoulders or other subtle ways to be sexy are much more appealing than revealing too much skin.

4. Neutral colored shoes are still fresh and can be worn even with black. A neutral wedge is the shoe of the season.

5. Although skinny jeans are still in, the wide leg pant is going to be "big."

Whatever items you choose to buy to update your wardrobe, heed these final words of wisdom from Goldstein: "Boring is not an option!"