Fashioning the past: Spring/Summer 2012 Trends

There can be no doubt that the fashion world takes its design inspiration from the past, and the Spring/Summer collections of 2012 are no exception. Two particular periods of history have taken over the catwalk trends, with the motif of exuberance making its mark this year: the Baroque period of early modern Europe, and the Jazz Age of 1920s America.


Designs were given an opulent and luxurious touch with Baroque detailing. Following from the Autumn/Winter catwalks, the colours for Spring/Summer transformed from jewel tones to light hues, whilst remaining embellished with the metallic threads and stitches that embody this sumptuous trend. Milan Fashion Week unveiled some spectacularly dramatic designs, with Roberto Cavalli, Aquilano.Rimondi and Angelo Marani declaring shimmering golds and stunning floral patterns as this season’s must haves.

Aquilo. Rimondi

Angelo Marani


Ralph Lauren

With Baz Luhrmann setting the cameras rolling for his adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’, catwalks followed suit, emulating the high spirit of the ‘Roaring Twenties’. Waistlines dropped to the hip in flirty flapper style dresses with sequins and fringing . Detailing turned geometric Art Deco, and a mix of feathers and silk created the ultimate Jazz age cocktail. New York Fashion Week performed this best with Ralph Lauren dolled up with their literal interpretation of the trend, and Marc Jacobs giving it a contemporary swing. However, it was Italian fashion house Gucci that delivered a darkly sophisticated interpretation of this colourful era that proved the most striking. 

Marc Jacobs



In times of economic instability, the fashion world appears to have taken refuge in periods of history when life was booming and flourishing. American and Italian designers have created a sense of nostalgia on the catwalks, harking back to former glory days. The exuberant nature of the Baroque period and the Jazz Age promises to inject our relatively dreary wardrobes with a touch of drama this Spring/Summer. With these two elaborate periods, beware of appearing too garish. For a subtler look, take hints of Baroque detailing with gold buttons or accents of ornately decorated brocade and deep rich velvets. Add a touch of glamour from the 20s by dropping both the waistline and hemline of dresses. All in all, watch out for these trends of 2012, which will be all over the high street quicker than you can say it’s the Bee’s Knees.


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