Couture du Jour—February 28, 2006

By Sarah Cohan

While winter always leaves me feeling like it will never be warm again—and I will always have a thick overcoat to protect me from the elements—spring is, of course, right around the corner. In Chicago, spring lasts about two weeks, but it’s a glorious period of time between the frigid winter months and the sweaty, humid months of summer.

As always, the spring/summer season is an interesting mix of different styles to keep everyone happy, rather than the uniform style of autumn that everyone seems to fall into. This spring, we have many different tastes to look forward to: a boho-hippie style which was left on the pallet from last year, a sweet, romantic ’50s look, and a harsh, silvery Greek look that juxtaposes the two.

This season, Prada, Chloe, Narciso Rodriguez, Oscar de la Renta, Karl Lagerford with Chanel, and many more are providing women across America with lovely ’50s-cut overcoats, skirts, and dresses. My favorite of these is a Marc Jacobs “pointelle swing coat,” complete with a vintage circle print, boxy cut, French high-cut collar, and large pockets.

The Greek portion of fall is from Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere. His shoes for the season are a silver-and-gold rendition of a leather sandal. He adds a thick high heel, exaggerates the buttons and attachments, and makes it available in many varieties (including a clear or metallic heel).

This time around, many designers are choosing the bohemian look, including Guess? and BCBG. This year is a tame version of last year’s obtrusive style. It’s all about sexy body hugging this spring, and Nanette Lepore offers this with her crocheted dress in a lovely shade of choral. This dress has a sweetheart cut but still allows the body to flow and move with the material, instilling a hippie spirit in the outfit.

This season, you don’t have to get rid of all the big, bold jewelry that you bought to survive winter. It can still be used with every look this season, but in more muted tones. Try adding a bit of sparkle into the works. This will help any style that you choose stand out.

For makeup, pioneers like MAC and Nars lead the way. MAC, of course, is offering the typical spring colors (greens, pinks, and purples), but there are a few different ways to avoid the mundane. Try using a darker color to fill in underneath your eye crease and a lighter color to highlight the crease. I know this is a little on the radical side, but it’s always good to try new things.

So whether you prefer to keep it simple with the ’50s frock, try something new with a Greek twist, or simply hang on to your boho style from last year, you’ll be able to find a look to make you happy this season. Although summer will creep up on us sooner than we know, we’ll have a good week or so to shed the coats and don our new frocks.