Runway Report: Ladies’ Room

Many fashion watchers are calling this season a bit of a bore, but that’s no great surprise. As economic and political turmoil kindles thoughts of simpler eras, fashion is following suit.

Forget Bohemian, Gothic, or Edwardian romance: Fashion for spring has abandoned any period pretenses and adopted, instead, an air of simple, ladylike style.

In what can be most aptly described as a tribute to ’50s style icons such as Grace Kelly, designs like silk print dresses and tweed suits are the toast of the season.

The classically feminine style signals a return to basics. Without pomp or flash, fashion designers have embraced simple silhouettes that exude ladylike sensibility. Dresses of all sorts, for example, appear to be at the forefront of fashion. Styles range from ’50s belted styles with tight bodices and full skirts, to wrap dresses for the more body conscious.

Other trends that emerged on the spring runways are knee-length skirts—especially the trim pencil skirt silhouette—and structured and padded shoulders. The colors to watch for spring are a major departure from the earth tones of recent seasons. This year, it’s back to the feminine with pale pastels and creams as well as girlish brights like teal, melon, and flamingo pink.

In keeping with the growing trend of fashion and fine jewelry going hand-in-hand, expect top jewelry sellers to also take a turn to the traditional. The already strong charm bracelet trend will be accompanied by staples like pearl strand chokers and studs, traditional diamond styles (think solitaires and three-stone pieces), and, for ears, more conservative drops, hoops, and button-style designs. Cabochon gemstones, too, are a perfect complement to these understated clothes.