I am trying to focus on separates lately for Spring/Summer. I enjoyed the tailored look over Fall/Winter and think it is is easier to achieve with a fitted skirt and interesting blouse than through dresses. Although we'll see how long it lasts as I have a serious love affair with dresses! These are from the offerings at Saks.
All kinds of ruffles are still in style, which I love. Well, actually, I love them in theory. In truth I have very few items that actually have ruffles. I am a small person and (for the moment) I look younger than my age, so I do have to be a bit careful about too much sweetness. But I am always inspired by *seeing* ruffles. And these ruffles are quite sophisticated, I think. The Elie Tahari is more like origami than ruffles (still love the origami trim I did on this wrap blouse), which has the femininity without the juvenalia. The Fendi top is a more casual look, but I dig the external seam/ruffle situation, and a more wearable version--maybe even in the office with a jacket--is this St. John's version.
Speaking of wrap blouses, here are two variations with plays on the collar. Love the wide, drapey lapels and watercolor print of the Etro--and I already have that look covered with my new favorite Burda 02-2009-123 wrap blouse with self-collar. More ruffles with the Marc Jacobs--double ruffles! And how fun it is to use a different colorway in the same print motif? This is something that can go from Marc Jacobs to Garanimals real quick, but I think here it is strictly grown up.
The shoulder is still "very important," to quote a bit of silliness from Michael Kors' judging during Project Runway (early in the season). A way to use the shoulder without the molded shoulder pad are details like the subtle yoke on the Akris blouse, where the shoulder is emphasized by the directional usage of the gingham or the extravagant ruffles on this Elizabeth and James top (as for the tie dye--yeesh!).
Draping is another trend I like. I don't care for the unfinished look the of the Hanii Y t-shirt (I've already been inspired by a Hanii Y garment--my lace skirt), but I do like the double layer/asymmetry. Nanette Lepore shows a symmetrical drape, but the ribbon detail gives it a little more interest and I like that the tank is built in. BCBG has a classic oversized cowl tank; I think you get that look with the cowl neck version of the HP Three Graces top. I haven't been crazy about how huge that version looks on others who have used the pattern, but it does look rather appealing on the model.
For pure inspiration, I love this Derek Lam faux corset top. The draping of the upper bodice and that little collar are so great, and the contrast color and closer fit of the lower bodice with the coordinating cuffs makes it a real impact piece. There are several patterns out there that could be used for this look--Butterick 4985, for instance--if you dare. I don't see myself dipping into this well in real life.
You all know how much I love a print; I rarely sew with solids. However, at this point it has been about three years since I bought any clothes and my old standby H&M t-shirts (which I've actually had for longer than three years, more like six) are eventually going to give out on me. But really, I just don't see how I could possibly sew plain t-shirts without experiencing an aneurysm of boredom. So I always like to see a variation on a tee.
These two illustrate what you can get just by altering/embellishing the sleeve. The Princess Seam made some tees similar to the Gabi Ponti top (on the right) a couple years ago and I have had them in the back of my mind since; her blog post also includes a photo of how she altered the sleeve to get the look. While out and about last weekend I saw two people wearing short sleeve t-shirts with a long, gathered sleeve cap like that, with elastic or gathering running along the center of the sleeve/outside of the arm. It was a cute little touch.
All my inspiration photos for Spring/Summer 2010 tops are here.