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Easter Fashion

Valerie McPhail

(3/2016) Easter and new fashion synonymously define just how the springtime is a season that brings renewal. Easter is a special time because it is a holiday that represents the essence of my faith in Christ. The power behind celebrating involves a rebirth of identity. Of course, an accompaniment of eggs and flower buds further illustrate signs of a new beginning.

Easter has always been a day spent acknowledging the faith alongside my family. At a younger age, such events inspired some excitement over new fashion. One year, this new fashion was the new pair of sandals I once awoke to find in my Easter basket. These sea green, low wedged sandals automatically became the statement piece to the outfit I would wear on Easter. In response to my interest in fashion and clothing, family events quickly became reasons to dress up. Easter marked the first sights of spring fashion. As Easter becomes increasingly reflected upon, there are spring fashion trends for the whole family. These popular themes can be coordinated together so that you can share in the excitement of Easter fashion.


Women’s fashion is responding to the romance and ease of this season by presenting breath-taking clothing designs. Off the shoulder tops and exaggerated sleeves, denim bottoms claiming foundations to ruffles and lace, with sequins included in the details can all be seen during this time of the year.

With that being said, it is without surprise that the off-the shoulder look is officially predating the beach bum days of summer. In fact, there is no need to restrict the off-shoulder style to the beach (re- poolside/ beach wrap attire) but it is rather a stylistic design decision that welcomes the warm weather, especially against your skin. The off-the shoulder look is dramatic; there is nothing casual about it.

From the conception of its design strategy—circa 1830s— it was a big deal. Lowering the shoulder of a woman’s dress was a bold statement, and only the fashionable lady would dare to desire such a modern look. Back then, the off-shoulder style was a detail that defined evening dresses; today, this look translates to dresses found on the runway for this spring. Minimalist options can be found by Boss, Prabal Gurung and J Crew. Such runway references provide a bare idea of how solid colors draw attention to design. Mint green presented by J Crew, black via Boss and white as seen in a look from Prabal Gurung reveal a notion that color is an important detail that allows for a statement. Solid, pigmented textiles bring attention to design aesthetic in the case for the off-the-shoulder look. It speaks of romance and femininity.

The exaggerated sleeve is a look that was trending on the runway. This design can bring to mind all sorts of historical references — an Old English sleeve, 1980’s shoulder or a bohemian flow — to properly describe the ease of this fashion statement. JW Anderson is a runway reference whom brought back this detail in a number of the looks throughout his Spring/Summer 2016 Collection. Simone Rocha was another designer who carried the legacy of this trend last season during London Fashion Week. Both designers bring an excitement to design. The exaggerated sleeve compliments the glamour of spring. Both are pleasant sights to see.

Denim is a constant of many wardrobes, especially to American fashion. However, it is not always seen on the runway. For Spring/Summer 2016, we will see an exception, and it is truly exciting. These sights have been spotted in high fashion: Chanel designed a full-length denim dress, Vetemens manipulated the fabric to create frayed jeans and skirts, while Stella McCartney showcased jumpsuits this season. The ease and comfort of denim is becoming couture, and high fashion. Blurring these lines should come without surprise: as fashion becomes more available to the public eye of appeal, comfortable clothing becomes a necessity. Without risking quality and precision, this season embraces a comfort without reservation. The peace and the calm of spring is a perfect time to ease into new fashion.

Don‘t forget the details:

There is nothing more standard in fashion than a Sunday dress, that is, an Easter Sunday dress. The one thing ruffles, lace and sequins have in common for spring is that they can all be found on dresses. Let the romance of ruffles and lace, and the charm of sequins inspire fashion choices this spring. Ruffles and lace are great options for daytime to evening looks, while sequins are best admired on going-out attire. Save a full-sparkly sequins and glittery dress for a night out dancing and for special events.


Men are beginning to have fun with their fashion. What started with printed button downs from Tommy Bahama is now finding a voice among menswear brands around the world. Now, the ‘ole Hawaiian floral look is reintroduced with the Japanese flower print. It is an exciting time in the menswear industry to say the least. The traditional pieces that defined a uniform to men are now reinvented and re-introduced as eye-catching looks. And it is a perfect, fresh new look for spring.

This sort of movement has recently translated through decorated blazers and Asian inspired prints. The basic staples are now far from traditional. New ventures on the tuxedo jacket were also popular, but seem more appropriate for evening attire. Therefore, a blazer is deemed a better option for the daytime.

A round of applause for Paul Smith; His Spring/Summer 2016 Collection brings an assortment of suit jackets and blazers — the double-breasted suit coats were light heartening— the polka dotted gray coat and the leather pieces are favorites among other festive pieces that are worth celebrating in.

Asian artwork and floral prints were defining features of the men’s runway for Spring/Sumer 2016. It is not too difficult to see why— there is a peace with confidence in these prints referenced in an array of jackets and tops. This floral look is far from feminine. Alexander McQueen offers full suits; jacket, pant and collared button downs with a dragon graphic print while Louis Vuitton presented a similar reference in bomber jackets and satin tops. Marc Jacobs is another reference; floral printed pants, shorts and t-shirt defined this New York City designer’s Spring 2016 Collection. The Asian graphics and floral prints are appropriate for springtime. Let’s not neglect the fact that flowers are determinants of the spring season. Therefore, the rich, vibrant colors that pair well with these prints express an excitement for not only the warmer weather, but also for this new season in fashion. The menswear industry is expressing its interest in striking prints that demand attention.


When it is time to dress up, spring dresses for girls and khakis for boys are always presentable looks for children. These traditional attires are in the works of change as we see fashion brands primarily established for womenswear and high fashion break into the world of children’s fashion.

Stella McCartney has been designing a children’s line since 2010. In statements regarding the line, "Stella McCartney Kids," McCartney has shared a perspective that is essentially playful and free bearing. In both design and aesthetic, there is an interest in pieces that allow children to live their lives. Stella McCartney’s influence on fashion is refreshing in the development and growth of her children’s fashion line. If fashion is an art that communicates perspective through clothing design, then through her collection of graphic t-shirts, overalls and sneakers for kids, Stella McCartney is leading the way. For children are expressive in their ways and need clothing that encourage their young spirits.

Italian brand, Dolce & Gabbana has been designing children’s clothing since the establishment of the line in summer of 2012. In its most recent collection there is a theme that translates from the men’s and women’s collection to the children’s line. For the girls, this looks like lace and striped printed dresses and for the boys graphic t-shirts and denim. To get the whole family in similar looks, shop floral prints and stick to stripes.


The sight of couples that coordinate their outfits brings a smile to my face. It is refreshing to see and will be even more so to see in light of the similar trends met this spring. The wide-leg pant is a style both men and women can explore. A baggy, pleated pant is the best way for gentlemen to test the look. Women can shop silk and polyester styles. Another option is matching in stripes— striped dresses are simple looks for women, and striped suits are classic looks for men. This season, embrace the new looks fashion is identifying with. It may even be easier with someone by your side — opt for matching in style.

Easter is a holiday that celebrates the identity found in faith and relationships with Christ. In response, there is a confidence that is externally visible and communicated in all forms — speech, presentation and demeanor. Fashion elicits a comparable reaction. Design and aesthetic present a perspective. Although not communicated audibly, it recently has proven a powerful way society finds that it can express itself. The industry’s growing attention proves this relevance. The fashions of Spring/Summer 2016 communicate just how fashion identifies with life. We are entering into a new season of new ideas on fashion. This is for men, women and children, so the whole family is included.

Read other articles by Valerie McPhail