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By Debra Simon

 

 

This season, designers have escapism, multiculturalism and globetrotting on their minds. Glance over their bombshell looks from the runways before you refresh your closet. Romantic or pragmatic, boho or hipster, there's something wonderfully wearable for you.

 

 

 

Bright Lights

Sunny pastel shades make appearances in cropped pants, tiered dresses and belted jumpsuits. Eye-popping neon stars in groovy maxidresses and puffy blouses. And saturated tropical colors take center stage on cuffed flair pants, ruffled midiskirts and shorts sets.

 

 

Down to Earth

Yes, splashy colors are all over the racks. But neutral tones are white hot, too. In blazers, hats, vests, skirts, dresses and blouses, delightful plays on basic beige include sand, tan and the c's: coffee, cream, camel, cinnamon, café au lait and chestnut.

 

Sleeve Treatment

From extravagant to outlandish, sleeves are the focus. One of the modern takes is the puffy sleeve. Often gathered at the shoulder with pleats of elastic, it's seen in everything from floral jumpsuits to monochromatic slouchy shirts.

 

 

Suiting Up

Statement suiting happens in loose layers and softer silhouettes in pant, skirt or shorts sets. The nonchalant elegance embraces many twists, including sparkly embellishments, look-at-me hues, shiny fabrics, flared legs, cinched waists and even utilitarian jumpsuits.

 

Out of Balance

The sass of asymmetrical touches offers a note of femininity or an artsy, cutting edge. Out-of-kilter intrigue rocks whether it's seen in a cuffed shorts suit, an animal print blouse or a silky lavender dress with an angled hem.

 

Summer of Love

West Coast cool includes scarf-like fabrics, high-waisted pants and flowerchild headbands. Tie dye gowns, fangirl T-shirts and surfing-inspired outfits, both bold and subtle, are back. The feeling is vintage bohemian circa late '60s and early '70s. Nostalgic tops, jackets, pants and other apparel supply an easy glam.

 

Craft Fair

Designers celebrate the rustic nature of handicrafts, the seashore and rural homesteads. Minimalist net dresses, colorful patchwork frocks, crocheted tunics, gingham pinafores, and lace or macramé pantsuits are packed with pastoral simplicity. But Grandma's cardigan may not make it: This season's folk elements are elevated with avant garde flair.

 

Mad for Print

The explosion of print-splattered apparel, including florals, is happening from sportswear to evening gowns. Some of the patterns clash happily in combinations that are typically kept far apart in the closet but now appear oh-so-right together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week