Vintage Inspired Style – Spring 2012

Yesterday we talked to you about how much we love Michelle Williams and her vintage-inspired style. We showed you some of our favorites of her red carpet looks in which she wore current designers who have heavy retro influence in their collections. Today we want to gush over such designers who have been bringing a mid-century ladylike appearance back into style.

Now, we know the Fall 2012 shows are walking right now, but let’s just focus on the present, and talk about this spring, shall we?

SS12 Runway Vintage Inspired

All images from Style.com

This season the ultra-girly, prim and proper styles of the 1950’s have dominated the runways, and the silhouettes are sexy in the most feminine of ways. The cotton candy colors, breezy skirts, and refined accessories are a dream to look at – they make spring seem a thousand times more exciting, and make twirling in a princess-y skirt (breaking into spontaneous song, perhaps?) seem like a daily reality. However, the real world has long moved on from the days of soda fountains and sock hops. If you get a chance to pick up a copy of this month’s Elle we very much recommend reading Daphne Merkin’s story, Portrait of a Lady. A notable line:

Here’s hoping that they’re right, that this time around the lady is neither a vamp nor a tramp but serenely in charge, not waiting for Prince Charming but confident in her ability to save herself.

With the implications that being a woman had at the time set firmly in our consciousness, we know that those of us who devotedly love fashion of the past and present are brave enough to go full lady from time to time. The runway looks are lovely, but a bit out of our reach, and what could be a better substitute for vintage revival than the real thing? We have paired up a few of our favorite designer pieces with some vintage garments from Etsy to inspire you to create your own modern take on the mid-century mademoiselle.

Erdem

Erdem Floral Dresses SS12

Everything at Erdem this season had us melting into day-dreamy little puddles – light florals in shades of green and blue, sheer fabrics, pleats, sassy little pointed collars… We love. Erdem’s dresses are such a literal interpretation of the fashion history that inspired them that the easiest way to get the look is to simply pick up a 1950’s day dress and keep the accessories light and the hair-do unfussy. Take your pick, there are plenty to search for, but here are a couple of favorites to get you started (simply click on the pictures to view them in the shop):

Erdem-esque daydresses 1

“Jade” Dress and vest by Jonathan Logan from Lise + Katina on Etsy (little old us! :)

Erdem-esque daydresses 2

1950’s floral summer day dress from circa1955vintage  on Etsy

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton SS12 Sheer Eyelet

Louis Vuitton was certainly the sweetest collection we saw – ice cream parlor hues with an abundance of eyelet and twee flowery frocks. To wear anything like this on a normal day, we would pick one super saccharine piece, and balance it with tougher accessories and seriously stylish shoes. Keeping things modernly sleek and shiny will maintain the stylish springtime vibe!

Louis Vuitton-esque cotton dress

1950’s White Cotton Voile Dress from salvagelife on Etsy

Louis Vuitton-esque Blouse

Pleated Pink Peter Pan Collar Blouse from CreatedandDated  on Etsy

(This beauty sold very quickly, but there are lots out there, including this one, and this one!)

Jil Sander

Jil Sander SS12 Full Skirts

Jil Sander feels to us to be the most wearable collection that we’re featuring. It tends towards the later 50’s and 60’s, and many of the looks have the timelessness of Grace Kelly about them. The full skirts were what really had us impressed – an incarnation of Dior’s ‘New Look’ which adds instant glamor to any outfit of today. A circle skirt is easy to wear, so pick one that strikes your fancy and try it out with multiple combinations of tops and accessories!

Jil Sander-esque Skirts 1

1940’s Navy Blue Circle Skirt from alexsandras  on Etsy

50's-60's Light Blue Accordian Pleated Skirt from bluebarnvintage on Etsy

50’s-60’s Light Blue Accordian Pleated Skirt from bluebarnvintage on Etsy

Prada

Prada SS12 Retro Mix

Prada stunned us with all of the fun of retro kitsch, and none of the stuffiness of the authentic styling of the times. Leather, pleats, amazing handbags, and a quirky car print give what is ultimately a feminine collection an overtone of toughness and brass. Getting the look for yourself is easy – after all, combining something prissy with a little rock-and-roll edge is what wearing vintage today is all about!

Prada-esque floral print

“Lola” 1960’s Mod Daisy Dress from Lise + Katina on Etsy

Prada-esque bomber jacket

Leather Bomber Jacket in Oxblood Red from thriftage on Etsy

Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to work your own authentic vintage look for spring! Get dressed, and if you’re in a sharing mood, do post a picture of your best look for us!

– Lise + Katina

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