Petal to the Metal

Petal to the Metal
Thursday, February, 16, 2012 We may as well be up front with you: here at Who What Wear, we will simply never tire of florals. Our obsession with flower power is a never-ending one, thanks to designers who cleverly reinvent the trend every season in new and exciting ways.In the past, we've discussed our love of big blooms and 3D floral, but today's Look We Love is an explosion of blossoms against metallic fabrics which we've aptly dubbed petal to the metal! In the hopes of planting the seeds of inspiration in you, dear readers, we plucked a profusion of runway looks and wearable pieces for you to try this season.

While botanical patterns flourished in many designers' S/S 12 runway shows, we particularly relished the metallic iterations in Christopher Kane's ethereal collection. Flowery fashion is often beloved by girls with ultra feminine sensibilities, but by featuring shiny, multicolored motifs against modern silhouettes, Kane masterfully assures that even the edgiest trendsetter will appreciate his looks. For example, Kane swathed his Blue Elinor Dress ($4870, 646.237.6078) in a merge of vivid watercolor shades (blues, pinks, yellows, and more). Rather than appear commonplace or repetitive, Kane's florals oozed fun, youthful elegance, especially when featured on a bold frock with a slightly revealing cutaway detail. Kane applied the same trick to what could have been a pretty yet sedate pencil skirt; instead, gleaming, bright blue buds burst across the Cutout Silk-Blend Jacquard Skirt ($1920), while a flirty hi-low hemline keeps the outfit interesting. Kane also smartly tempers the piece with a plain White Kate Top ($1390), a realistic approach to wearing this brilliant petal-to-the-metal trend! We must also point out the Brown Brocade Jacket ($4320, 212.206.1272), a sophisticated array of brown buds against a silvery-gray background. When paired with his Reflective Silver Dress ($2615), featuring a sequin-trimmed floral motif, the resulting look isn't overwhelming, just efflorescent.

If you've caught floral fever like us, we have just the antidote: a curated selection of fashion-forward pieces to help you channel Kane's runway looks. Though metallic blossoms may not seem like the easiest print to wear in real life, we assure you it's a chic and versatile way to incorporate them into your spring wardrobe, especially if you stick to just one statement piece. Take, for instance, J. Crew's Café Capri Pants ($298) in Midnight Green. The eruption of teal roses against rich blue is truly striking, but a solid-colored top easily tempers the pants' shiny, vibrant hue. We're also fond of H&M's exquisite Purple Floral Pencil Skirt ($60, 310.855.1009), which, with its ladylike silhouette and wallpaper-like pattern of pale blue flowers, is suitable for the office. Since the key to wearing this trend off the runway is to mix standout floral attire with more neutral elements, we selected RAOUL's Gold Leather Tank ($325, available in late February) and Topshop's Poplin Drop Waist Shirt Dress by Boutique ($130) in White, which both offer the perfect counterpoint to any blossoming garment. The classic tank possesses a pale gold sheen, making it a chic night-on-the-town option, while the crisp shirtdress is cool and casual enough for daytime wear.

No petal-to-the-metal ensemble would appear complete without the appropriate accents. Diane von Furstenberg's Lytton Raffia Minaudiere ($295) in Nude and Sam Edelman's Yelena Heels ($140) in Gunmetal/Au Natural complement any vibrant, floral outfit, serving up just a hint of metallic shine. And shimmer isn't merely restricted to your clothes and accessories; our roundup includes Maybelline's Dream Bouncy Blush ($8) in Fresh Pink and Benefit's chachatint ($29) in Mango, a pretty lip and cheek stain, to infuse your beauty look with a matching sun-kissed glow.--Tiffany Tse

Runway photos courtesy of Christopher Kane.
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