Whether we're talking sweet and sassy sundresses or fabulously fancy frocks, higher temperatures mean elevated summer styles from every design diva. And with Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 collections already hitting stores and runways, sales on warm weather wearables are shining everywhere. To be sure that you're dressed for success this August, here's a look at what's trending right now.
Waist Not, Want Not While your shoulders might be bare, the bodices of this season's star pieces are far from it, revealing a multitude of midline embellishments. Beaded empire waists, ribbon belts, and fabric twists appear front and center. Just look at the sharp silhouette that Carolina Herrera creates when she cinches her hibiscus bird print jacquard pleat dress with a leather and acetate belt, or the bad-girl-next-door aura that Rebecca Minkoff channels with her black-and-white Mara bustier dress featuring zipper accents at the waistline. A little flair at the bodice is always a good bet.
Great Lengths Now that we're in the peak season, higher hemlines offer a peek at tanned legs. And though these pieces may be shorter, they most certainly aren't short on style. Designers have packed plenty of structure into these mini dresses, flirting with tiered and tulle skirts for maximum impact. For example, among her Summer 2011 lineup, Ali Ro puts forth a fabulously chic silk shift with a pleated bottom, perfect for flirty alfresco nights.
And when it comes to longer gowns, fashionistas are channeling inner goddess with dramatically flowing, floor-length numbers. Try on Nanette Lepore's "Rain or Shine" silk maxi, with its warm abstract rose print and loosely draped ruffles, for a little feminine mystique. Or don the one-shoulder ombre chiffon gown from Monique Lhuillier's Spring 2011 ready-to-wear collection for an ethereal effect.
Material Girl Whether cool jersey cotton, seersucker, chiffon, or linen, this season's materials have been painted in vivid abstracts and decorated in funky geometric cutouts and patterns. Betsey Johnson's "Gorgeous Garden" chiffon babydoll dress plays to a woman's softer side with its delicate fluttering cut and Monet-inspired pattern, while Alice + Olivia's "Russell" slip dress makes a bold statement with a tribal wave print.
And when it comes to graphics, Diane Von Furstenberg has the goods with her "Oblixe" silk jersey dress featuring tone-on-tone geo patterning. Nicole Miller also makes use of the black graphic print by layering stripes of varying weights across a wash of cobalt in her "Tidal Pleat dress".
Clari Farkash is the designer of the Clarisse line of short dresses and homecoming dresses for promgirl.net. Clarisse dresses have been worn by such celebrities as Miss Galaxy International and Miss Teen Galaxy UK. Promgirl.net has been selling prom
dresses and formal gowns from America's top designers for over 25 years. CC has a Clarisse dress and adores it!