New portrait of fashion season

Butterfly belts, bucket bags and leather flowers for spring-summer 2013
By Darya Oksanina

Every woman knows that new accessories are the best way to update an old outfit, adding an individual touch. If you’re carrying the latest handbag and sporting gloves in an ‘on trend’ colour, no one will notice that your coat is several seasons old. Meanwhile, the most stylish outfit can be spoilt by, for instance, a poor choice of belt, hat or scarf. With spring in the air, our thoughts turn to promenading once more, inspiring our desire to ‘dress up’.

This spring / summer, natural and artificial leather will be popular, embellished with reptile and animal prints.

Animal print
Where women choose their bags for beauty, most men choose them for functionality. Where women are attracted to bright colours, their male counterparts prefer brown, blue, black or tan, with simple zips, straps and locks. New for the coming season, men’s bags are likely to include snake or leopard prints, with vertical ‘messenger style’ briefcases offering compact elegance. The younger generation may like the latest backpacks, made from soft suede or similar man-made fibres.

Do not fly away, butterflies!
The coming season will see a celebration of belts in all shapes and sizes, including prints, bows, woven fabrics and decorative stitching. Those blessed with a slender waist can sport skinny belts in vivid shades or natural suede, decorated with shiny buckles in the shape of butterflies, adding a playful element to their attire.

Evening will be the time to don patent leather belts decorated with rhinestones or a large imitation flower, with natural shades in favour. Belts in smooth or textured leather will work with jeans and tailored trousers alike; match your belt to the colour of your outfit, even imitating the fabric of your dress or suit.

Glamorous attribute
Leather jewellery has been in fashion for thousands of years, proving an enduring staple of our wardrobe. Pendants, necklaces and brooches in natural or artificial leather can be a sophisticated addition to a business suit or sundress, notes leather jewellery designer Oksana Kozhev-nikova. She emphasises that leather bracelets and cuffs are a ‘must have’: heavy, with military style decoration; or delicate and interlaced with coloured threads.

Flower pendants will also be popular with the younger generation.

Bucket bags
“Spring/summer 2013 will see bags in various colours, including embossed ‘leopard’ and ‘snake’ prints,” notes bag designer Tatiana Kruglova. Flat bags with short handles will remain on trend, being stylish and spacious. Bucket bags are to be found in vibrant shades for the warmer months, sometimes decorated with applique or patch pockets. Those made from patent leather with chain handles are set to be especially stylish.

Small handbag with a great future
Clutch bags will remain in vogue, particularly in shades of neon pink, yellow and green. Matching manicures are sure to follow. Monochrome designs in smooth or embossed leather will suit formal and office attire, while those for evening may be decorated with rhinestones or embroidery, including on the handle-strap. Clutch envelopes will also be popular.

Masculine trends
Men should pay attention to their belt, watch and tie this season, stresses belt designer Mikhail Zagorsky. “There are two directions for men’s belts: classical and casual. The first requires matching with the colour of your leather watchstrap, while casual wear has no such restrictions. Buckles should be simple for formal wear but can be as whimsical as you like otherwise.” He notes that bright belts can also be worn with similarly vivid tie and shirt, in matching tones.

Like a second skin
Gloves are not just for keeping hands warm; they should fit perfectly, showing off delicate wrists and elegant fingers, while complementing your outfit. “This spring, long gloves to the elbow and above are in fashion, paired with wide, cropped sleeves. Of course, you can also wear shorter versions,” notes glove designer Natalia Gladkaya. “Short gloves might have oval cut-outs or stylish perforations to add interest, made from natural or imitation leather.”

Leathers in combinations of colour bring an avant-garde look. Suede is also on trend, with stylish contrast stitching and in fresh colours, such as green, blue, purple and pink.

Purse or accessory?
While men’s wallets need to be able to hold money, documents and credit cards, remaining practical in classic black or brown, there are no such traditions for women, who purses can be as embellished as we desire. Purses can be used as small handbags, able to hold cosmetics and other trifles. Of course, leather is always in fashion, but why not bring some colour to your wardrobe; there’s no need to always choose sensible shades of tan. Match accessories to your mood and to the occasion, to bring some sparkle to your spring / summer attire. Heads will turn!
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