- Next season will see girls dressing as girls again; trends have been masculine
- Expect to see flowing dresses, cocoon shapes and hourglass figures, say experts
- Fashion industry: Pastel colors and floral prints will be on trend for spring
In recent seasons, fashion trends have dictated girls borrow from the male wardrobe with "boyfriend jeans" and military-inspired gear reminiscent of the battlefield. But looking ahead, the offerings on the catwalk for Spring/Summer 2012 indicate a definite return to femininity and glamor.
CNN asked three fashionistas in the know, Bloomingdale's fashion director Stephanie Solomon, stylist-to-the-stars Nikki Pennie and front-row fashion blogger Bryanboy, for their predictions of the new season's top trends.
"It's all about the feminine silhouette"
During the last month, Stephanie Solomon sat in on shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris and as Bloomingdale's head buyer she knows exactly what is likely be in stores.
"It is a total turn around from last year's Spring/Summer collections," says Solomon. "There is no reference to goth, grunge and certainly no borrowing from the boys this season."
"It is a totally feminine look that we haven't seen in years," she adds. "The catch-all phrase of the season is femininity. It is floral-inspired, tropical-inspired, ethnic-inspired, artist-inspired and scarf-inspired and usually is seen in a dress, a pair of pants, an underscore skirt and in colors that range from pale pastels to shocking neons."
Accessories will be minimal but in line with accentuating the feminine look and earrings will make a big comeback.
Solomon says, "(Earrings are) the ultimate punctuation point for femininity. We will also see pretty pumps. It is no longer aggressive combat boots or thick-soled wedges. Everything will be much more delicate -- ladylike structures and in color."
It is a view echoed by stylist and fashionista Nikki Pennie, who welcomes the return of the feminine.
"Princess chic is a massive (trend) and that starts with everything from floor length skirts (to) taffeta, tulle and organza, paired with foxy lace and spandex tube tops. We saw that from Jason Wu. He was one of my favorites," says Pennie.
Pastels are also likely to be popular, with a lot of baby pinks, blues and yellows in different fabrics. Sequins, silks and cottons were used prominently on the Phillip Lim, Calvin Klein and Preen catwalks, according to Pennie.
Floral prints were also big.
"Half of New York showed florals, but in a great way," says blogger Bryanboy. "I love the tropical prints from Joseph Altuzarra, the hyper flower power at Peter Thom, the botanical prints from Alexander Wang ... This season is very visual."
Interpreting the trends
Pennie says we won't have to worry too much about picking our favorite pieces from new collections because retailers will do it for us. "They will pick the most prominent trends and make it wearable already.
"Karl Lagerfeld always sets the trickle-down trend ... Retailers just know if they emulate Chanel's collections, then they aren't going to go wrong," she said.
With the Olympics next year, fashion-spotters have also noticed a sporting theme running through the Spring/Summer previews. Pennie says: "Alexander Wang set a sporty trend ... He is such a high roller in the fashion world." She adds that we will see buyers and retailers snap up the sporty look because of Wang's influence and popularity.
Bryanboy adds: "I loved how Kenzo used sport silhouettes; cute anoraks, jackets with hoods and use of nylon. There were quite a few nylon looks. Sporty, athletic-inspired that you would see on tracksuits."
Simplicity is key
While following trends will keep you fashion-forward, Bryanboy says keep it simple.
"Pick one simple element ... it could be a color," he suggests. "Something in a sweet cotton-candy pink that's going to be on-trend. Marine life is big so a shell accessory. Really take one visual element and incorporate it into your wardrobe."
Pennie agrees: "For example, you could buy a floral blouse or a floral top and wear it with skinny jeans ... Or try buying a pretty summer dress and put it with a blazer in a pastel color or a tulle skirt.
She has some sage advice: "You get fashion victims who put every look from the catwalk together in one look -- find the pieces that suit you and make you feel fashionable and stylish."