Style & Fashion March 24th, 2011

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Easy bohemian glam

Five great looks that will have you springing into the new season

Hit the mall and you’ll see the bohemian look continues to dominate the female fashion scene this spring.

But if you’re finding the maxi dresses gracing the racks this season too revealing, or the peasant blouses that will be billowing in the soon-to-be balmy breezes a tad too adolescent, you can rest assured you needn’t look like you’re trying to resurrect your wardrobe from 30 years ago to look on trend this spring.

Thanks to Canadian fashion company Spanner, there’s a way to do bohemian in an age-appropriate and functional way.

Known for its stylish, yet approachable, fashions for women 30 and above, Spanner takes its style cue for its spring collection from the 1960s and ’70s, presenting a series of 10 mini collections that are available in full at the Shops at Don Mills or in part at such midtown shops as Mode Suzan and The Trend Shoppe on Bayview Avenue.

Skirt flirt

Who says only short skirts have all the fun? This season the maxi skirt makes a comeback, revisiting the casual glam style of the 1970s. Whether floor grazing or swooshy, the long skirt incorporates details like draping, gathering or goring to produce various styles, ranging from the chic handkerchief skirt (Studio 54, anyone?) to long prairie-style skirts.

Pair the long skirt with a fitted, belted tee on top to create a lean yet flirty silhouette, or throw on an oversize crochet sweater to max out on the boho appeal.

Shape drape

If long skirts aren’t your bag, you can still bag a bit of boho glam by shifting the emphasis to what you wear on top.

From dolman-sleeved cardis and tunics to handkerchief-shaped tank tops and jackets, this season’s top tops have a definite shape, ranging from full and flowy to more structured jackets with soft touches, like ruffles.

Go with the flow but remember that bohemian glam entails a certain amount of restraint: Wear the shapely top with slim jeans or capris to balance out the shape on top and create a leaner silhouette on the bottom.

Pretty details

The bohemian look of yore has been much maligned for its overuse of embroidery, lace and other embellishments, but Spanner’s take on the details this season is girly, yet restrained. A lace or crochet trim on a skirt here; a shirred or gathered sleeve there; a beaded neckline there — feminine needn’t mean monotone milquetoast nor outrageously overdone. To avoid a cluttered look, avoid pairing too many pieces with details together and keep your accessories sparse in style.

Patterns matter

Think post-modern Pucci this spring, as prints are back with a twist. Everything from tie-dye batiks, geometric graphics and crisp stripes are on the style roster.

Of course, boho can’t be had without a bit of flower power: Spanner’s “Savanna” collection proves that florals can be soft and pretty and still hold their own in the style department, while the bold yellow and poppy red petals in its “Hot House” capsule bring the punchy flower prints of the 1960s into a sleek contemporary context.

Don’t be afraid to don your prints with simple solids or mix them up with complementary designs.

Colour chameleon

Forget the burnt oranges and blah browns of the shag carpet era. This season’s neutrals are best accompanied by jolts of bright Popsicle hues.

Think of the fuchsia pinks and acid greens that Italian designer Emilio Pucci made so famous in the 1960s, and toss in some electric royal blue, scarlet red, and coral for good measure.

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