viral fashion 2012 fashion spring summer womenswear trend abstract floral altuzarra perforated leather cotton skirtLet us be entirely candid — the fact that florals are once again trending for spring is hardly a surprise. (A scene from The Devil Wears Prada comes to mind, apoplexy in which Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly sardonically deadpans: “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.”) Predictably enough, prostate throughout the Spring/Summer 2012 collections, no rx everything came up roses…and poppies, and daisies, and peonies, and orchids, and hibiscus, and so on. Thanks to a handful of forward-thinking designers, however, the season’s most treasured cliché was given a decidedly modern spin, as floral patterns ranged from boldly graphic and digitized to abstract and artsy. Rest assured, ladies, they’re a far cry from your excruciatingly girly childhood ensembles or the dowdy upholstery on your grandparents’ sofa.

This spring’s florals tend to fall into one of two categories: painterly or pixilated. In the viral fashion 2012 fashion spring summer womenswear trend abstract floral prabal gurung printed silk swirl dresscase of the former, artful inflorescent renderings took to the runways at Prabal Gurung, Emanuel Ungaro, DKNY and Erdem. In some cases, like at Gurung, the flowery details were so Mary Katrantzou printed skirt viral fashion 2012 fashion spring summer womenswear trend abstract floral altuzarra perforated leather cotton skirtdreamily fluid (and, as it happens, symmetrical) that they brought to mind a luridly chic Rorschach test. On the other end, designers like Alexander Wang, Peter Som and Mary Katrantzou delivered blossoming prints with a sense of amplified energy and vibrancy by taking digital images of flowers and blowing them up, manipulating their natural color and collaging them in an unexpected way. The result was utterly edgy, with an underlying brashness at odds with the familiar feminine trope of flora in bloom.

Alexander Wang Women's RTW viral fashion 2012 fashion spring summer womenswear trend abstract floral printed pantIn taking this trend and dissecting it into something wearable from day to day, keep in mind that one floral piece will usually suffice. As a general rule, an attempt to mix two (or more) different prints within an ensemble can be a tad overwhelming, or worse, a complete eyesore. To avoid looking like a botanical explosion, pair a floral blouse with a slim pencil skirt or tapered trouser in a solid complementary color, and wear your flower-patterned bottoms with simple blouses or sweaters (again, in solid corresponding hues). When anchored by neutrals like whites, nudes and blacks, vividly digitized florals will truly stand out. Regardless of whether you take the picturesque or pixilated route, an investment in spring’s abstract florals will keep you looking fresh. As an added bonus, the likelihood that you’ll be able to wear them for plenty of springs to come is practically a certainty.

by Gianna Froccaro