by ann friedman
Ruffles, bare shoulders and structure highlight spring trends
Mari Landers knows a thing or two about fashion. She’s held nearly every position in the industry, from management to buyer, and currently serves as the vice president and general manager of Saks Fifth Avenue at Fashion Show mall.
Landers launched her fashion career at May Co. California, a department store chain that operated in Southern California and Nevada. She then moved on to Diamond’s, Broadway Emporium-Capwell, Cain-Sloan Co., Bullock’s and Joseph Magnin Co. department stores.
She’s also worked her way up through the ranks at Saks Fifth Avenue, having held the positions of assistant general manager of merchandising, administration and operations.
When it comes to spring fashion, Landers predicts we’ll be seeing a lot of ruffles, bare shoulders and structure this season.
“You’re also going to see trench dressing and embellishments, shine, embroidery, print and stripes,” she said. “Instead of highlighting a specific color this year, there’ll be more of a mixing of media, such as florals, stripes, and mixing color palettes.”
“People are more confident about mixing colors, patterns and prints, so there’s an evolution and confidence of an individual styling themselves,” Landers added. “Plus, fashion is meant to be fun.”
During 2016, Landers said glam grunge was popular, as was the military trend, which seeped into everything from shoes to jackets.
“Glam grunge — mixing of glamourous silks with denim — was an eclectic look, and while it was translated into each person’s individual style, it was difficult to pull off. Glam and grunge are so opposite,” she said. “So while it’s an interesting and fun concept, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to interpret.”
Landers pointed out that while fashion trends each season tend to be dictated by what’s on the runway at fashion shows, social media also has become increasingly influential.
“While fashion shows and fashion designers set the tone, it becomes interpreted as to what people wear based on trends for their individual style,” she said. “Social media also expedites what the trends are going to be and adds more of a flair, especially based on different regions.”
Landers added that social media allows people to share fashion trends with those who aren’t in the same room.
“It also allows you to interpret the trends into your own style and see how celebrities are interpreting them,” she said. “As technology has improved, so has the communication and evolution of fashion, and I think it’ll play a key role in communicating the trend for years to come.”
Each season, fashion trends aren’t necessarily completely fresh and new, Landers said.
“Fashion evolves, so this past fall, there were so many major military influences, and this spring will focus on trench dressing, which is a more structured shirt dress and a takeoff of the more structured military jacket,” she said. “Another was the cold shoulder — showing a hint of your shoulder with a top, sweater or dress. Now it’s more of shoulder show so you see the entire shoulder.”
She added, “There’s never a total extreme change from one season to the next. It’s more of a slow evolution of doing something different and rolling with the trends.”
Landers said when deciding what trends to incorporate into your wardrobe, it’s all about identifying your own personal style.
“Each trend should be adjusted based on your demographics and individual style, including what looks best on you, and what works for your body type and lifestyle,” she said. “You don’t have to wear every trend, as long as you find what works best for you. So when you’re experimenting with a new look, find what makes you feel the best, and you’ll look great no matter what.”