Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring 2010: Graphic Designs

Two weeks ago, I met my best friend at MoMA. We had tickets to see the Tim Burton exhibit. If you’ve marveled at Burton’s creative genius over the years, especially his animation project, such as Nightmare Before Christmas, I highly recommend this exhibit. Experiencing Burton’s wicked sense of humor and pen-and-ink skills up close is quite a thrill. I especially liked seeing his early works—Super8 movies made in high school and a sketchbook in college.

For our afternoon at MoMA, my girlfriend wore a light cardigan with a graphic design in true green, pale green and off-white. The sweater really “popped,” as they say, against her fair complexion. “I’m buying only tops with patterns,” she informed me. “No more bland solids for me.” The remark made me laugh. Sometime in the past 15 years, we both became slaves to solids. Our closets are bulging with solid-colored shirts, cardigans, and even dresses and skirts. For most of the past decade or so, my friend was living in London and traveling a lot. Solids made packing easier. For me, a suburban mom, solids were just easier--period. (I also think my friend and I were still recovering from all the really bad 1980s prints we'd bought.)

If you’re also a slave to solids, spring 2010 is the perfect opportunity for you to set your wardrobe free. In addition to spring’s customary floral prints, this season is showing geometric, animal and tribal-inspired designs. There's truly prints for every woman over 50.

That said, petite woman over 50 might want to avoid...

Tops with large prints. A petite woman is likely to be overwhelmed by a large print top. Save the larger prints for skirts.

The mu-mu look. Other than, perhaps, Iman (not a petite woman, obviously), I doubt any woman over 50 is going to look good engulfed in tons of printed material. A little room to move is okay; a tent’s worth of fabric isn't okay.

Contrasting colors for tops and bottoms. Using the printed top’s primary color as your guide, find a bottom--skirt, slacks, short, whatever—that matches that color. For example, if pink is the predominate color in the printed blouse, find a pink skirt or slacks. It’s always better to keep a predominate color from shoulders to sandals. Why? It will make you look slimmer.