Runway Ready for Lecture

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For those not brave enough to try the denim-on-denim trend, always start out with an essential jean jacket. | Photo by Joeann Ngeow

By Clara Tan

Whether it’s walking into Makan Place or sprinting under the heat to get to class, Spring trends are here to help you keep your cool

Apart from getting a heads up on exam topics and tips on surviving every frantic semester, here’s something Ngee Ann Polytechnic students also excel at: style.

Being spontaneous enough to experiment with bright and wacky outfits— evident from NP50’s Retro Dress Day— it’s no surprise that looking 10 out of 10 is not an issue on campus.

The fashion aficionados who bookmark style websites like Vogue, Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE would know the trends for spring 2016 as early as September.

For Chinese Mass Media and Communication student Joeann Ngeow, however, she looks to a different platform for inspiration—Korean dramas.

“I don’t really look much into magazines because they tend to feature more high-end clothing, which is too loud for work and school days. Fashion in Korean dramas is usually casual, comfortable and still presentable for most occasions,” she shares.

Regardless of TV serials or the Internet, expect to see the revival of your wardrobe evergreens and the reinvention of pieces that date back to the 1950s.

First, start from your insides—lingerie. This quintessential body item made multiple appearances on the runway in New York as a dress, á la Kate Moss in the ‘90s. Calvin Klein went with a simple and ethereal cut, while Givenchy took things one step higher with intricate lace embroidery and a shorter version that stopped at the knees.

Debby Kwong, fashion stylist of Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore, recommends, “Layer a camo shirt or minimalist longline vest over it. For cold lecture theatres, it’d be fun to wear the dress over a lightweight turtleneck knit. Contrast the girly lingerie dress with chunky boots or beat up high cuts for that out and about look.”

Though every season brings a bit of femininity, there’s bound to be a trend that appeals to the masses. A lazy-day piece that students grab to complete a basic outfit, the clean, white shirt made a comeback in fashion week.

The best part is that it never left our wardrobe.

Ashley Kok, a final year Mass Communication student, feels excited that the white shirt is back in trend, and credits it as a ‘9-to-5’ staple that never goes wrong.

“One item that I can always count on would definitely be a white button-down shirt. It’s classy and puts your outfit together almost immediately!” she says.

Indeed, a clean button-down shirt is the uniform for presentations and turns into a fun Friday night top once accessorized with statement jewellery, such as a body chain.

White also goes very well with denim—another perennial item in our closet that we can pull out for spring.

Never mind that Chanel did a denim gown with engraved floral prints that would put your jean collection to shame. This spring, it’s all about being lightweight in any way possible.

For the inner rebels, take inspiration from Chloé and do a ripped, oversized fit. Button up a denim jacket to brave the cold in lecture theatres, and complete the look with a pair of jeans.

Though the general consensus is never to match full-length bottoms with slippers, sock-free days are always inevitable.

Here’s the good news: mules are back, and designers ensure that they are made for walking.

Popularised by Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s, the clogs-lookalikes had a few inches taken away for spring, and whether or not designers had this in mind—flat mules are definitely school-ready.

What may not be welcomed yet in school, however, is the Victorian trend.

Consisting of puffy English sleeves, ruffles and high collars, London Fashion Week was awash with modern takes on Victorian era fashion.

To pull off this unconventional style, Ms Kwong suggests avoiding the Victorian skirts and “anything with lace and ruffles”. Instead, go for high-collared white or cream coloured tops and pair them with ripped bottoms for a less prim and proper look that would be more suited for school.

She also points out that though it has become increasingly easier for students to be aware of the latest trends through social media, it seems that it’s just the crop top and denim ensemble that students really like right now—which isn’t something seen on runways.

So here’s the tip for looking as fresh as spring: keep the denim, bring out the white shirt, invest in a slinky dress, give your feet a break from sneakers and don’t be afraid of sporting some trimmings.

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