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Inter-seasonal Dress: Bridge the Winter to Spring Divide

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Weather definitely influences wardrobe choices. Yet, it need not impose set fashion decisions.

Inter-seasonal dress bridges a divide between points on the fashion calendar. It manages the attire gap created from the moment the next season's collections are presented to when it is wholly feasible to 'weather wise wear' them. Collections make their runway debuts months prior to the season(s) of their intended wear. In the interim they tease and tantalise. With increased anticipation, we agitate to cast off present wear for those held before us: a case of off with the old: tried and staid, on with the new: fresh and current. Unfortunately, the fashion calendar is not synced to the forces of the equinox. So it is a months-long period of wait.

Or is it?

Consider the inter-seasonal dress dilemma, which now plagues: it's winter, it's cold, it's grey ... it's January - generally considered the coldest month in the year. Though, it can also be regarded as the month of revitalization: new beginnings, fresh starts, sincere resolutions - all intentions apropos to dress as well. With the arrival of January and the inauguration of a new year, there is this impatient desire for transition.

But does this mean a quick change - shedding winter's wadding for padding and donning spring's lightweight feathery fabrics?

Not so fast!

Until Mother Nature gives the official nod, it is difficult, if not improbable, to succumb wholly to such temptations. Fashion rules, but ultimately Mother Nature dictates....

Or does she?

The winter to spring dress transition is the most daunting of seasonal clothing shifts. How to defy the elements? How to give rise to spring wear while winter temperatures plummet? How to do so in the midst of January - when a natural urge for change is rife? Inter-seasonal dress answers these queries. It fills a fashion gulf and helps to buoy the much needed uplift out of winter blue mood. It is a blending of clothes, associated with sequential seasons, to create a style mosaic. It is a wonderful set of dress contradictions: hefty knits with lightweight fabrics, floral patterns with block solids, strappy sandals and woollen socks ... the list is as extensive as one's fashion vision and avid creativity.

As winter to spring is arguably the most problematic of inter-seasonal dress transitions, initial inspiration can be a challenge. Designer archives can suggest a successful starting point from which to bridge the gap. Rodarte Ready to Wear Collection, Autumn 2010- by design duo, sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy- offers a beginning step. Their runway presentation showcased an ideal inter-seasonal outfit - a winter to spring prototype. It incorporates clothing elements of both seasons: knits, lace, florals, checks, trousers, skirts, gloves, sandals, colour brights and colour mutes- all coordinated into one sensational tout ensemble- the total package.

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Rodarte, Autumn 2010

Inter-seasonal dress, from winter to spring, is a process of innovating and experimenting with fabric, colour, texture and proportion. It is a fashion conscious move of transition from winter doldrums to spring bliss ... and what better time to start than January - with a quick back glance at the year past and a steady gaze forward on the year to unfold.