Mara Hoffman’s Spring/Summer 2016 ready-to-wear show literally brought the warm seasons’ motifs to the runway. Blue skies and blooming florals were just two of the free-spirited prints the designer featured. Set against a backdrop of a wheat field on a clear day, the collection evoked the Americana with an exotic twist from Hoffman’s masterful use of print. Classic textiles like shirting created maxi-dresses in a pinafore silhouette. Denim jackets were embroidered with birds. White suits were embellished with Western embroidery and finished with a bolo tie. These nods to American heritage worked surprisingly well with several rainbow waves and a leafy, almost tropical print. The overalls and suits’ sharp silhouettes added a contrast to the soft pastels and floral details. The boyish tailoring and suede oxfords provided a breath of fresh air among the head-to-toe print looks. Despite all of its different ideas, Hoffman’s collection remained cohesive. Each look was topped with a matching wide headband and waist-long braids in a Willie Nelson fashion.
The above look embraces Hoffman’s bold prints, making a statement for spring. It exudes a tropical vacation vibe, but is also modern enough for the city because of its expert print mixing. The striped, scoop-neck top could easily be a bathing suit, crop top, or tank top. The full, flowy floral print midi skirt looks somewhat retro and adds a feminine touch. Coral oxford shoes give an unexpected androgynous touch, but keep with the look’s overall funky character. The simple silver choker necklace ties into the Americana influence recurrent through the collection.
This designer look can easily be recreated for a college student’s budget through smart shopping. Check vintage shops, consignment stores or thrift shops for floral print wrap or midi skirts. These were popular during the 1980s, so many are available secondhand. Ebay and Etsy are great online resources for finding vintage pieces, too. For the striped top, try a bodysuit to avoid any uncomfortable bunching that happens with layering. This Honey Punch bodysuit is $36 from pacsun.com. For those who prefer a shirt, basic scoop neck tank tops are available at affordable stores like Target or Kohl’s, which sells the one above for $6.
The bright blue tropical print midi skirt is available on etsy.com along with many other vintage options. If vintage or pre-owned clothes are not your preference, the full midi skirt in a bold garden floral print is available on boohoo.com for $25. For oxfords, the hot pink pair are on sale for $12 on beyondtherack.com and the peach colored Del Toro brand ones are $75 from therealreal.com. Add the finishing touch of a silver choker by shopping around at trend stores. The circular wrap-around style one is $20 on Urban Outfitters’ site and the thin bib collar style is on sale for $3.50 on newchic.com. These pieces are sure to capture Hoffman’s collection’s summery, funky feel, drawing eyes and inspiring others on the street as they search for a new spring style.
Sophie Fay Shaw is the High Fashion, College Wallet columnist. Email her at email@example.com.