Runway looks from Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Chloe’s Spring/Summer 2012 shows

Let the worldly and world-class looks from the Spring/Summer 2012 runways take you away this season. With Jazz Age flapper dresses and ladylike floral prints that are perfectly at home in these stylish international cities, a varied summer fashion wardrobe is your passport to some of our favourite vacation hot spots.

Runway trend: Ladylike dressing

As seen on: Cinched-waist dresses, feminine scarves and hourglass structuring at Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Valentino’s Spring/Summer runways.

Travel inspiration: Get inspired by the polished and chic tea-tolling adherents in London, where afternoon high tea is a consecrated (and fashionable) time of day.

Best-dressed locals: Off-duty trendsetters (think Kate Moss, Alexa Chung) and those sisters of style royalty, the Middletons.

Suitcase essentials: A high-waisted skirt, floral and flowing blouse and a fascinator topoff (the higher the better!). Also: anything with a bow goes.

Inconspicuous tourist factor:
4 perfectly wrapped chignon buns out of 5.

Runway trend: Pastels

As seen on: Soft peach flowing dresses, ethereal tweeds and lavender trousers at Diane von Furstenberg, Chanel, 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Spring/Summer runways.

Travel inspiration: The life-imitates-Monet water-coloured backdrop of Giverny, France.

Colourful hot spots: The pale hues of the water lilies that inspired the French impressionist painter, Monet’s garden is the French countryside’s claim to vivid, breathtaking fame.

Suitcase essentials:
A subdued rainbow of mint green (this season’s must), soft coral and summery yellow pieces. Bonus points for colour-blocking.

Inconspicuous tourist factor:
4.5 watery brush strokes out of 5

Runway trend: Jazz Age

As seen on: Bowler caps and gilded flapper dresses in Ralph Lauren and Marchesa’s Spring/Summer runways.

Travel inspiration:
The watering hole of prominent Jazz Age figures like Picasso and Fitzgerald, the luminous, all night appeal of Paris is as enchanting as ever (thanks, Woody Allen!)

Best-dressed locals: The impossibly sleek former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfield (and her runway seatmate daughter Julia Restoin Roitfeld); an originator of street style photography elite, French blogger Garance Doré now calls New York home, but carries that national, storied elegance with her.

Suitcase essentials: A flowing, all-white dress—fit for Daisy Buchanan,— fur shoulder shrugs, black and gold fringed flapper gowns.

Inconspicuous tourist factor:
3.5 out of 5 chapeaux for trying (somehow the locals can just tell).

Summer fashion: Best London street style looks

For more travel-ready summer fashion trends, read on to the next page…


Runway looks from Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Chloe’s Spring/Summer 2012 shows.

Runway trend: Pyjama dressing

As seen on: Paisley-patterned, head-to-toe matching suits at Stella McCartney, Sportmax and Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring/Summer 2012 runways.

Travel inspiration:
A get-up-and-go suit with 24-hour chic appeal, the pyjama trend is perfectly suited to the up-all-night vibe of Rio de Janeiro.

Colourful hot spots: Whimsical beach couture to surf the Copacabana beach by day before retiring to any one of Rio’s vibrant discotecas. Round-the-clock practice for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

Suitcase essentials: Take your pick of the matching, wallpapery-styled suit of blouse and bottoms. Pair with heels for a night on the town.

Inconspicuous tourist factor: 4.5 bedtime slippers out of 5—because sleep and a machine wash will eventually beckon.

Runway trend: Colour blocking

As seen on: Bold, asymmetrical panels of colour on Marc Jacobs, Peter Som and Tommy Hilfiger’s Spring/Summer 2012 runways.

Travel inspiration:
The brightly painted rainbow of homes in the La Boca neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.

Colourful hot spots: Right out of a Willy Wonka utopia, La Boca’s conventillos (shared housing,) made from scrap corrugated metal and wood from old ships and famously painted with bright colour combinations, are a cheery must-see.

Suitcase essentials:
A mustard skirt with a cobalt blue blouse— mismatched with a coral clutch for maximum effect. For the beach, go for a swimsuit decked out with swirl of vibrant, clashing hues.

Inconspicuous tourist factor: 5 out of 5 freestanding rainbows—with all these anything-goes colour combos, there’s way too much fun to be had.

Read more:
The top six summer fashion trends
Summer must-haves: Underwater accessories
Summer fashion: Pretty floral dresses
The six pieces you must buy this season