Not all of us have the luxury of being famous and having designers practically begging us to wear their luxurious, expensive couture gowns for free. Likewise, most college students do not have the funds to purchase the latest fashions as they appear on the runway. Fortunately, it is easy to translate the latest designer trends to fit your budget. The biggest trends on the Spring 2012 runway recall both the '50s with high-waisted skirts, and the '20s with metallics and retro fringe. Here a few trends to translate without breaking the bank:
1Exposed Midriff – Don't worry – belly shirts and flared jeans aren't making a comeback yet again. Dolce & Gabanna used springtime floral bikini tops and matching high-waisted pencil skirts with a sliver of skin exposed in between. Emilio Pucci turned up the glamour with cropped lace T-shirts and flowing skirts with a band of midriff to break up the dress-like design. The key to this look is making sure your belly button is covered, and to expose between two and five inches of skin between your shirt and pants or skirt. To attain this look for less, try shopping at Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters for a lightweight cropped top. Pair it with a fitted black pencil skirt from Express. The little bit of skin you'll show off between the top and skirt is sexy, but not overly so that it becomes dated or vulgar. It's a classy outfit that will keep you cool as the weather warms up.
21950s Silhouettes – Think Lucille Ball and Betty Draper – dresses with a small waist and full, pleated skirt are all over the runways. To attain the vintage look while still staying modern, check out the large selection of trendy dresses on ModCloth.com or at Anthropologie stores. To avoid looking like you're dressed as a waitress in the movie “Grease,” keep the colors dark, or buy a dress with a fun geometric print. Polka dots and flowers might be cute, but they will date your look instead of keeping you fashion forward.
3Metallics – The ultra-modern shine of metallic fabric and accessories has been trendy for a while, and it seems to be the defining choice on red carpets this year. Avoid overly sequined tank tops or gold bangles, and instead pick up a shiny black blazer or silver clutch from H&M. Keep the look modern with jewel-tone, color-blocked metallics, as seen on the Rick Owens runway. The idea is to look shiny and sleek, not glittery and costumed.
4Pastels – Light blues, sea-foam greens, salmons and baby pinks are all over the runway for the warmer months. Pastel clothing is a great alternative to the spring florals seen in every store around this time of year. While the light palette was seen in a more preppy fashion on the Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton and Phillip Lim runways, you can use the palette in your wardrobe without looking like an extra from “Miami Vice.” Pair a lavender dress with black tights or a baby blue cardigan with jeans and distressed boots. J. Crew's pastel collection is always on point, but for those with less cash to blow, Gap and Old Navy are well-stocked in the colorful clothing.
51920s Flapper Accents – Runway designers were very obviously inspired by this year's award-winning film, “The Artist,” with its drop-waist dresses and fancy fringe. Emporio Armani and Gucci have modernized the popular flapper style by deepening the neckline. The low-cut flapper style is more flattering to today's less-than-conservative fashion trends. Up the glamour in your wardrobe with a slip dress from Free People or a drop-waist sundress from the Jason Wu collection at Target. Pin on a vintage brooch from the thrift store, and you will look like the bee's knees.