Fashion Forecast: Potent Pastels

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There's no better indication of fashion's changing mood than color. For Spring 2012, harsh primaries were ousted, leaving two new palettes to try: citrus hues on one end of the spectrum and soft pastels on the other. The muted pinks, yellows, blues and greens give an aura of tranquility with an underlying youthful kick.

Many of our favorite celebrity style enthusiasts have lead the way with whimsical feathered dresses like Sarah Jessica Parker or minimalist statement pieces like Kate Bosworth. Try your hand at the sweetly subdued trend with some inspiration from the runway and red carpet.

Amber+Heard in ELLE's 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute - Arrivals
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Amber Heard doesn't need a steamy red gown to heat things up (although, clearly, it doesn't hurt). Her sex appeal is equally impactful in this Calvin Klein sheath dress, giving us fair-skinned gals the go-ahead to wear blush. Let's overlook the shoe selection and pretend she wore these.


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Marc Jacobs' brilliance is far-reaching. Simply look to his three collections to get a sneak peek of what you will soon see everywhere (and inevitably be sick of) come next season. For the Louis Vuitton spring collection, the design mastermind made every little girl's dreamworld a reality. An ivory carousel, fanciful umbrellas, wispy feathers, eyelet dresses and (of course) pretty pastels made up the designer's fantasy land.

Kate+Bosworth in LACMA's Art + Film Gala 2011 - Arrivals
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Kate Bosworth is the queen of easy elegance. For the LACMA Art And Film Gala she wore this yellow off-the-shoulder lace number from Erdem—a collection that tantalized with loads of ladylike eye candy.


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Generally the go-to designer for classic evening and bridal wear, sporty mesh and sheer skirts were the last thing expected on the Vera Wang runway. While there are many of us who are still scratching our heads—how, exactly, do you wear a futuristic cutout running jacket?—the delicious candy colors are easy to get behind.

Rachel+Bilson in The Art Of Elysium's 5th Annual Heaven Gala - Arrivals
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Rachel Bilson has a loyal following due to her charming street style, but her red carpet looks also carry a sweet allure. This feathery Chanel design, for example, took command of the pastel trend while still playfully capturing her aesthetic.


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Philip Lim gave us a cool dose of creamy sherbet and icy lemon flavors for his spring line. The forever-hip designer translated downtown-chic into sugary tints of silky trousers, lax blazers and airy blouses that promise to not give you a toothache.

Rosie+Huntington-Whiteley in Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at Bar Pitti
Bauer Griffin

While out running errands in New York, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was spotted in a spearmint Chloe skirt. The shin-length style may not work on all girls but the low-key blue is a subtle way to infuse color into a daytime look.


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Spring for Preen meant cupcake colors placed on crisp pencil skirts and slacks. Pastel checkers proved the color palette's statement-making potential. The versatility of the shades are clear: Play it coy in lavender capris or make your look pop with peach and canary. But maybe leave the baby blue crop-top to the professionals.

See Preen's complete Spring 2012 collection:
I'm an Editor/Designer for StyleBistro.com, a fashion illustrator and vintage shopper. Follow me: Twitter | Google
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