The Spring 2009 season is already upon us.  The trends are a big change from the current fall/winter season, with amped-up garments in lively colors, dynamic prints, and playful fabrics. 

One trend flirts with futuristic fantasies by channeling the space age. This look is defined by structured silhouettes, light-absorbing fabric, and crystal embellishment.  This spring, Balenciaga, Gareth Pugh, Viktor & Rolf, and Hussein Chalayan featured architecturally-tailored garments.  Emilio Pucci, Alexander Mcqueen, and Versace all gussied up their clothing with sparkle and shine; Alexander Mcqueen paired rigidly-structured bell-curve dresses with both colorful and all-black crystals. 

As a counterpoint to the opulent glam, many designers indulged their recession-sensitive consumers by marrying a precise geometric aesthetic to a modest rustic sensibility. Graphic prints flooded catwalks all around the world–from New York to Paris.  In New York, Marc Jacobs paired oriental-inspired printed pants with ornate tops adorned with leaf appliqués.

In Milan, at Marni, graphic prints dominated skirts, sweaters, tops, jackets, and dresses.  Wild patterns included polka-dotted tops and circus-style argyle skirts.

Marni’s collection was dominated by Consuelo Castiglioni’s recognizable aesthetic. Like Marni, Chloé, Lanvin, and Burberry Prorsum, were preoccupied with ease and femininity.

At Chloé, Hannah MacGibbon’s first collection for the fashion house was a noteable hit.  Using light colors, scallop-trimmed edges, and high-waisted bottoms, MacGibbon presented a breezy, chic, but wholly wearable look.  

At Lanvin, Alber Elbaz showed diverse fabrics in vibrant colors, while Christopher Bailey for Burberry Prorsum presented spirited sack dresses in shades of green embossed with silvery shine. 

This spring, get playful with bright colors and cheerful hues.  As British Vogue put it, “Color Blocking” is a top look for the season.  Up-and-coming designer Alexander Wang channeled the 80’s with saturated shorts and jackets.  At Gucci, Frida Giannini referred to the endless optimism of 70’s with  tailored suits in wild colors paired with sky-high shoes.   

The tribal look has found it’s way back on on the runways of Louis Vuitton and Dior by way of dramatic accessories–wooden jewelry and shoes embellished with beads and feathers. Marc Jacobs’ collection for Louis Vuitton was a favorite, combining effortless Parisian chic with an African twist.  On the runway at Dior, John Galliano carved-out shoes in homage to intricate tribal figurines, and presented short dresses in printed fabrics that begged to be taken on a fashionable safari.

Images excerpted from the Fashion Spot forums.