Olivia’s Closet / By Olivia Damavandi

Spring fashion in full bloom

With March in full swing, subsiding rainstorms are one way to tell that the official start of spring is days away. Another seasonal indicator is Malibu retail, already in full bloom.

Local stores are blossoming with fresh trends of the first new season of 2010, showcasing soft color palettes with splashes of bold shades that will make refreshing your wardrobe a breeze. And if you’re planning on a serious spring cleaning, you might want to think twice before stashing away a few fall trends-sequins, lace, boyfriend jeans and denim leggings are still alive and kicking.

Spring fashion at Planet Blue (in the Malibu Country Mart) is “a little bit like anything goes,” store manger Jordan Lane said last week. “There are lots of pastels but also a huge kick of neon.”

Vintage-inspired floral prints and stripes, “especially worn together,” Lane said, are also in, and so is a bit of androgyny: the mixing of men’s pants, or boyfriend jeans, with an “uber feminine, floral little camisole.”

If you’ve ever woken up and felt like wearing sequins for the day but worried about looking like a leftover from a party the night before, here’s your chance to make it work. Lane recommends “any kind of a sequin tunic worn with a pair of cowboy boots or flats.”

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At Madison, “Everything’s on the subdued side-neutrals, soft blush colors, smoky blues,” store manager Willow Craven said. “Then we have splashes of fuchsia. If we do prints we’re doing the baby florals, and animal prints are still in.”

Other fashion blasts from the past have made their way into Madison this spring, including asymmetrical hemlines and shoulder pads.

“Army green is also coming back, which is something we haven’t seen in a few seasons,” Craven said.

Springtime is especially exhilarating for your feet, which are undoubtedly thrilled to see the light of day after spending months in the darkness of fall and winter boots. Treat those tootsies to a pair of new spring sandals from La Chaussure in Malibu Colony Plaza.

“It’s all about sexy sandals, ballet flats, peep-toes, platforms and wedges that you can wear with everything,” store owner Maxine Geyer said, adding that the season’s shoe trends lean toward neutrals, metallics, turquoise and blues.

And now that the sun is shining, a new pair of shades might be in the forecast too. Check out Oliver Peoples at Malibu Village (formerly known as Cross Creek Plaza) for timeless spring sunglasses like the top-selling Josselyn or Rees models, recommended by store manager Rudy Manheim.

One of the best parts of this year’s spring fashion is its versatility. Sure, you might splurge, but the pieces you’ll find around Malibu exemplify all of the season’s standout looks that match our avant-garde, yet laidback, way of life. And chances are, they’ll call your closet home for a long time.

Got a fashion tip? E-mail: olivia@malibutimes.com

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