Stylebook Snapshot: Designers, stores team for fresh looks


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Flowers aren't all that's budding as the warm weather (slowly) starts to roll in.

New lines and designer capsule collections are popping up at retailers in time for the spring and summer shopping seasons.

Each year, stores continue to outdo themselves -- and others -- by teaming up with some of the greatest and latest designers on accessories and apparel just for their stores at prices that are affordable for the masses.

So before you hit the mall, here are some of the fresh fashions to keep an eye out for:

Peter Som for DesigNation at Kohl's: Bring some laid-back luxury to your look with clothes inspired by St. Barths. Peter Som -- the fourth designer to team up with Kohl's for a limited-edition capsule collection -- translated the culture of the Caribbean into patterned maxi dresses, cozy chic rompers, black v-neck jumpsuits and casual separates in corals, blues and neutrals. He also infused pieces with some fun island flavor with whimsical prints, such as postcards, banana trees and pineapples.

Clothing ranges from $38-$88. Find it in stores and online at www.kohls.com beginning April 10.

Isabel Toledo at Lane Bryant: The retail chain that specializes in fits for plus-size women is new to the capsule collection game but is flexing its fashion muscle with apparel by Isabel Toledo, known to many as the designer behind Michelle Obama's lemongrass-colored dress and coordinating coat that the first lady wore during the 2009 presidential inauguration. The collection is in select stores now and online at www.lanebryant.com for a limited time and has received positive reviews for bringing the look of high fashion (including a dress and coat combo that's a nod to Ms. Obama's outfit) to full-figured women at prices less than $200.

Maleficent by Stella McCartney Kids for Disney: Kids can dabble in a bit of fashion and fantasy with this collection that will launch later in April in select Disney and children's specialty stores across the globe and at www.disneystore.com. Looks are drawn from characters and scenes from Disney's upcoming film about the villain from the tale of "Sleeping Beauty."

"When the opportunity presented itself and I was invited by Angelina Jolie to visit the film set, I jumped at the chance," Stella McCartney told Women's Wear Daily.

Expect everything from pretty princess-style dresses to tees that channel the film's darker side.

Proenza Schouler for MAC Cosmetics: Clothes meet cosmetics in the upcoming beauty collaboration between fashion designer Proenza Schouler and MAC Cosmetics. Creations from past collections will take on new life as inspirations for bold ombre face powders, lipsticks and pencils, nail lacquers and more. Information: www.maccosmetics.com.

More to look forward to ...

Marimekko for Banana Republic: Distinct, colorful prints will parade into Banana Republic stores (and don't forget bananarepublic.com!) this summer.

"At Marimekko, we are inspired by emotions," said creative director Minna Kemell-Kutvonen in a statement. "Life springs from opposing forces, and the desire to contradict emotions -- happy with sad, energetic with relaxed -- is what makes our prints so unique."

The collection is expected to include about 25 pieces of clothes and accessories.

Chloe for NET-A-PORTER: The famed French fashion house has come up with a collection of exclusive pieces for luxury e-commerce site NET-A-PORTER.com. Soak up the summer sun in some of its striped blazers, ruffled dresses, gold cuffs and other ready-to-wear selections. Another highlight: the label's signature Baylee tote has been made over for the occasion.

rue21 starts swimsuit line: The Cranberry-based teen retailer has added swimwear to its offerings with ruebleu, an assortment of separate tops and bottoms in seasonal hues and trendy prints with prices from $14.99-$19.99. Information: www.rue21.com.


For more from PG style editor Sara Bauknecht, check out the PG's Stylebook blog at www.post-gazette.com/stylebook. Follow her on Twitter @SaraB_PG.

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