Spring weather is taking its time getting to Central Kentucky, and the Bluegrass landscape has yet to bloom forth, but there's nothing cold or boring about the season's fashions.
Vibrant colors and fun, modern patterns run throughout collections, turning up in dresses, pants and tops. Romantic looks play an important role with elements including lace, pleats and sheer overlays.
Styles are a little more lively than last year's feminine fashions, says Whitney Rhorer, store manager at Worlds Apart at The Mall at Lexington Green. This spring "colors have gotten bolder and patterns have gotten bigger. There's been a definite nod to the '60s, with mod florals and large op-art patterns, as well as the resurgence of structured jacquard fabrics (think Jackie O)."
For added interest, texture is key.
You'll find plenty of fashionable options, from woven platform sandals and metallic jacquard fabrics to colored snakeskin clutches, the bag of the moment.
"I love mixing it up when it comes to accessories," Rhorer said. "If you're wearing something romantic and ethereal, accessorize it with something edgy and unexpected. It creates a fun balance between the two trends, and provides you with endless possibilities when creating the perfect spring ensemble."
Mixing materials, colors and textures for dramatic effect is nothing new for Honduras-born, Lexington-based designer Soreyda Benedit-Begley, known for her original pieces.
"It's just something I love to do, to find the best balance," says Begley, whose recent creations include a feminine dress made from a reworked camouflage Army jacket, lace and black eyelet. "I like the thrill of trying different things, at taking risks. Fashion is about being interesting and trying out things."
One of the most interesting jewelry designers in Central Kentucky has to be Jeuarlet McClanahan, whose Bling It On Jewelry Design was inspired by discarded bullet casings at her husband's gun range.
"Elegant and edgy" is how McClanahan describes her feminine and romantic work, which included rings, earrings and bracelets created from crystal, sterling silver and metal bullet casings.
McClanahan's cool take on traditional feminine jewelry is a perfect fit with Begley's unique style, and the two have recently collaborated to form a clothing and accessory line called Sorjet.
Because this is spring in Kentucky, hats are a must. At the Keeneland Gift Shop, which is swimming in hats, styles range from dainty fascinators of silk flowers and netting to architectural wonders of raffia and bows, the better to make a well-dressed entrance.
Keeneland Style Text-to-Win Sweepstakes
During its spring meet, April 5 to 26, Keeneland Race Course is having a fashion-focused sweepstakes. The grand-prize winner and five friends get a package that includes an outfit from Fayette Mall and hats from the Keeneland Gift Shop to wear at a VIP day at the races. To enter, text the word "style" to 426-89 through April 17. Learn more at Keeneland.com.
Thanks to the following for their contributions:
Models: Emma Bellomy, Bailey Morken, Myah Winbush
Photographer: Briana Scroggins, Brianascroggins.blogspot.com
Styling, makeup and hair: Tamra Graves, Fatestyling.com. Holly Kruse, Shear Design, Versailles.
Clothing, hats and accessories: Soreyda Benedit-Begley, Soreyda.com; Keeneland Gift Shop, Keeneland.com/gift-shop; Jeuarlet McClanahan, Jewelrywithabang.com; Target, Target.com; and Worlds Apart, Worldsapartonline.com.
Dog: Bella, courtesy of Angela Dragoo
Location: Keeneland Race Course, Keeneland.com
Fashion director: Harriett Hendren
Editor: Scott Shive
Harriett Hendren: (859) 231-3324.