It seems that bunches of bright yellow daffodils and sweet smelling hyacinths won’t be the only signs of spring this year. Pooches are going to herald the change of season too as they strut out in the latest casual wear in colors that contrast to winter’s darker hues.
While canine fashion colors and trends are still inspired by human runway collections, the pet industry has over recent years also created it’s own unique timeless fashion look that comprises anything and everything pink. And again this year, pink is going to headline the show although there will be a lot of other colors out also there begging for attention.
But firstly, get ready to be in the pink — baby pink, candy pink, rose pink, hot pink and coral. Wait, there’s more — striped pink, prints in pink, floral pinks and tie-dyed pinks.
“The one reason why its so popular and why its never going to go away is that its such a girly girl color, pet parents don’t have to explain their pup’s sexuality,” says Cynthia Waldenmaier of Hyde Bark Fashions in Cincinnati, Ohio.
But as pink get labeled the ‘new black’ for the umpteenth year in a row, it appears to be crossing gender lines too…
“While the styles for spring are fun, there’s a definite focus on practicality, comfort and leisure,” says Dana Humphrey of Muttropolis Dog & Cat Boutiques headquartered in Solana Beach, Calif. “We are seeing all-natural, soft fabrics like organic cottons and natural fibers with organic dyes and easy to wear stretchy fabrics.
“Yes spring is definitely going to be casual as opposed to very dressy,” says designer Cheryl Ng of FouFou Dog in Ontario, Canada. “Our spring line is all about functional clothes. I think the whole costume dressy theme is on the way out. Dog owners are looking for more functional and practical outfits to dress their dogs.
“We’ve concentrated on a pastel theme for our terry towel material tracksuits, hoodies and tanks. This year, to the ever-popular baby blues and baby pinks we’ve added coral, lemon, pastel green, and white.”
Lara Alameddine of Little Lily in Los Angeles, Calif is also punting pastels and neutral colors for her spring Dream/ Retreat Collection . Once again, she’s focusing separates for a mix and match look that she first introduced this past winter.
“ It’s all about building your dog’s wardrobe and dressing them as you would dress yourself. For example, a basic skirt with three tops and a couple of belts can produce numerous combinations. The whole feel of the collection will be effortless elegance.”
“Nylon mesh tie-dyed tops worn with nylon mesh pants in solid colors are going to be very trendy for spring,” says Tiki Beauzay of Gidget Gear by Tiki in Sarasota, Florida. “Mesh is great for the warmer weather. It’s allows pups to be cool but still offers sun protection.”
Beauzay, who has designed three tops in a tie-dyed explosion of turquoise and hot pink — a tank, a short-sleeved T-shirt and one with a bell sleeve, says that Hawaiian shirts are also going to be a popular item to transition into summer.
And in keeping with the casual leisure theme of the season, pajamas in cool cottons are going to be another wardrobe ‘must-have’.
Last year, the company launched their Sleepy Boyfriend pajamas in pale blue. They have repeated them for the coming season and have added matching Sleepy Girlfriend “jammies” in pale pink (of course!) and white.
“I’m making them for people too and I will be most certainly wearing them to match my dog,” says Beauzay. “They’re great for casual evenings and of course slumber parties.”
Co-coordinating pet outfits with human outfits and accessories are once again going to be a strong feature of Spring 2007.
Accessory and shoe designer Phyllis Geisman of the Phyllis Morgan Collection Ltd., New York has introduced a range of handmade glitzy sandals to co-ordinate with her styles of embellished pooch collars and leashes.
“Shoes seemed like a natural progression after matching tote bags,” explains Geisman who launched her soft Italian leather sandals at the H.H Backer Show in Chicago last October. “People always bend down to the ground to greet a dog. It’s fun to have footwear that matches with a stylish harness or collar and a matching lease.”
This season, carriers will focus on floral and geometric patterns or plain canvas with a trim in metallic pink and blue. Of course bronze, silver and gold will be ubiquitous once again. And for smaller dogs that like to hang in there, puppy purses will be trendy street wear.
“Our spring range includes comfy mesh in pastel shades and well as a light coffee and cream,’ says Hedy Grant of Oradell, New Jersey.
While retractable leashes are becoming a true fashion accessories in stylish cases and crocheted covers in the latest spring colors.
Designer Merrillee Schedin of Buttercup and Peanut in Gig Harbor, Washington is punting a retro look reminiscent of the Fifties and Sixties with a range of pet wear to match a line of children’s clothes.
“ Modern trends tend to re-create adult looks for children and pets. I have fond memories of how I used to dress up the family dog and play mommy, taking it around in a stroller and holding endless tea parties. I’ve recaptured that “girly look” with puffed sleeves and big bows tied at the back, using soft floral cottons and vintage-looking fabrics.”
Of course spring can also offer chilly days and seasonal showers.
“I thank Martha Stewart for keeping the poncho trend alive,” says Marilyn Hikida of Barking Baby in Los Angeles. Calif. “Ponchos are perfect for cooler evenings and are a easy casual look for pups to wear. There are going to be lots of raincoats in pastel paisley prints to deal with those April showers.”
Hikida has reproduced her signature-scalloped top once again this season, giving it a fresh twist in bright Pucci-styled floral prints.
“Floral prints are very much a sign of spring. I have also gone for bold stripes in a hot pink and black combination and a lime green and black with a tie.”
Also taking a nostalgic look back, Hikida has included Audrey Hepburn-styled bonnets, floppy sunhats and big sunflower straw hats from the fifties. “Nothing says spring like a bonnet! They are the perfect accessory for the season.”
According to boutique owner Cynthia Waldenmaier denim is going to be really big this spring in terms of size as well as a fashion look.
“Expect to see big dogs like Labradors wearing it too,” says Waldenmaier. “For smaller dogs, it’s a smart-casual look embellished with rhinestones and embroidery and worn with tennis shoes. But its been given a twist this season with a mix and match look; denim overalls with T-shirts, tank tops teamed with denim skirts or jeans and topped off with a jacket. That sort of dressy casual look you’d wear to a club.”
With Beauzay’s designer sleepwear, are dogs going to have slumber parties? And does dazzling denim mean discos for dogs?