Rolling in the Deep

'Seashells' by Florene Welenby - via

Girl from Atlantis - photo Vogue Nippon

A model walks the Versace Spring 2012 runway in a shimmery starfish maxi

'Pearls' by Guy Bourdin

Jacquelyn Jablonski in a sea-inspired Chanel concoction - photo Chanel

Chanel's glorious Spring 2012 RTW Collection at the Grand Palais in Paris

Jessica Stein of Tuula Vintage in seafoam green

In their constant quest for inspiration, artists, photographers and designers often look beyond their own backyards, past the concrete jungle and bright city lights, and head straight to the source.  The ocean in all of its rolling, ever-changing coolness has captivated creative minds for eons and though the nautical trend seems to bob to the surface each and every spring, 2012 had designers diving right into the deep blue sea.  

At Chanel, shell clutches, pearl-adorned dresses, frothy fabrics and a full under the sea landscape signalled the arrival of a much more literal take on the aquatic trend than we've seen in the past.  Look for pearl and shell accents and starfish, coral or seahorse motifs to emulate the look. As for colour, the much-maligned seafoam (insert bad bridesmaid dress horror story here) has become a surprising It shade for spring. Here's how to wear it:

  • Seafoam looks gorgeous with white, grey, deep blue, and sandy tan.  Want to colour block?  Bright yellow, aqua green, or coral make pretty partners.  
  • Add metallic silver or gold accessories to give your look a little sea-worthy shine
  • Black shoes or a black tote make the colour look thoroughly modern.  
  • Want to test out the shade?  A seafoam green nail shows that you're riding the current, without having to totally take the plunge.  (Try out Illamasqua Nail Varnish in 'Nomad' from Sephora.)
  • Resist the urge to wear red lips which will give the seafoam a vintagey feel.  Instead, opt for coral or peachy tones for your face and nails to get the right vibe 

Get into the motion of the ocean with these other sea-inspired finds.  (PS - Smart Set has amazing chinos in a pale seafoam for $45 right now - not pictured but totally worth a try).  Ariel, it's on!