Washington Trend watching can be a strange business. How exactly does one explain the way a humble tulip skirt or pair of wide-leg jeans becomes a bona fide Look of the Moment? The trickle-down theory (from runway to reality) once had currency, but trends travel in all directions: from high to low, sure, but also from sidewalk to catwalk to red carpet to clearance rack. Here's a guide to what will still pack a punch in 2008 and beyond.
¢ Full skirts. For women accustomed to bubble skirts and skinny minis, spring brings a new kind of volume. If you can't swing Derek Lam's luxe take, this is an easy style to find for less; try vintage shops.
¢ Painterly prints. Some designers consider their work closer to art than commerce, so it's no surprise that the style and art worlds are colliding this season. Expect a barrage of abstract prints swirled on such pieces as Marni's top-handle tote. And on that note ...
¢ Shoes that are works of art. One antidote to It Bag fatigue? Marc Jacobs' visually arresting, gravity-defying pump.
¢ Watermelon. A cheery color that'll look great on a sub-zero day come February. Relegate the hue to your accessories rather than going head-to-toe, though.
¢ Edgy florals. Because posy prints aren't just for grandmas. Classic florals get a new attitude in an acid-bright palette, topped by the kind of shoulders that would give Brian Urlacher pause.
¢ Sheer equals Genius? Lingerie-inspired looks come out from under cover. The surprising thing? Compared with what passes for taste in Hollywood, these delicate tops and featherweight frocks almost manage to look conservative.