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Spring trends bursting with color, patterns (and a little lace) for girls raised in the South

Stylist, television host, and author, Clinton Kelly, was at Macy’s Lakeside location to hold one of his traveling fashion shows and sign his most recent book, “OH NO SHE DIDN’T” published by Gallery Books, div. of Simon and Schuster, 2010. Thanks to Macy’s public relations professional Heather Hannan, I was able to sneak a little one-on-one time with Kelly and get the scoop on all trends hot — especially for us girls in the South. Kelly was quick to name his current top three trends in fashion. “My favorite trends are the bright colors that are everywhere: Bright greens, bright cobalt blues; citrus colors like orange and yellow, they are fantastic — especially with this past winter in New York. They make me happy. “Another thing I love is the print mixing. I have been talking about that for the past 10 years and it was never really a super big trend but now it’s awesome. I also love all the lace that we are seeing this year, I think it is fun— like done in a cute short. Lace for day takes lace from being so prim and proper into modern society which I think is nice. So I had to ask in regards to his past TLC series “What Not to Wear” experience, is lace for everyone? “I think that you can find lace — no matter what your age no matter what your body type— you can find lace that is flattering and appropriate to wear. It is a universally flattering. The same goes for bright colors and the same goes for pattern mixing. Colors, patterns, fine — but what about black? Kelly says, “I do love black; I’m certainly not going to bash black because I think it’s an important color or lack there of— however I have a problem with women who are addicted to black because it’s not always as slimming and flattering as you think it is. And, it can be harsh for daytime to be honest with you. His thoughts on regional style? “I find that women in the South are more willing to wear color and they are much more willing to take chances with their accessories. I do love that.” This begged the question of what can we southern women rock that other regions can not? “The weather is so much better here than other climates that you all can wear the lighter fabrics and sunnier prints more frequently than other areas. For instance, women up in Minnesota right now are not wearing lace short shorts.” What was his favorite thing about his latest book? “‘OH NO SHE DIDN’T’ was one of the books that I wrote up in my house in Connecticut, in the winter, drinking bourbon. There was snow and I was like — let’s just have some fun. It was a hundred little essays on what you should not wear. Just a fun, little, silly book that I had a lot of fun with.” But through his essays, Kelly has a way of humorously bringing home points that you will never forget. Like advice to avoid the “trailer” brow. A personal peeve of my own. “Trailer” brow is a pencil thin, half moon above the eye area, masquerading as a brow. If it isn’t penciled in with brow pencil, the wearer usually sports bare patches or gaps in the shape. And, the wearer usually looks like they are perpetually questioning something or in a constant state of surprise. It literally wears me out if I’m forced to look at it for too long. I had to ask why Kelly chose to partner with Macy’s. His response was put forth with passion and conviction. His convictions go deep — he really gets the style struggle that the average woman faces. “It’s been an eight year partnership and they hired me to do fashion shows for their plus size customers. I said, ‘You know, I am all about this because I believe that style is universal and I don’t believe that anyone should be forgotten because of age or body type.’ I was so excited to tour the country to help fuller figured women feel better about themselves. “The response was so positive that the next year they hired me to do it for petite and plus sizes and the following year they were like, ‘Omg. Your shows are so well attended and the response has been so great, that we would love to have you do it for all sizes.’ It’s an absolute pleasure, because I believe Macy’s really is one of those all- American brands and I sort of see myself as an all-American stylist. “If you want super high fashion- don’t get me wrong — we can get into that. But what I love is to help real women find a style that works for them and Macy’s is really dedicated to finding a real style that works for them.”