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The Secret Inspiration Behind Marni's Macaroon Pink and Green Fl

I recently had the opportunity to visit an elementary school. It was 4 p.m., after-school program time. All the children were gathered in La Grande Salle (the big room) to play. A troupe of girls was hula hooping. An all-age mess of kids was playing soccer. Two very determined boys were battling it out at the Ping-Pong table. But what struck me, having spent the afternoon leisurely immersed in fashion blogs, was how effortlessly in tune these children were with the biggest fashion trends. Colour blocking ?� la Celine. Digital prints ?� la Dries Van Noten. Pastels and drop waists ?� la Marni. There were even two brave instances of diaphanous whites amongst the kindergarteners (very trusting parents!).

I know what you're thinking... What about the boys? It's true that the boys were wearing what boys usually wear: khakis or jeans with T-shirts and hoodies. It was their sneakers that gave them away. Bright electric coloured sneakers in the same neons that had dominated the catwalks in fashion capitals around the world earlier this February. By pairing neutrals with vibrant neons, these boys were unwittingly channeling fashion maverick, Dries Van Noten. Were their shoes not the same eye-popping orange and pinks as Celine's new neon leather totes? Or had I read one Marni-loving fashion blog too many?

Then it hit me. Perhaps designers like Marni, Dries Van Noten and Celine weren't so much influencing these children, as these children were influencing them.

Consider the spring's latest trends. Many of them seem to have been inspired by classic children's clothing. The sea-foam greens, pale pinks and dainty creams of such labels as Marni conjure up images of girlhood. A very childish adjective has even made its way into the lexicon as though simply to describe some of these colours: macaroon - as in "the macaroon pink and green Marni flower pattern."

Suddenly, everything was starting to make more sense. What was the unifying factor behind so many of this spring's hottest trends as exemplified by such designers as Marni, Dries Van Noten and Celine?

Their roots in children's fashion.

To wit: a Marie Claire photo montage of street style during this spring's Paris Fashion Week includes a picture of a woman dazzling in an electric orange sweatshirt with the picture of a pheasant on it. T-shirts and sweats with animal graphics have traditionally been the realm of children. Do Dries Van Noten's graphic cityscapes and animal prints hearken back to the days when he played games after school? Are Marni's pastels a natural by-product of founder Consuelo's Castiglioni's formative years? Is Celine's colour blocking a nod to its early years in children's fashion?

That day, as I watched the swirl of skirts and the flash of shoes, it certainly seemed so. But I may have been hypnotized by the cyclical patterns of the hula hoops... the back and forth of the soccer game... the slip-slap of the paddles from the Ping-Pong table. If so, my sincere apologies.