The Only Things You Need To Know About Fashion Wise This Spring
What can I tell you about fashion this spring? Worried that I might cajole you into a pair of Seventies 70s denim flares or will promise you that a pair of white jeans will do wonders for your bum (no it won’t unless you’re French Vogue editor, Emmanuel Alt). If I haven’t already alienated the 99% of you who might actually want to buy something in the next few weeks, the good news is that are plenty of items out there that will add some vim to your wardrobe. Are you taking notes? Here is all you need to know about this spring.
Which bag – DIY monogramming or fringing?
Every so often a trend comes along — last year it was fluoro trainers — that might not seem the most age-appropriate but that you should nevertheless embrace. There is no good reason on earth why a grown woman might want to tote around a bag covered in stickered-on slogans but sometimes, just sometimes, the feel-good factor far outweighs reason. Look on it as the bit of fun in your otherwise monotone (and possibly monochrome) wardrobe. It will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. It is a lot less hassle than a facelift. Anya Hindmarch kick-started the trend, but there’s always the haberdashery department at John Lewis.
Alternatively buy into fringing. No matter if your day begins at 7 am, bleary-eyed on the school run, chuck on a bit of fringing and hey presto, you are working your inner rock chick without resorting to the clichés of skinny denim or thigh high boots. J&M’s Rio at £495 is gorgeous but for a fraction of the price, head to Zara or & other stores for equally great versions.
Can you imagine getting through a summer without wearing stripes? Me neither. Except put away your Breton tops because vertical stripes are a thing. Forget all you’ve read about them making you look wider or resembling a clown. Vertical works if you mix stripes of varying thicknesses. Bold, clashing stripes were popular on the catwalk, but the ones that will instantly update your wardrobe are candy coloured ones. Rejoice in the fact that you can still look “everyday normal” but that in fashion speak, you will still be “working a look”. My favourite out there is Uniqlo’s silk stripe shirt dress.
If wide deck-chair stripes scare you, then go for pinstripes. In fashion forward circles the work-a-day shirt has had a make-under or over (depending on how you look at it). I can’t get enough (of looking online at) Adam Lippes or Thierry Colson who have produced wonderful pin stripe shirt dresses. Although I will go and buy my Celine-eque looking shirt from E.Tautz for £160 or head to Cos for granddad collar style dresses.
A suede midi skirt
We haven’t rung the death knell for leather skirts just yet but the fashion sorority has moved on to the suede skirt. Actually, fashion editors have fallen for suede anything. Suede confers just the right amount of stealth-wealth gloss (there’s the assumption that you’ll never be caught out in the rain), while solving those staying-warm-in-April issues. They look as fabulous dressed up with a fine-knit cashmere as they do dressed down with a logo sweatshirt and trainers. The pale pink suede one from Iris & Ink is proving popular — get it before it goes — but Marks & Spencer’s Autograph version for £199, as well as Jaeger’s grey one at £350 (with a front spilt), are just as covetable.
A stone linen dress
A bit of a curve ball this, because obviously every wardrobe already has one of these languishing towards the back, largely forgotten since the early Nineties. Actually, yours is possibly more of a beige colour, but from henceforth in 2015, beige shall be known as stone following its re-branding at New York fashion week. They appeared semi-structured in stiff jute linen at Victoria Beckham’s show but swishy-tastic at Loewe. In a twist of fashion irony, “stone linen”, that once “meh” wardrobe item, will mark you out as the individual dresser who is streets ahead. Maje and Whistles have some fine examples this season.
The floppy duster coat
Not strictly new but in many ways this is Planet Fashion’s Duracell bunny. Perfect for shoulder-robing as it is addressing four seasons in one day. Great over anything. Double faced wool is an investment –there’s a great one at Jaeger for under £300 or else try brushed denim or butter soft suede. If Hobbs doesn’t already have a waiting list for its navy suede duster, it soon will have.
Rolled up sleeves
Sometimes the fashion gods look down kindly and decree a trend that doesn’t require you to go on the 5:2 diet or take out a second mortgage. For gratis (ie dig out any shirt in your wardrobe) you will be able to ooze Ines de la Fressannge insouciance while making very little effort. Rodolfo Paglialunga, who showed his first collection at Jil Sander, did it best with rolled-up sleeves under cashmere tank tops and trousers.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that denim was the low-maintenance, comfortable fashion option. Think again. This isn’t the green light to resurrect your stone wash jacket but rather, the chance to get to grips with frayed edge, raw denim skirts, jackets and trench coats courtesy of design duo Marques Almeida who have blazed a trail.
Frayed hems also cropped up on the edges of tops, dresses and trousers adding a folksy, macramé feel. As details go, it’s not one that’s going to scare the horses and it will add a summery, beachy feel to an otherwise boring outfit. Expect sales of scissors to soar as style aficionados get to grips with a spot of DIY shearing.
The flat form, yes really
Frustrated by having to choose between being comfortable or feeling shorter and dumpy-looking? It was only going to be a matter of time before someone combined the comfort of flats with the positive psychological uplift of a bit of added height. “Pah!” said most designers in unison “What Birkenstock can do to the shoe-scape, we can do better!” Ancient Greek’s Clio platform sandal is not too high and comfortable enough to be out all day in. Be warned spindly heels: your days are numbered.
THE LABELS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
In the six months since fashion editors were telling you to wear baggy leather trousers, new labels have burst onto the fashion scape. Sometimes, you might only be able to look and lust but it still pays to know what’s going on.
Here are three brilliant additions: words fail when summing up quite how the talented Rachael Proud at Raey (Matches ownline) has nailed Celine-esque tailoring for women who are definitely not on a Phoebe Philo budget. Her split front skirt and tie-dye sweatshirts are guaranteed to sell out. I’ve just seen a preview of her A/W collection and the clothes look equally as promising.
Sophie D’Hoore isn’t strictly new but this summer’s collection is a knock out: a tight edit of perfect wardrobe pieces, be it the quintessential shirt dress or the belted, short-sleeve trench coat.
Meanwhile for something a bit more peacock, there is Han Chong’s Self-Portrait. Stylish types can’t get enough of his classic silhouettes made from panelled skirts, broderie anglaise or lace and leather spliced inserts. His outfits possess the ‘ta-dah’ factor without veering into the realms of the un-wearable. Better still, his statement dresses are yours from £160.