Your Spring Wardrobe Starts Here
As a master class in dressing for spring, the front row of a fashion show has not traditionally offered much in the way of practical inspiration for every woman as she goes about her daily life. Or it hasn’t until recently.
Obviously, I am not referring to Anna Dello Russo excess or the ‘look at me’ get up of a rising popstrel, but rather, a gimlet eye at how those fashion editors put themselves together. (Yes it’s easy to forget that they are mostly running around on deadlines with actual jobs to do, however fun it may look from outside the bubble).
You might be surprised to learn there’s nothing too out there –currently, nothing looks more row four than a head to toe Talitha Getty kaftan number. Truth be told, fashion editors rarely practise what they preach, with the majority of them, partaking in a competitive game of (ever so slightly) under dressing. ’You might also be pleased to know that despite access to sample sales and the odd freebie, plenty of it comes from the high street.
Read on, for the items that are going to add vim and verve to your spring wardrobe (or even your existing one) and which won’t cost the earth.
The off the shoulder top
Sometimes the fashion gods look down kindly and decree a trend that doesn’t require you to slavishly follow the 5:2 diet or take out a second mortgage. A flash of (bronzed shoulder) will afford the opportunity to effortlessly ooze stylish insouciance with zilch effort. Fashion editors are hankering after Preen’s floral cutaway shoulder top but what they’re actually wearing is Finery’s £49 version.
Cropped denim trousers
Anyone wishing that the Seventies would die a quick, speedy death might have to pray a little harder. The Seventies is still very much where it is in fashion land but nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of denim. Skinnies are now verboten and if you want something a little more on trend than a pair of ‘boyfriends’, consider a cropped denim pair. Vetements, the achingly hip Parisian brand led the charge with their eye-wateringly expensive £800 pair made from stitched together vintage denim, but Topshop does great alternatives as does Isabel Marant Etoile for a more affordable £165. The bonus is that they also work on shorties.
The trench coat
Without doubt one of Planet Fashion’s Duracell bunnies – the trench coat is enjoying a quiet revival currently and it’s not hard to figure out why: what else works over a pair of jeans or trousers, your workaday outfit and yet manages to add an edge to a cocktail dress. Sophie D’Hoore and Joseph do excellent styles but try Next or Warehouse where you can find great versions for less than £100.
A heads up on a HUGE trend from the Autumn/Winter catwalk shows last month. Velvet appeared in all four fashion capitals, in every permutation and in every jewel-like colour imaginable. For now though, a pair of trousers might be your best bet. A great trans-seasonal buy when ‘four seasons in one day’ weather is very much the norm. I found a great fitting pair from Raey, Matchesfashion.com’s in-house label but there are plenty in their online sale with bargains to be had from Haider Ackermann and Givenchy. Perfect with a crisp shirt, white lace blouse or ……….
A Victoriana shirt from Alexa Chung’s collaboration with M&S
Strictly speaking these weren’t out in force on the frow, seeing as this highly coveted collaboration doesn’t launch until the 10th April but a few canny fashion journalists had managed to ‘borrow’ the samples. Stick this date in your diary pronto.
A sliver of silver
I joke to my husband that the silver, ruffled bacofoil skirt that I bought recently (yes really) is me veering towards mutton territory. It is the 2016 version of neon, a frivolous jolt – possibly not the most age-appropriate item you’ll ever buy – which will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Actually, metallics are fast becoming neutrals with a lot of wardrobe staying power in that they liven up predictable, sombre shades of navy and grey. I got rid of a fabulous silvery pencil skirt eight years ago and I won’t be making that mistake again.
Still going strong and with good reason: you don’t need to choose between comfort or forgoing the psychological uplift of some extra height. Avoid wooden soles however which are very hard and look for something that is moulded to your feet and offers better support.
The labels you need to know about
What else do you need to need to know to arm yourself for Spring in style. I thought it worth mentioning the following brands. Sometimes, you might only be able to window shop but it still pays to know what is going on.
First up is Isa Arfen. You can’t move currently for the cool girl count wearing her clothes. Upping the style ante in her signature ruffle, carnival coloured, off the shoulder tops are Alexa Chung and Charlotte Dellal. Her gingham strapless dresses which tick off La Dolce Vita vibe are proving popular for those wanting to channel a modern day Gina Lollobrigida.
Another name to look out for is Vivetta which has reworked crisp poplin shirts and pintucked blouses or embroidered dresses with a smattering of kitsch and plenty of humour.
A bit premature perhaps but for those who already dreaming of sunnier climes, check out the new womenswear collection by the founder of Caramel Children & Baby.
Eva Karayiannis’ unflinching way with colour and vintage inspired prints are deftly worked into pin-tucked shifts, sublime knitwear, slip dresses and loose, cotton separates. It’s also worth looking at Ace & Jig which totally nails a casual elegance that sees you from the pool, to the beach, out to Roman ruins, all through lunch and out to dinner. Enjoy.