Get Flirty in Florals This Spring

Spring is due to, well, spring fairly soon – maybe even this week if chatty recruitment consultants are to be believed, er *cough* – and, naturellement, spring in fashion means the inevitable re-emergence of that perennial favourite: floral prints.

Unimaginative, perhaps, but a welcome break from monochromatic colour blocks and, particularly when you’ve been cooped up in the City for what feels (both in terms of time and temperature) an ice age, a rather refreshing reminder that there is in fact life out there – somewhere.

Unlike s/s 2010 with it’s ditsy, chintzy, fairly unassuming foray into the floral trend, this Spring’s botanicals are big, blowzy and unabashedly in-your-face.

Think feature wall, think Interflora, think Nana’s beloved early 90’s curtains, and prepare to be transported to a hyper-real romantic idyll where merrily chirruping birds replace vocal drunks, where the rumbling, clanking progress of the Number 8 is replaced by the industrious yet soothing drone of furry little bumble bees, and where that gentle tinkling you can hear is an actual stream which in all likelihood flows into an enchanted grove populated entirely by faeries, gnomes and cuddly cotton-tails – not some sweaty guys having a whizz behind the bins next to Ministry of Kebab.

Transmuting the otherworldly floral delights of his couture show to the (slightly) more practical terenne of RTW, nautical meets Hawaiian graphic and 50’s sass in Galliano’s s/s 2011 collection – and single-handledly casts a designer life-ring to the beleaguered and all-but forgotten halterneck.

Christian Dior RTW s/s 2011

In a surprising move away from the cutesy Sunday-Best vibe which often permeates Chanel’s RTW collections, Lagerfeld offers up a bounty of dégradé chiffon florals in retro cuts with a strikingly edgy – verging on Rodarte-quirky – feel.

Chanel RTW s/s 2011

I could – quite literally – go on (and on) … the stand-out summer picnic prints at D&G, the flippant girlishness at Paul & Joe…the garden party garrulousness at Etro, et al…et al… But my personal pick of this Spring’s bunch has to be Kenzo’s gorgeously voluminous sun-bleached collection which speaks of a cool breeze on a hot day. And God knows we could do with a hot day (and a Kenzo in the wardrobe).

Kenzo s/s 2011


Nicholas Kirkwood for Liberty

When I first heard about this collaboration back in January I must admit to doing a goofy little dance in sheer jubiliation…a Kirkwood capsule collection, signature structural platforms, ravishingly resplendent in mouth-wateringingly gorgeous Liberty prints? (Yes. Want. Please.)

Bounty Platform Sandal

Santa Maria Platform Sandal

Santa Maria Peep Toe Shoe

The collection, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Liberty’s Carnaby Street store, features two iconic Liberty florals – the Bounty and the Santa Maria – in two eponymous Kirkwood styles;  architectural cutaway platform sandals with super chic cigarette heels, or the classic peep toe pump.

Available now exclusively at Liberty stores and on the Liberty website…get hot-footing: a Kirkwood shoe is the shoe-lover’s shoe…they’re unlikely to hang around!

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Look du Jour: The Superlative Sunday Summer Dress

The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a summer’s day…

Relive the golden days of a childhood summer in a vintage floral print party frock. White socks are a must – as are jelly, ice cream and homemade lemonade if you can get your hands on them! That oversized love-heart patch is adorable…Tender Heart Bear eat your squishy little ticker out…there’s a new kid in Care-A-Lot…

Photograph/ Styling by Elle May, view her site here

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Look du Jour: Sport & Sweet

Don’t you just love it when trends merge in a kind of opposites attract rom-com of an outfit…

Fairy florals and demure lace detailing get a preppy makeover with a totally sport-chic coral jersey bust panel (very reminiscent of the layered bralettes seen on Alexander Wang’s s/s runway, not to mention the body/skirt combos seen at Topshop Unique). All topped off with a pair of sneaker-meets-winklepicker kitten heels in a gloriously coordinated spring/summer style love-in.

Photograph by Illiana M.

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Tribal Traveller: Glamour Goes Global

Summer is upon us (apparently) and from the loose shawls and eye-popping Saharan headscarves at Kenzo, to Bedouin-esque lace turbans at Oscar de la Renta, jungle fever at Tibi and the jaw-droppingly-covetable corporate castaway glamour seen at Prada; the unfamiliar, otherworldly and outlandish have touched down in a gloriously avant-garde jumbo jet. It’s time to get global.

Prada s/s 2010

With designers sourcing their inspiration from far-flung and exotic destinations across the globe, this season the world really is your oyster…

Kenzo s/s 2010

Work jungle fever in pacific brights and exotic florals  – or look for subtle references like this dramatically diaphanous hummingbird print number from Tibi

Tibi s/s 2010

Shift your style frontier East and work sumptuous silk sarongs in intricate asian prints and spice market hues…

Dries Van Noten s/s 2010

Prints not your style? (Or perhaps you just need a, well-earned, optical break?) why not work the traveller trend Imperial style in chic safari-suits a la Oscar de la Renta, or go for weatherbeaten wayfarer appeal in casual sunbleached denims and washed-out cottons with a rough-hewn finish.

Oscar de la Renta s/s 2010

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Look du Jour: Lace me Up Cherub

Friday night? What Friday night? There’s always call for looking sweet and innocent on a Saturday and you don’t get much more unimpeachable than high collar white lace, a pure peachy chiffon knee-skimmer and little leather booties (very Victoriana). The – enviably on-trend – leather waist cincher stops this look from veering into nauseating Little House on the Prairie wholesomeness – no one needs to look that vestal!

Photo by Fashionshesays