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

 

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To Clog or Not to Clog…

I try, in all things, to keep an open mind but I seem to have hit a bit of a trend-wall with clogs. The thing is my memory is already tarnished with images of cheap, tacky 90’s clogs and haunted by the nerve grating clack that these horrors seem to make on every surface known to man. This is definitely not a shoe for sneaking…nor for being even moderately discrete, in fact I would go so far as to say they are the unrivalled fog-horn of footwear. A clumsy, oafish folly of a shoe which either make you look like you have some kind of club-foot ‘thing’ going on or as if God had, in some kind of feverish delirium, commissioned Penny Crayon to pop-by and doodle you a pair (of feet that is).

Clacking, and general aesthetic distaste aside, there is another shadow looming over clog-dom, spat forth from the very bowels of hell: presumably because even the most wretched, most cretinous most loathsome residents could not abide their very presence. I am speaking – of course – of the clog’s mutant cousin…the croc. A shoe so vile that I would rather eat my own face than wear one.

In a nutshell – you say ‘Clog’ and I scream: Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me!!

Imagine then my agonised dismay upon seeing the return of clogs…to the runway…at Chanel no less. [Why Karl, Why?!]

But, like I said, open mind: even in the face of such ungainly monstrosity, I can still muster a few shreds of journalistic integrity  (plus I did foist brogues on you yesterday). So, it is for that reason and that reason alone that I have spent a significant portion of my day trying to coax out my inner clog-wearer…

To Chanel then and Karl Lagerfeld’s pastoral vision where goat-herder-chic met Marie Antoinette’s faux-farm fantasy and a good roll in the hay was had by all. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised: the clogs were, well, less clog-ish. More mule-meets-clog, less clack-engendering hunk of timber: a neo-clog if you will. Also, the use (in some cases at least) of buff and neutral tones worked well to mask – if not completely disguise – the overall orthopaedic-vibe in a fog of utter blandness.

The high-heel seen on most of the clogs this season was a definite step in the right direction: the tapered heel works really hard to try to cancel out the frump-factor. Sadly, most designers seemed to be favouring the chunky block-heel, and those that weren’t (Vuitton I’m looking at you) headed even further into a mind-bogglingly grotesque nightmare with such Frankenstein creations as the loafer-clog (below right)

And in case you were wondering – yes – that ‘shoe’ does indeed have it’s very own rat-tail-pony.

Even Miu Miu can’t save this trend for me…

Jimmy Choo: Urban Clog Sandals

Pair the heel with the peep-toe and they actually start to resemble shoes…shoes that I might give a cursory glance…

Prada: Studded Plexi Clogs

…the thing is, at this point can they really still be called clogs?

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