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


Gotta Take the Rough With the Smooth…

Continuing the more is more theme of Spring’s print clash attack, the shift from summer to autumn is all about piling on the texture. Mix, don’t match should be your mantra for some slap-bang on-trend cafe intellectual meets sex siren chic.

Oscar de la Renta Fall 2010

From ultra-lavish velvet to sheeny-shiny silk and beyond into deshabille denim, crumpled chiffon, spangle-tastic sequins, gentle jerseys and luxe leathers (yes, I am ‘on one’, and by one I mean a self-indulgent post-modifying lexical binge… it has been – as great Aunt’s and Grandparents are oft heard to mutter – ‘too long’), rework the big trends of spring with a side order of grunge…column skirts and DM boots? Yes. You. Can.

Costume National Fall 2010

Pair leather with your lace, wool with your chiffon and inject some autumn glamour with shearling a la that Burberry Prorsum Aviator or a little bit of Oscar de la Renta-esque fur-hemmed extravagance, and a seasonal palette update of gilded pumpkin, russet and (mmmmm) chocolate.

Kenzo Fall 2010

Emilio Pucci Fall 2010

Images courtesy of

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Heavenly Holdalls & Luxury Luggage

All that talk of globetrotting in my recent post on tribal traveler chic has got me thinking (and dreaming) of heading off into the sunset on an exotic adventure…of going wild in the African heat (and even wilder I-Kat prints), of coming over all Lawrence of Arabia in a coral and turquoise Kenzo headscarf. Of languidly lounging in a pacific paradise sipping a cocktail in a sexy cutaway Agent Provocateur swimsuit and killer Louboutin’s sneaking a peek at the got-to-be-hot waiter over the top of a pair of Prada’s plexi shades (pink please). Of gliding through a busy Morroccan  market into a shimmering heat haze of spectacular sights and heady smells in an equally shimmery Oscar de la Renta maxi like some kind of exotic princess gone AWOL…

Agent Provocateur Swimwear s/s 2010

Okay, so it may all be fantasy…but reality has to start somewhere (aim for the stars and you might just reach the moon – depending on traffic…and that ruddy volcano). So, whether you’re planning a trip to the stars, taking a city break in Prague, pulling a long-weekender on the continent or just day tripping your nearest shopping mecca the first thing you are DEFINITELY going to need is a bag.


Hermes Birkin in Blue…ahh, the Birkin – holy grail of bag worshipers the world over (enough said?)

Celine Luggage Collection s/s 2010 by Phoebe Philo …with several different designs to choose from – including a blinding pillar box red version – this could be a real Birkin beater…

Erdem for Globe-Trotter 26″ suitcase…there’s just something über chic about an old-school suitcase and I LOVE the taxi cab yellow (and I have to say this is my absolute favourite…kooky Paddington Bear charm plus shout-out-loud statement colour?! Of course I’m sold!)

Day Tripper…

Goyard ‘Saint Louis’ Tote…waterproof Goyard-chevron print canvas, nifty purse attachment and it flat packs. Beach Hero.

Sportmax Cream Canvas and Brown Leather Rucksack

Topshop Tan Leather Rucksack

Yes, I had thought the rucksack would remain consigned to the annals of school yard history, instead they have become THE bag of the season…strangely they seem a lot cooler than I remember…

Urban Outfitters: Something Else Mirror Print Slouch Bag

Kate Moss for Longchamp

All aboard for Bagtopia!

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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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Marvellous Maxis…Summer’s ultimate style hero


I do love a good maxi. Sultry Seventies-chic and long-lines make for effortless élan on those sultry summer days. Lazily draped floor-skimmers create a long-limbed willowy silhouette, simultaneously cool, casual and supremely decadent. Add this season’s putty-pinks, diaphanous fabrics and sheer layered detailing into the mix and the result is pure pre-Raphaelite heaven – team with gladiator flats, the official sandal du jour, for some seriously sexy devil-may-care boho appeal.

Alberta Ferretti

Need a break from neutrals? The maxi is a super-chic way to work this season’s other style-staple: go global with striking African prints, visit middle-England in country-cottage florals or jazz things up with Missoni-esque eclecticism.

Having a Woodstock moment? Succumb to your inner hippy and accessorize with delicate hair jewellery; take inspiration from headgear guru Maison Michel, think elfin-esque, unstructured quiet beauty.