What can I tell you about fashion this spring? Quite a bit as it turns out. After what feels like an interminably long February I don’t blame you for wanting to peel off layers of 70 denier tights and chunky cashmere. It’s going to be a while before we’re digging out those pool slides but in the meantime, here are the items that are going to add vim and verve to your spring wardrobe, which won’t make you resemble a mutton or worse still, a popstrel, and more importantly which won’t cost the earth.
The trench coat
Without doubt one of Planet Fashion’s Duracell bunnies – the trench coat is enjoying yet another revival this spring 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. It’s the best trans-seasonal buy when ‘four seasons in one day’ weather is very much the norm.
For 2017 trench coats have been spliced diced and otherwise reinvented with maximalist detailing, ruffles galore or given an asymmetrical twist. Burberry’s garbardine classics were reworked with leopard print sleeves while Prada’s came fastened with sporty neon straps. My heart belongs to Gabriela Hearst’s reversible check version but at a gut wrenching £3000, I will be checking out anything by the fantastic Belgian designer Sophie D’Hoore or Rejina Pyo or heading to Warehouse or Next for something more reasonable around the £100 mark.
Very long 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 (think flared trousers) but thankfully popular too this spring is the very long pair of trousers. For shorties this is good news on the leg-lengthening front although you might have to rethink your footwear. Ideally, this new addition to your spring wardrobe should sit lower on the hip and pool slightly at the ankle. Miu Miu’s navy pair is a prize buy but otherwise Whistles and Vanessa Bruno do them for a fraction of the price.
The predilection for shirting albeit with asymmetric hems and an altogether graphic, oversized approach shows no sign of abating. Stripes (hurrah) are still very much where it’s at although there are also ruffles galore. If that word is enough to send you running a mile off as it might have me once upon a time, then console yourself with the thought that these are architectural ruffles and often add definition to your outfit. Matchesfashion.com have a great selection but also rather lovely is the stripe shirt dress at Baumundferdgarten.
A Ditsy Print Floral Dress
Even if the utility trend looms large this spring, there’s something of a no-brainer about the ditsy print floral dress which can be worn a myriad ways. Light enough to throw over a light weight polo-neck when it’s nippy outside and worn with knee high boots and a trench coat (a la Vetements), it looks pretty and yet also a tiny bit subversive. Warehouse comes up trumps with a bracelet sleeve style, a snip at £33 or otherwise get saving for The Vampire’s Wife, a great collection of prim Victoriana styles by Susie Bick which will see you through April showers and well into high summer.
Yellow Leads The Way
The red carpet colour of 2016 was also a standout on the spring catwalks. Don’t be alarmed by the prospect of a wintry complexion plus sunflower shades. Essential Antwerp has a fab marigold coloured coat, while Mansur Gavriels’s patent leather bag is searingly bright. Who knows, you might even, come June be persuaded into a citrus printed jumpsuit. but failing that there is always ……
Let’s ignore for a moment that this is Melania’s go–to shade currently and remember how dazzling Emmanuelle Alt and Olivia Palmero look in cream blazers from Blaze Milano and Sies Marjan before heading out to Hobbs and buying the £179 version. I love the decadence of wearing cream: it’s a two finger salute to my three year old’s grubby hands. I know that my Harris Wharf coat is constantly dicing with a chocolate smeared fate but it’s worth it for the ‘ta-dah’ factor that wearing cream – even on pale, pasty complexions bestows.
For yes, cream is a challenge: when wearing the aforementioned coat, I do not actually take a seat on the tube, and for obvious reasons it never comes with me to the playground. It is for meetings, dinners and the odd fashion show. If all this sounds neurotic, it is mostly worth it. In my layered up cream ensemble, I feel snappy, fresh and effortless – no matter that I may have rolled out of bed five minutes beforehand.
On a drab morning, nothing zings as subtly without you resorting to an overload of print, embroidery or Anna Dello Russo excess. It makes a welcome alternative to draining black or other somber neutrals. It is also more forgiving and less stark than head to toe white.
Only One Earring
Every so often the fashion Gods look down and decree a trend that does not require you to go Paleo or take out another mortgage. This year that trend is wearing only one earring. Before you suppress an eye roll, you may have to console yourself with the thought that it is infinitely more do-able or ‘less fashion’ than wearing mis-matched shoes a la the Celine show.
THE LABELS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
What else do you need to need to know to arm yourself for a stylish Spring. 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 Attico designed by the Milanese street style tastemakers Giorgia Toridin and Gilda Ambrosio which, despite only being a year old is already a favourite amongst seasoned frowers who have embraced beyond the boudoir dresses inspired by vintage furniture fabrics (which looks better than it sounds) and mules equipped with detachable shoe cuffs.
Next up is A.W.A.K.E which puts an interesting conceptual spin on workaday wardrobe staples shirts which are given a Dutch masters twist and avant-garde stiffness and blouses which are dominated by architectural waves. For something a little softer, head to Sies Marjan quickly establishing a fanatical following for those who can’t get enough of the label’s softly draped, two-piece silhouettes that employ contrasting textures and a delicious palette of painterly hues. Over and out.