It’s cold out there but there are signs of life on their way with the new spring/summer collections. Stephanie Smith previews key looks heading to the High Street.
Hope is on the horizon – and it’s looking good, very good. Soon, it will be time to step out of the chilly shade and into a High Street filled with all the wonder and the promise that we know as the Spring/Summer Collections.
What to expect, what to look for, what to hope for? Flamboyance, for a start, but artfully done, considered, wearable, statement-like and clever. The same can be said for the cuts and the lines – we’ll be seeing more curves and ruffles, but these are balanced and presented with a strong pen, minimalist where necessary, letting the key features of a design speak for themselves.
There’s colour, too, lots of it and bold. Vivid colour will characterise much of fashion for the coming spring and summer, in primary brights and exquisitely rich and vibrant shades from deep sapphire blue and emerald to red and pulsating sunset tones of burning orange through to shimmering yellows. These feature as single block colours but also in stripes, another major trend for the season, with nightshirt-inspired and mono vertical striping and bold horizontal bands of tantalising brights.
Be prepared for an interesting return to the 1990s, which brings with it the slip dress, pared back and slinky in silk and fine sheeny fabrics that inevitably remind of the boudoir, but can actually be worn as part of your usual day-to-night wear. Well, sort of usual. Channel Kate Moss and team with wellies for an undeniably eccentric seductive and playful look. Burberry Prorsum is trimming its slip dresses with scalloped lace and gold cording, while Emilio Pucci is layering its slips with fine knits. On the High Street, look out for quite a wide interpretation of the slip look, from lingerie-ish silky strappy styles through to more substantial looking slip-inspired dresses in jersey. These are wearable minimalist pieces of all hem lengths from above the knee to maxi, and, in general, they stay put and don’t reveal too much. A black below-the-knee jersey strap dress would make a great investment.
The underwear and lingerie theme continues with PJ-inspired styles. Gucci’s tropical pyjama suit will see plenty of High Street tributes. Palm print, meanwhile, will be everywhere, from trouser suits and blouses to street-inspired leisure wear. And look out for gingham, with both Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham creating fresh and easy chic looks for spring.
Chiffon and filmy fabrics in whites, nudes and pale pinks offer pared-back translucent layering, often in tunic styles and gentle asymmetric lines, while at the other end of the scale, there are mirrors, in circles, shards or broken pieces, appliqued onto fabric.
The shoulders will feature strongly, cut out for a peek-a-boo effect, while there are also gentle billowing lines tapering out from the waist to fuller skirts.