Fashion: Say it with floral print

Blurred floral print shift dress, �29, patent clutch bag, �22; sandals, �22. All at New Look.
Blurred floral print shift dress, �29, patent clutch bag, �22; sandals, �22. All at New Look.
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To celebrate Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, Stephanie Smith picks out a bunch of beautiful flower-inspired designs.

JUST like birthdays, Mother’s Day seems to come around with alarming regularity. No harm in that, although it does reflect how quickly the years fly by, especially once you become a mother. One cheery thought, though, in case you hadn’t noticed, is that Mother’s Day coincides with the launch of the spring fashion collections on the High Street. Handy.

Perfect timing is what I call it, and floral print fashion makes an especially apt gift for Mother’s Day.

What could be more lovely than receiving a posy (or huge bunch) of fresh spring flowers and then opening a gift box to find a beautiful blouse, or dressing gown, or duster coat or perhaps a dress, in a print that echoes that of the real flowers beside it? (No pressure – it’s just a suggestion. A pretty good one though.)

I am a fairly recent convert to flower-inspired designs. I was all for keeping it one colour or in colour blocks, both in the home and on myself, and then I saw some stunning retro curtains at the Fashion & Home Vintage Fashion Fair in Saltaire, and fell head over heels with their huge orange-red poppy heads printed all over, against a chocolate backdrop. I bought them and they are hanging in the study. Now I need a dress or duster coat in the same type of fabric, and I am looking, although my children will disown me if I step out wearing any such fabric, even on Mother’s Day.

Floral print does need to be handled with care, not least so that it doesn’t wear you.

This is especially pertinent this spring and summer when some prints have taken on a surreal and super-real quality – think Andy Warhol’s famous flower prints with their bold splashy heads set against pulsating lush strands of green grass, and you’ll be on the right lines. It’s easiest to pick out one key piece – a skirt or jacket, and team with black or white.

Spriggy chinz is in too, but keep the look muted and chiffony.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match your prints for a haute hippy look, and think accessories – a cartoonish floral print mini handbag has to be the best Mother’s Day gift ever.

The One Hundred Stars dressing gown, �65, from Maude & Tommy in York - made famous by Nigella Lawson in her TV series Nigella: at My Table running on BBC2 at 8:30pm on Monday nights - is now sold out but on order, and there are other map designs available. Picture: BBC/Robin Fox.

Fashion: The Nigella effect and where to find ‘that dressing gown’