As I sit looking out the window on the top floor of my flat, I make a decision. It is now, in my view, springtime – I can see patches of blue sky, a few feeble rays of sunshine and even a few promising looking buds on the trees. The dark overcoat of winter has at last been cast off, revealing a time of year which I like to think of as the three bears of seasons; not too hot and not too cold, but just right.
Spring wardrobes should, of course, reflect this. The Spring/ Summer shows were awash with pretty pastels, prints and shapes, doll-like accessories and fresh-faced make-up. However, it cannot be denied that for the fourth year running my heart has been stolen by the very textiles themselves. Ever since Prada reinvented lace back in 2008, there has barely been a season where we don’t find translucent fabrics draped upon the high priestesses of fashion; and this spring is by no means an exception.
At Louis Vuitton, models wore simple tops and skirts, but the genius was in the materials. Lace was dyed candy colours, cut and applied to collars or hems, juxtaposed with different patterns… The list goes on. At Chanel, Lagerfeld paired the label’s classic tweed jackets with barely-there dusty pink tutus, making a strong statement that net doesn’t always have to be tacky. The result was a playful twist on such an iconic piece, and a breath of fresh air as the longer days draw close. As always, Prada delivered by giving us sheer skirts, overcoats and bandeaus sprinkled with teeny tiny holes; a modern and adorable take on Broderie Anglaise.
To achieve this look, it is worth investing in good pieces to wear underneath these fairytale fabrics. Old fashioned high street department stores often have excellent ranges of silk camisoles and underskirts for very cheap prices, and often sell longlasting goods of exceptional quality. Choose either a complimentary colour or a contrasting one, depending on how bold you feel; monochrome layers can be very effective.
Adding pearls, suede and cashmere helps to maintain a soft, yet grown up appearance, and keeps you far away from toddler’s teaparty territory – steer clear of bows, ribbon and ruffles. Black tights can look good whilst keeping you safe from the all too frequent Scottish showers and provide a blank canvas for you to work from. Finally, keep hair and make-up fresh and young; this is not the time for severe graphic eyeliner, nor is it the time for slicked back ponytails. A dusting of blusher and a few loose waves is all you need. Now pop on your ballet flats, skip down the garden path and enjoy the first days of spring.
Image – Tara Atkins