To the uninitiated outsider, the fashion insider’s life is all fun and games – freebies, frocks and fashion parties a-plenty, right? Wrong. The reality involves a lot of bag-lugging, churning out copy (quite often while sitting in a freezing cold office) and explaining politely to people that high-resolution isn’t the same as “downloaded from Facebook”.
All that being said, events such as this morning’s Brown Thomas show, ushering in a shiny-and-new spring/summer season, most definitely belongs on the “pro” list (along with, okay, the odd fashion party). Not only was it really rather lovely, it’s got me second-guessing my personal preferences: while my heart truly belongs to winter, this spring/summer has a lot to recommend it, at least if collections from the likes of Chloé, Valentino, Victoria Beckham and Isabel Marant are any indicator.
Among the themes I’m looking forward to incorporating in my wardrobe are:
Primary colours (preschool-inspired)
We would be wise to credit Jeremy Scott with putting the fun back into fashion with his debut collection for Moschino last season – this season, the fashion pack is following suit. Take, for instance, the fun and flirty selection of mismatched primary colours from the likes of Peter Pilotto, Roksanda Ilincic and David Koma (all London Fashion Week veterans; it feels like the UK designers are definitely the fun, creative eccentrics, while the Americans most definitely bring the business acumen).
Of the Amish variety, rather than the economic, of course… at Erdem, Givenchy and Marni, hems were dropped, necklines were high and cuts were loose – but there was a fluidity to the fabrics and silhouettes that maintained a certain femininity which, for Marni at least, is always an unexpected boon. (Consuelo Castiglioni, creative director at Marni, has professed time and again that she “hates” sexy clothes – so it’s not surprising that Marni’s is an awkward femininity, but kind of sweet with it.)
At Dior, Givenchy and Preen, sex has had an overhaul – think a carefully revealed décolletage (that coat dress is incredible – I’d love to see Jennifer Lawrence go for something along those lines at the Oscars this year), slight glimpses of skin (Sarah Morrissey was the most covered up of the morning in this Givenchy ensemble, and the most risqué) and that 1920s silhouette at Preen that somehow skims, hugs and exposes the body, at least in a theoretical sense… sex is all grown up (farewell, Hervé Léger…).
The mini dress (thankfully, not that mini)
It’s not unusual for the fashion powers that be to suggest entirely unwearable things – for example, mini dresses that you’d be ashamed to wear to a brothel. (Well, I never!) This season, the mini dress is a little less mini than previous iterations, and I, for one, am very grateful. Dolce & Gabbana are going full-on frou frou with their cutesie polka dot mini, while their heart motif shift dress is a more demure take on girly – at Dior, it’s all about shape in adorable blush pink.
Finally, of course Mary Katrantzou (left and right) brings the hyper-fun graphic prints, but Osman (centre) was a more surprise addition. Super-fun alternatives to the usual party / wedding / black-tie ball fare comes in the form of tulip-skirted fitted dresses, 1950s silhouettes and strapless sheaths in bright pink print – unsurprisingly, I love it all.
If fashion bedded in and got serious during the recession (and it did), perhaps the whimsy underlining S/S 2015 is the ultimate proof that the economy is picking itself up and getting on with things again. You see, I care not for economic forecasts, news reports or unemployment figures; the proof is in the haute couture. brownthomas.com