GIVENCHY | ADAM LIPPES | PRABAL GURUNG | ULLA JOHNSON | GIAMBATTISTA VALLI | STELLA McCARTNEY
Trend 01: PALE & INTERESTING
White screams summer – do you know anyone who doesn't own a pretty white summer dress? This season, however, designers are abandoning the minimalist take and using it as a blank canvas to focus more on form, silhouette and texture. Sculpted detailing, ruching, contrasting texture and all-round drama are the foundations of this new hyper romance. Forget oversized trapeze shapes and vintage nighties, too. This season, the waist is back – if you do one thing, remember to get your belts out.
Alexander McQueen's cotton coat dress is all about volume, but a cinched-in belt gives it a more feminine, polished silhouette. At Adam Lippes, a beautifully sculpted white ruffle skirt is combined with a crisp white short-sleeve work shirt – feminine and masculine meet at the waist. And don't get me started on Giambattista Valli's white dresses. They’re the stuff of dreams – bridal at first glance, perhaps, but with flats and sunglasses it’s easy to dial up the glamour. Ulla Johnson's pretty cream peplum top comes with fine corsetry to give it a distinct shape, while Prabal Gurung has managed to make one of the most covetable dresses of the season. Cut outs are everywhere – a flash of skin is a must for those who dare – while a relaxed, almost t-shirt top is delicately attached to a high-waisted skirt.
ALTUZARRA | CHLOE | GABRIELA HEARST | ULLA JOHNSON
Trend 02: ISLAND LIFE
An exotic hideaway, the sound of the sea, sand between our toes… How many of us fantasised about a holiday during the pandemic? As soon as the weather allows, I’ll be jumping onto the resortwear bandwagon. Isabel Marant’s collections are always so inspiring and her beachy vibe this season is equal parts luxe and fun, with lots of sunset colours, slouchy cropped pants and signature boho tops. Crop tops are also a big trend this season – be warned! From bikinis at Jacquemus to cropped knitwear at Miu Miu, abs are seemingly the main accessory. If, like me, you’re less inclined to show off your midriff, there are ways around it. For one, a swimsuit-style bodysuit looks great with an open shirt or cardigan – of course, Chanel's monochrome one piece is at the top of my wish list.
Ulla Johnson is always strong on bohemian prints and manages to mix complementary patterns so effectively – it’s a great styling trick that feels relaxed and holiday appropriate. Etro's paisley longer-line gilet is the ideal piece of spring outerwear – I love how unexpectedly it's been styled with cycling shorts. Co-ordinated sets are still big news, and Altuzarra's pink print cropped shirt and peplum skirt is divine. Relaxed but still dressy, it evokes a barefoot glamour that reminds me of sundowners on the beach. Gabriela Hearst’s looks for Chloé this season include lots of giant fringing – but it’s her crochet rainbow knit maxi dress that’s the definition of free-spirited days.
Trend 03: MAKING AN ENTRANCE
Glamour is definitely back this season. Sequins, feathers, dramatic trains, big bows – nothing is off the table as we all try to make up for lost time. Alessandro Michele has gone for full-on old Hollywood glamour at Gucci – both of my favourite dresses were long pink gowns covered in sequins. For a brand synonymous with beige trench coats, Burberry’s silver sparkle body suit proves a party mood is in the air. Tom Ford also has colourful sequins in abundance, and if you're looking for the ultimate ballgown collection, Carolina Herrera is it. Its resident designer Wes Gordon threw everything at this eveningwear collection – from huge taffeta skirts to large crystal embellishment and eye-popping colour. Finally, how could we forget the black jumpsuit that made its way down the Saint Laurent runway with its giant shoulder bow? It’s a reminder that this is one of those trends to have fun with. Whether it's a puffball skirt (seen at McQueen, Carolina Herrera and Adam Lippes) or a statement top, why not go the extra mile? After all, life is short.
BURBERRY | CAROLINA HERRERA | ALEXANDER McQUEEN | CAROLINA HERRERA | GIAMBATTISTA VALLI | GUCCI
CHANEL | CHLOE | TORY BURCH | GIAMBATTISTA VALLI
Trend 04: SKIRTING THE ISSUE
This spring/summer, mini and maxi skits are both taking centre stage – especially at Chanel. The brand’s runway show was awash with bouclé minis as well more languid lengths, with legs either out in force or hidden from view.
Though I love a mini length for the evening, preferably with killer heels, my everyday style doesn't really include bottom-skimming skirts, so a transition to longer hemlines feels seamless to me. The key is to keep the upper half streamlined with a strappy top or fine knit.
Stripes are one direction to go in (always a summer trend) and Chanel's button-down monochrome maxi looks effortlessly chic. Tory Burch's blue and red diagonal version is destined to become a wardrobe favourite – it’s the kind of piece that would easily work for both day and night, and looks especially chic with flats. To translate the look for evening, Giambattista Valli has created a frothy, floral ballgown-style skirt that exudes romance, and given it a youthful twist with a crop top. At Chloé, Gabriela Hearst has used fringing again to give a plain ecru maxi a luxe touch.
ADAM LIPPES | ALEXANDER McQUEEN | BOTTEGA | PROENZA SCHOULER | SAINT LAURENT | VERSACE
Trend 05: OVER THE RAINBOW
Bold colours have been around for the last few seasons, and this summer you’re going to see lots of intense neons, zesty brights and fun candy shades again. The colour explosion is already evident on the high street. If you’re still wary, my advice is to simplify the look and colour block; it keeps things more modern and under control. There’s no need to be afraid of standing out – just pick a colour you've loved wearing in the past and go one shade brighter. Choose a classic silhouette and keep your accessories simple.
Versace and Alexander McQueen have fabulous neon pink suits that are classic and wearable, while Saint Laurent's shoulder-pad dress puts an 80s spin on acid orange. Proenza Schouler’s draped saffron maxi dress proves that romance is still possible in technicolour, while Adam Lippes’s neon pink dress doesn’t fall far behind. Bottega’s lime green mini dress has a beautifully wearable shape thanks to its flattering waist and blouson sleeves – it’ll look beautiful with a red lip. And Prada, which can always make colour look classy, relied once again on its signature satin fabric to create ladylike mini sheath dresses.