Joys of spring: Susannah Frankel welcomes a season of feminine fashion

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

This spring reawakens childhood dreams, with princess silhouettes, a soft palette and dainty embroidery covering the most delicate fabrics.

Spring has sprung. And not a minute too soon. Those who have yet to pack away their warm winter wardrobe had best get started and prepare themselves for the most unashamedly feminine season that has been seen for some time.

The colours are pretty – all the shades of white, pastel pink, blue, primrose and mint green – the silhouette is reminiscent of one a princess might like – wasp waists, bell-shaped skirts and a narrow shoulder – and embroideries are the sweetest imaginable – jewelled daisies and more meadow flowers decorate the surface of silk chiffons, organzas, jacquards and lace.

As for pattern... perhaps the most conspicuous technological advancement in recent years can be witnessed in the rise and rise of the engineered print. Be it figurative, graphic, photographic, whatever, these are as busy, bold and modishly mismatched as even the most fierce fashion follower might dare to wear. Nothing escapes this mindset, least of all the still-ubiquitous skinny jeans. They come stamped with everything from tropical landscapes to exotic blooms, and in colours intended to dazzle, to boot.

This is no time to be shy, then.

The principle reference across the board nods to the age-old art of haute couture. Couture equals quality: hand-workmanship and an attention to detail and finish that is second to none. It's a no-brainer, really. When times are tough, the sartorially discerning go in search of that rare thing, an investment piece, a garment which looks as though it might actually be worth any hard-earned cash and which might be passed down through generations as a bona-fide heirloom. Worry not that this may lead to the type of bourgeois, French style that, in our modern times, seems just a tad on the heavy side. In the finest designers' hands, it has been duly subverted. Raw edges, a marginally larger-than-life line and a naïve, home-spun feel ensure that clothing that has its roots here boasts a spontaneity that is more contemporary in flavour.

For those who prefer a more understated look, good news comes with the minimal aesthetic still upheld by Phoebe Philo at Céline, providing a much-needed counterpoint to any overriding nostalgia and/or sweetness. Androgynous tailoring, oversized cotton dresses and coats, and masculine shirting are all very much on the agenda with just this sort of woman in mind. Sportswear, too, gets more than a look in: lace-trimmed, body-conscious Aertex and a splash of true red in an otherwise monochrome world ensures all those possessed by Olympic fever can dress to match.

Shoes, meanwhile, run the gamut from spike-heeled stiletto to stomping brothel-creeper and from fetishistic ankle boot to ballerina flat. And bags come in the form of jewelled clutches, purses not unlike those your granny might once have carried and, of course, satchels, which remain the functional carry-all of choice.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Health & Safety Consultant

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic and exciting opport...

    Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

    £14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

    Guru Careers: Financial Controller

    £45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

    Day In a Page

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'