Ready To Wear: Pastels may be fit for a princess but they’re not quite real life

The dust has long settled on the gorgeous candy-coloured confections that took the summer catwalks by storm.

They looked so picture perfect when they first emerged. Marc Jacobs's pretty princesses for Louis Vuitton in particular stole the show. Dreamy.

And that might be the problem. Because now we are left with the harsh reality of actually wearing these clothes. Flowers, frills, flounces, fine French lace, ribbons, bows and more pastels than might be found in a crateload of fondant creams are more challenging in real life.

"They only look good when you have a tan and we haven't," says one member of Team Independent Fashion of the latter. "And pastel colours don't go with black. What shoes are you supposed to wear?" The fact that the woman in question is a stylist makes this all the more cause for concern. More PC: "Put this on and look like something straight out of a fairytale. Why would you want to do that?" wondered another.

As unlikely as it may seem, it is possible for a fashion journalist to have a conscience, thus taking out approximately 50 per cent of what the industry has to offer just now, admittedly, but still. However beautiful the look in question may be, the fact that both its rounded silhouette and hugely elaborate surface hark back to the days of woman as homemaker and, in the best of all possible worlds should she be allowed out of the kitchen, arm candy, make it not the most obviously emancipated of fashion moments.

It should come as no great surprise that the high street has put a more realistic spin on the style. Where a girlish silhouette is very much in evidence, colours are stronger, more acid bright than powder pale and more suited to everyday existence for that. Pastels may be prevalent but jeans are the primary culprits here, meaning any unduly pallid hues are kept well away from the face. The less than twig-like of thigh, however, might steer clear.

If you're older than 25, more than a size six, and don't travel with a hair and make-up artist, it might be worth leaving this one to the realms of fashion fantasy, then. For autumn, Jacobs himself has as always moved on and is inspired not by Cinderella and her ilk but by the Diddy Men. And that, my friends, is far more manageable – and indeed truly a look worth striving for.

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