Friday, 11 February 2011

Flower power

Erdem spring/summer 2011

Turquoise floral shirt, £85, Liberty

This season, florals are not just confined to usual suspects such as Monsoon and Laura Ashley. From Chanel to Jil Sander and Marni, Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders (see below) to Etro and, of course, Erdem, the catwalks simply sang with colourful blooms, a bright welcome to a new season after a long cold winter.

Once you hit a certain age, florals start to sound like a rather dodgy proposition. A floral dress might look young and fresh on a 20-something, but does it become a little grannyish rather than breezy and bright as you get older? I think the answer is that a little flower power goes a long way. Liberty is always a good place to start for a well-cut floral shirt. Topshop's one-piece vintage floral swimsuit (£30) is fun, and their cream floral dress (£38) has an appealingly simple cut and would have a great vintage feel teamed with a little cardigan. Flowers are everywhere from brooches (see Lanvin's, above) to hats (at Reiss). Soon to be copied on a high street near you are Dolce & Gabbana's floral canvas shoes (as beautifully shot in this month's Red magazine, styled by Nicola Rose). I'm also drawn to the loud Paul Smith floral shirt in that shoot, above; a statement shirt for sure, and wearing it has to be uplifting. Red's tip is to team busy florals with cool Breton stripes – they seem to complement each other nicely.

Alongside florals are some seriously bold fruit prints, such as Stella McCartney's acid brights. And what's with those Miuccia Prada banana earrings? Priced £150. I had an identical pair in the '80s, wooden, bought no doubt in Miss Selfridge for a quid or two. How ageing it is to have worn something the last time they were around! I'm really not sure what makes them say 'high fashion' as opposed to 'Pat Butcher' now. I guess simply that Ms Prada has decreed it. Well, it has to be a good thing to be able to turn to fashion for some fun and frivolity – and, yes, a touch of the ridiculous – in times of such greyness and wintery moroseness.

Floral swimsuit, £30, Topshop

Floral print stretch-silk gown, £1,350, Jonathan Saunders

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