Thursday, 9 February 2012

Spring's Must Have Pieces

Top of the crops

This time, like me, shy away from just wearing crop tops at festivals or lazily half tucking them into trousers. It’s the season to bare that stomach. But fully baring the midriff at 22? I tense up with anxiety. It’s a look I haven’t pulled since dancing to the Spice Girls aged 7 and wouldn’t rock now unless in the confides of my own home. And even that is a push. Yet designers have decided to embrace the crop top as a key season piece. I adored bra tops shown at Versace and Roccobarocco.  So.....unless I work my body to the bone at the gym and lose my hourglass figure by Spring... it’s one I will have to avoid. Saying that, remember the Emilio Pucci gothic black ensemble Gwyneth Paltrow wore at 2011 Emmys? It’ll make you think that crop tops are definitely wearable if paired with high-waisted maxi skirts. Or even a palazzo pant for a 70s look. I’m thinking Topshop lace bralets and high waist chiffon maxi would be a chic evening outfit-baring a little skin yet not giving off the wrong impression. For a subtle look, reveal skin through a window of fabric instead. For a casual look, cropped jackets and matching dress, à la Oscar de la Renta. Jeggings, bra tops, mohair cardigans and converse would look gorgeous together also. But if you are lucky enough to have a figure like a model, copy trendsetters Rooney Mara and Solange Knowles. Rooney made headlines wearing a Miu Miu crop top and skirt on the red carpet-it was very cute. If’ll have to get a personal trainer.

Grace me with your Cold Shoulders

Shoulder-baring looks had a 1990′s influence during the SS12 runways. Cold shoulders were seen at Ralph Lauren and Carlos Miele with floor-sweeping dresses and blouses at Fendi and Temperley . Shoulder cut outs were refined at Mcqueen with an armoured sorbet dress and at Alberta Ferretti with a fuchsia sporty one. Eyes were fully drawn to the exposed shoulder with scraped back hair and a strong lip ala Donna Karan and Jen Kao.  Last year, Rachel Zoe’s Resort and BCBG’s interpretation were astounding. Back in S/S12, Prabal Gurung’s gauzy take reminds me of Renee Zellweger's sheer cold-shoulder black fishtail dress at the Golden Globes 2009. Both were relaxed but seductive.  

Donna Karan said, “The only place you never gain weight is your shoulder” Perfect!  If you’re going to embrace peek- a-boooing a bit of skin but you don’t have the confidence, the shoulders are your best bet. I suggest sticking to relaxed chiffony or crepe materials from high end stores or simply go vintage. Avoid lycra tight materials as you’ll look like every girl on a Saturday night at your local nightclub.  Many versions on the high street look a bit unfortunate. (Sorry ASOS. Please stick to exposing shoulders the strapless dress way.) Dressed down?  A cut out tee or white blouse with high waist studded denim shorts with Jeffrey Litas and a fedora. Nasty Gal’s white hot 80s-inspired bodysuit featuring cutout shoulders which will look perfect paired with a shorts and wedges. Easy need to diet for this one. Good thing too....I just ate some profiteroles. 

Put on your Pretty Poufy Peplum

Derived from 1950s, and overdone in the 1980s, peplums are here to stay for Spring/ Summer 2012. The Peplum is spring’s hottest silhouette probably because it does what everyone wants. It’s a short ruffle attached to fitted item. It nips in the waist and then the extra material covers your hips creating the perfect body shape-the hourglass. Lucky for me, I have that anyway. But thing is I’m one of those people who would do nearly everything to get rid of extra inches on my hips so adding to the area sounds a little stupid. But curvier women are no longer afraid of looking a little bigger. Think Beyonce’s Beckham dress worn at Harrods and Liv Tyler in McCartney. Adding a voluminous flair is THE detailing accessory. The objection of my affections were the exaggerated peplums on the catwalk, I’m drooling over Marchesa’s version.....and my newly favourite designer Mary Katrantzou’s peplums on Miranda Kerr.

Spotted everywhere on the runways, peplums became bigger and bolder and more avant-garde. Celine and Dries Van Noten combined structured white and mesh for a clean sharp look. Who’d have thought Noten’s peplum trouser would work?  Zac Posen and Dior added peplums to their suit collections. Peplums were reworked at Givenchy and Cushnie et Ochs-metal shines and dark gothic glamour for a space age look. Alexander Wang took a sporty route of the silhouette on jumpsuits and bodysuits. But I fell in love with the prettiest incarnations. Badgley Mischka, Marchesa, Alexander McQueen, Vera Wang and Jason Wu.  Peplum lilac jackets and dresses with intricate lace detailing at Burton’s Mcqueen under the sea collection was breathtaking. Jason Wu, and Badgley Mischka chose a feminine 50’s look with pops of neon made in more voluminous peplums. I loved Wu’s monochrome flair dress- it had such a vintage feel.

Whether you choose to play up your feminine side with a pouf in a blouse or jacket, or use peplums to add structure to dresses, whether the look is sported on hips or the waist-the look is edgy.  For curvier bodies, pair your peplum with a pencil skirt and a fitted top with platforms for a slim look.  Keep it simple....The peplum should do all the talking. No need to add excessive accessories. I think colour blocking like Emma Stone in her hot pink Giambattista Valli skirt is the route to take. Or find an imitation of Emma Watson’s Marchesa neon dress. That looked divine with her bright orange lips.  I’m hoping Zara do a frothy version like Jason Wu’s pink skirt. Off I go then to frantically search.

Pyjamas? Maybe Kid n Play and Hugh Heffner were onto something....

And im not referring to stocking night caps and onesies emblazoned with moons and stars.  Perhaps the craziest trend this summer is wearing pyjamas in public. I reckon many will shy away from this...which is good news if you embrace individuality. But for many students your probably thinking designers have simply been watching them leave halls hungover or do their shopping. Everyone wears pyjamas in public as a student. In 2001, Prada dressed models in grandad-esque pyjama tops and Preen sent pyjamas down the runway in 2008. But this season it’s about creating the ultimate evening look with seductive slouchy silhouettes which is far too stylish to keep in the bedroom. Stylish pants and dressing-gown jackets in silks and satins scream easy luxe glamour.  This was popular on the catwalks: monogrammed airy ones at J.W. Anderson, Paul Smith gentleman scarf-print trousers, Stella McCartney's high waist block-printed silky pyjamas and loose blazers offered an alluring alternative to her usual trouser suits. Whilst Clements Ribeiro teamed easy looking PJ pants with racer tanks. PJ’s incorporated micro trends at Jill Sander and Antonio Marras. Oriental prints covered a two piece at Marras, meanwhile Sander worked with the paisley print. Jonathan Saunders look was chic yet low maintenance using polka dot separates with colour block platforms. On the high street, ASOS have gorgeous velvet slippers that are too good to keep inside.

Hugh Heffner said wearing pyjamas is sensual and comfortable. And who could forget Kid n’ Play having the time of their lives in House Party. Now I’m not saying you have to full on copy Hefner...the man has 200 silk pairs....that’s going a bit far.  Yet elegant slouchy silk trousers, button-front shirts like Arizona Muse in Louis Vuitton Cruise Collection will be good enough.  Embrace the trend with dressing-gown wrap jackets for evenings with shell tops underneath like JW Anderson. Pair with loose French plaited hair and dewy makeup- and you’re off! To literally copy this look without looking insane, you’ll probably have to be tall and skinny, couple with a heel and forget the teddy bear.

Need a subtler inspiration? Draped loose jumpsuits and silk palazzo trousers.  Or even do a Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss with silk slips like in the 90s. I did this myself with white silk slip worn as a dress coupled with tights and a loose blazer. So will you be wearing pyjamas this spring? Go on join the party. However, bad news though if you live in Louisiana. The state wants to ban PJ wearing in public. Apparently, "its pyjama pants today, it will be underwear tomorrow." And your point is?

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