God of Fashion, Marc Jacobs, has summed up the fashion feeling. Of his latest collections, he was recently quoted as saying “Just because we’re in a recession doesn’t mean we all have to dress in black and grey”. Yes, it’s a rubbish time for everyone, but if the sun is shining it is our duty to embrace it with colourful outfits and smiles on our lips. If we aren’t happy, at least our clothes can be. Here is my alphabetised guide to what you should be wearing to welcome spring in all its glory.
A – Alexa Chung’s New Look Collection – Featuring awesome staples such as the oversized cardigan, boyfriend blazer and stonewashed denim shirt dress. Glastonbury wardrobe crisis averted!
B – Bangles – The most coveted examples of which are the leopard print variety at Louis Vuitton, but there are equally amazing high street version at Marks and Spencer, Topshop and Accessorize. Stack ‘em up and wave your hands high.
C – Coral – Not quite pink, not quite peach, this colour evokes the memory of sun-kissed beach holidays, cocktails, sea breezes and girlie fun. If you don’t want to take the plunge in an all over coral number, accent your look with coral eyes, lips or nails. Bobbi Brown’s Bright Eyes Palette has all the colours you need to take you through into summer.
D – Denim – You may be fooled into thinking it’s 1997 and the charts have been dominated by those Irish pop denim-addicts B*witched, but thankfully, you’d be wrong. Denim has been given a make-over thanks to Balmain and House of Holland on the runways. Topshop have even released the jegging – a denim legging in a variety of stonewashed shades. A classic re-defined.
E – Eighties –This trend has reinvented itself once again. Think, neon brights, crop tops, denim, shoulder pads – bad taste is back. Look to the catwalks for inspiration on giving this look a 21st century reboot. In particular check out Prada’s bra tops, House of Holland cut out jeans.
F – Florals – Think 21st century not Laura Ashley a la Erdem or Dolce and Gabbana. The high street have got pretty petal patterns galore – check out River Island and Topshop. Even Michelle Obama is working this trend with her Thakoon print dress. Fashion has a new first lady.
G– Gaga –2009’s muse will soon release her first collection from her fashion “Haus”. Sure to be filled with sequinned pants, big shoulder pads, corsets, retro shades and her insane Thierry Mugler style 3D crystal dress. Bring it on!
H – Harem Pants – The hardest trend to get right – Wear with heels, t-shirt and a boy blazer and accent with feminine accessories. Problem solved.
I – Investment Pieces – As we’re all tightening our purse strings, it’s time to spend wisely. You can still treat yourself but make sure it’s on a timeless classic, like a Stella McCartney blazer or and Alexander McQueen jumpsuit. Make sure it’s something that works well with the wardrobe you already have, make it a welcome addition and you won’t feel guilty about the expense. Quality items are sure to withstand the follies of the fashionista.
J – Jumpsuits – Still fabulous and clinging on for dear life after the Autumn/ Winter season. Jumpsuits alleviate the problem of creating an outfit, as in a one piece, it’s done for you. They can be floaty or fitted, bright or neutral. Personally I am loving the retro Bowie-style Hogg couture jumpsuits, though at £515 I’ll be counting my pennies until I can afford one.
K – Kitty – Hello, Kitty to be precise. Everyone’s favourite feline now has her own make up range courtesy of Mac. Dare to be pink? Hell yeah!
L – Luella – The great Miss Bartley does the “English Eccentric” look so well. With cute flirty dresses in orange, pink and purple, unique florals and superb Chanel-influenced suits, she has created the dream wardrobe for spring, working most, if not all of the key trends.
M – Metallics – Another staple in the fashion cupboard, shiny shades always take an evening outfit to the next level. As seen on the catwalks at Donna Karan and Stella McCartney, metallics don’t have to be confined to the night time, it’s all about mixing and matching with nude tones for a classic day look. Versatility is the name of the game this season.
N – Nautical – Sure as eggs is eggs, you can count on red, white and blue to always take the top spot as team colours of spring. As this is a recurring trend the more creative among us can recycle your old nautical numbers if you’re strapped for cash. Think big gold buttons, anchor insignia and stripes. Get out the sewing machine and get customising.
O – Outnet.com – Natalie Massanet from Net-A-Porter.com has struck gold once again with this cut price website selling last season’s designer duds. Great fashion has no sell by date. Coming in April – keep an eye out for half price Herve Leger bandage dresses and £200 Louboutin sandals.
P – Print – It’s all about making a statement this season, brushing off the memories of winter with bold, striking outfits. Print has been done perfectly this season with geometric symmetry at Alexander McQueen, Harajuku pastels and ker-azy kimonos at Basso and Brooke and of course, who can forget the amazing pale blue and pink leopard print one shoulder minidresses at Lanvin.
Q – Mc Q at ASOS.com – If you’re feeling flush, his new collection features shift dresses to boost your working wardrobe, striking geometric tunics and the hottest tuxedo jacket in town. If you’re counting the pennies there are even some great Mc Q sale items waiting to be snapped up if you log on.
R – Red Nose Day T-Shirt – The perfect accompaniment to skinny jeans. Featuring a whole host of iconic celebrity photo’s including Madonna, Morecambe and Wise, and The Beatles, not to mention the fact that they are designed by Stella McCartney, this t-shirt is a failsafe for Spring 2009. Even though Red Nose Day has been and gone these t-shirts will never go out of fashion and the money goes to charity, so even if you’re trying to save you can purchase one with a clear conscience.
S – Safari – As seen on the catwalks of Ralph Lauren, the khaki-fied Indiana Jones look has been given a glamorous modern twist. With tan fedora hats, slouchy buckled bags, sequinned harem pants and lashings of gold you definitely won’t need a jungle to work this look.
T – Tan – Even the most pale and freckled of us look better when slightly sun-kissed so even if you do need factor 25 sun cream, don’t be afraid to let natural light into your life. Your skin will benefit from the Vitamin D and it can even reduce the risk of cancer so get out there and embrace your inner sun-worshipper.
U – Uniform – One for the boys – every girl loves a man in uniform and this season’s men should influenced by the jackets at DSquared. Stuart Vevers has brought a touch of “An Officer and a Gentleman” to Loewe’s latest collection. With super-hot nautical style hats, us girls can get in on the action too.
V – Veils –Weddings tend to feature heavily on our social calendar over the coming months, and the crafty genius that is Luella Bartley has designed the perfect cute hair pieces to give your wedding outfit some serious oomph. Lace veils in a delicious array of candy colours, accompanied by cute bow detailing. You may not be the bride but you’ll be sure to get attention with this show-stopping fascinator.
W – Westwood – By featuring Pamela Anderson in her new advertising campaign, many have thought Vivienne Westwood to have finally gone completely cuckoo. But her eccentricity is part of her electricity and it shows in her work. I am loving the coral jelly shoes and gorgeous grape print dress from the Anglomania collection. The Queen of Brit-cool reigns supreme.
X – X-treme heels – I don’t mean the sky-scraping platforms that saw Naomi Campbell go head over heels on the Vivienne Westwood catwalk. I’m speaking of the eclecticism of heel art – seen with curvy carvings at Christian Dior, merry-go-round twister heels at Loewe, and the Nuevo caged boot at Yves Saint Laurent.
Y – Yellow – The universal colour of happy is making a re-appearance. Whether you take your inspiration from bright daffodils like the models on the runways of Versace and Louis Vuitton, or if you prefer a more subdued mood, Chloe has the pale pastel shades for you.
Z – Zanotti – Guiseppe Zanotti knows animal print. This season he’s captivated shoe fans again with his gorgeous zebra print heels. Sure to put a spring in your step this season.
By Sally McIlhone