Spring styles: Enter a land of Liberty

Balmain's ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2014 fashion collection, presented in Paris

Balmain's ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2014 fashion collection, presented in Paris

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This spring, throw it all up in the air and reach out for what you love best. Stephanie Smith captures fashion’s new spirit of emancipation.

Fashion doesn’t want to be told what to do any more – and nor should we.

Balmain's ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2014 fashion collection, presented in Paris

Balmain's ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2014 fashion collection, presented in Paris

Gone are the days of being dictated to, informed which are the key colours to buy, the new shapes to wear, the trend no-nos and the fashion faux-pas.

The modern stylista or fashion-loving woman is ageless, timeless (and, of course, she wears it well). She can be of all sizes and colourings, she can assume a variety of political complexions, roles, lifestyles and interests. In short (or long), she is limitless and unclassifiable. She wears what she wants, when she wants... and fashion has adapted to suit her needs and desires

Therefore, diversity and liberation are what categorise fashion for this spring and summer.

There is every shade under the sun, right acorss the spectrum, from primary red, blue and yellow to secondary orange, green and purple, all in crayonish play-school bolds, through to pure technicolour brights and into intensely vibrant saturated pastels and then meandering along into a heavenly dreamworld of pales and whites. Wear one, wear all … you decide.

Balmain's ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2014 fashion collection, presented in Paris

Balmain's ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2014 fashion collection, presented in Paris

As for pattern? Well, where to start? There’s the statement simplicity of colour-blocking – stark, pared down yet powerful and pulsating. There are some intriguing blends of colour fading and dipping. There are collections of eye-popping cartoonish motifs and lettering bringing banner headlines and messages.

There is all manner of fascinating florals, from dense and moody blooms to Pop Art stylised flower heads, bringing us both the pastel pretty themes and the sporty techno luxe side of the spring fashion coin.

Monochrome and also square and check patternings, meanwhile, bring a touch more structure, while gleaming molten metallics continue to add luxury and opulence, and not just for evening and night-time, because daytime shine continues to glisten (that’s glisten, not glare) for all-day wear too.

There are prints, patterns, embellishments and design details inspired from across the globe – South America, North Africa, the American prairie and many countries of the East, combining, cascading and layering to bring an eclectic blend of traditional dress and tribal influences, or dressing down to a cool world traveller hippy vibe.

But wherever you travel, the mood tends to be relaxed, and timeless – witness the sports luxe theme that revisits track, court and field styles from the Twenties to the Eighties.

It’s a season for revealing too, especially the midriff, with bra and crop tops, and much use of sheer chiffon panels.

Clever layering gives elegant options for all. Silky slip dresses and relaxed trouser suits bring a languid edge and look out for vibrantly coloured, fluid all-in-ones.

Meanwhile, the skirt and shirt pairing works everywhere, perfect for day and the office, but experiment with shine for the evening.

More tailoring comes with origami folds and pleats, but nothing too formal.

Dip in with accessories, chunky white sandals and cutwork mules, so-called ugly chic shoes and bags in all those colours of the rainbow, the wind, sea and stars.

Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ

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