The world moves on, and at such a pace ...
The spring collections for 2014 will begin filtering into the stores and online this month, even though we are still at the height of winter (or should that be the depths?) and the mere thought of setting forth outdoors in a sleeveless silk tunic dress is enough to bring up the goose bumps.
The new mood for spring is one of playful sophistication, with a healthy and knowing injection of fun.
Prints and shapes are inspired by the world of art, with both painterly and modernist schools seen in graphic, motif and stylised patterns on all the international runways – Prada gave us yellow coats with drawings of faces, while Hermes brought Rousseau-inspired waterlily florals on luxurious fabrics.
After winter’s moody florals, fashion still can’t get enough of flowers, with South Pacific hibiscus prints providing exotic and colourful vibrancy. In fact, there’s a round-the-world tour of exotic hots-spots going on in fashion for the season.
There is a strong South American influence, featuring for both prints, embellishment and decorative details, with Mexican tapestry and banded colourful embroidery and beading, and the landscapes of Africa feature heavily too, bringing silk printed images, for example, of lions roaming the plains. Prints featuring stalks and all manner of exotic birds are bringing a flutter of interest.
Some designers liked to mix it all up. Alexander McQueen teamed bright banded collars and cuffs with modern art style red, black and white colour-block prints – effective and thought-provoking – while Gucci meshed retro deco-style detail with eastern prints, taking in different points in place and time, and showing connections.
Paint-box bold colour is a major trend, especially green, adding a fun but challenging edge to minimalist, clean lines like tunic dresses.
On the other hand, there is much opulent embellishment too with fine beading literally dripping off hats at DSquared.
The 1990s is an inspiration for many styles (I know, it was like, a few years ago). It’s been bubbling for a few seasons, but now it’s hit the big time so say hello to double-breasted, long-line jackets, minimalist but clingy lines (like slip dresses), roughed-up denim and a major focus on blue, and the revival by Jean-Paul Gaulter of the conical bra.
Crop tops – there’s another style to look forward to. Balenciaga, for example, showed crop tops with wing sleeves and little pelmet skirts.
White is a major trend, with clean, minimalist, head-to-toe white looks, and white lace gaining even more ground. There was more futurist style dressing from Burberry, which put jewels on clear plastic jackets.
Meanwhile, sports-inspired shapes take on lace and embellishment (it was only a matter of time) at Erdem, and there is embellishment on jeans and trainers.
New shapes include skirts to mid calf and pleats are very spring 2014. Look out for quilting, too. And if you spot any of these themes and details in the sales, snap them up.