Spring Trends to Embrace - and Those to Avoid

With the sales in full swing now is the perfect time to look at the trends and decide what to invest in and what to avoid.

It may be July already, but the Great British Summer is still yet to emerge, so it seems a little perverse that the world of fashion is already talking autumn/winter. I for one am yet to bare much more than an ankle so am far more interested in the spring/summer season, and with the sales in full swing now is the perfect time to look at the trends and decide what to invest in and what to avoid. For those with a life to lead and no time to trawl through Vogue.com, I'm here to steer you through the season and give my "expert opinion" on what will be hot long after summer's over, and what's simply a one-season wash-out. Here are my three key summer trends to adopt, and the three to drop.


Neon: Christopher Kane (aka God) sent neon lace down the catwalk, ergo neon is probably the biggest trend of the season. Don't take this too literally though, I usually find an accessory is enough for this one, otherwise you can look like you never stopped going to those secret raves from the 90s. If you can afford it, splash out on Miu Miu's shoes, or go mid-market with Links of London's glow in the dark Friendship bracelets. And for the budget buyers/brave amongst us, Claire's accessories stores are headache-inducingly full of fluro pieces all year round. Mark my words, neon will be back Summer after Summer...

Androgyny: As a guy working primarily in women's fashion, it's no surprise that I am a big fan of androgyny. The male model Andrej Peijic has become so well known on the female catwalks that he got voted onto FHM's 100 sexiest women list, basically proving that boy-girl is beyond hot right now. In terms of fashion, this means girls you can legitimately wear your boyfriend's shirt as a dress, and anything else from his wardrobe is up for grabs as well. It also means I can justify my obsession with wearing women's blazers from Zara and Topshop. Boy-meets-girl will never go away, so it's safe to invest in some amazing over-sized pieces that will see you through to AW and beyond. And FYI, a tux is THE eveningwear look for girls: so much chicer and more interesting than a sparkly dress, but still totally sexy.

70s: Every fashion magazine in existence has covered this trend, and I think we are all now clear on "how to wear a bell-bottomed jean", aren't we? Basically the rule is if you are unsure, don't. But the flare isn't the only element to this era, camel colours and paisley prints are important, as is gold jewellery and lots of it - who can argue with that? Looking forward to the AW11 catwalks, 70s is here to stay, with jewel colours coming through in a big way from the likes of Gucci. Jeans are out though, instead it will be all about cords (still flared, I'm afraid). Try Citizens of Humanity or Goldsign for the first AW pairs dropping in August, but for SS11 snap up those 70s silk blouses that are everywhere, and consider a Hermes-style scarf as a bandana if you're feeling gutsy.


Fruit prints: We all know that three is the magic number, and in fashion if three designers send something down the catwalk then it's a trend. Rather unexpectedly one of these for SS11 was fruit. And that's not metaphorical. Prada's banana-print skirts and earrings, plus Stella McCartney's citrus prints, plus Moschino's lemon-adorned pieces, created a tropical stampede as, in the words of Rachel Zoe, editors literally went "BA-nanas" for this fashion phenomenon. The high street rushed to copy the craze, daubing cherries, kumquats and pumpkins onto whatever they could; indeed for those who fancy it there is a whole juice bar's worth of pieces to choose from. But turn up next fashion week wearing a watermelon on your dress and I guarantee you will be given short thrift. The problem with a hyper-trend like this is that it gets tired oh so quickly. Remember aviator jackets last winter? I can't even look at one. So unless you are atteding a Club Tropicana party in the coming months, give this one a miss.

White: Who didn't send white down the runway for SS11? So minimal! So fresh! So Chic! Yeah, and then wear it down Oxford Street on any day so far this year and it's a whole different story. I wore a new crisp white shirt from Cos to the office last week ,and in just one day spilled coffee on myself, got splashed by a passing bus and became so hot on the tube my man make-up smudged the collar. After washing, some of the stains came out but some didn't, and a stray black sock in the load turned the whole shirt grey. Pay-per-wear this was one of the worst investments I have ever made. So before you buy that irresistible white jumpsuit think about how many pets you own and how many people you have to interact with on an average day, factor in the number of drinks you will be consuming that night, and then look at that bargain sale price and think again. As for rolling into AW, yes Chanel did white furry boots last winter season, but they were WHITE FURRY BOOTS, proving that even Karl gets it wrong. As a general rule winter white is a no no, and white jeans in winter can mean only one thing: you consider Liz Hurley to be a style icon. Back away now.

Pleats: The Whistles mid-length pleated skirt has become one of the most celebrated items this season - unjustifiably so. The perfect mid-calf hemline, available in a spray of bright colours, and most importantly, pleated! SS11 declared the pleated skirt was not just for school mistresses any more - please see Chloe for grown-up simplicity and Henry Holland for why-not-team-this-with-a-pair-of-faux-fur-purple-earrings-and-really-go-for-it kidult audacity. Yes these skirts were everywhere, and yes they did look surprisingly exciting on the catwalks, but the problem is that there really is only one item in one length giving one look...it just comes in different colours. Where the 70s trend has different angles and options, pleats really does just boil down to this one skirt, and, like your school teachers who used to wear them you will soon get bored. It's a [hall] pass for me.

So there you have it, anyone wearing a white pleated skirt with a fruit print on is in dangerous territory: make sure you trounce them in the fashion stakes and invest in that neon Pucci-print boyfriend blazer immediately.


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