Another fashion week has been and gone in London, but as the clothes are squirrelled away until spring, there's time to reflect on the key trends of the season. Metallics, florals, colourful stripes, pristine whites, sportswear and flats are key looks for spring/summer 2015 -- but don't wear them all at once.
#1 Flower power
Ignore Meryl Streep's withering put-down in "The Devil Wears Prada" -- "Florals? For spring? Ground-breaking" -- and embrace the power of a well-placed petal. Luxury label Marchesa led the pack with exquisite floral threadwork trickling across silk tiered ruffles and billowing sleeves. Matthew Williamson had gorgeous prints on flowing dresses, Jonathan Saunders used simple petal designs, and Simone Rocha applied red poppies onto sheer dresses. Hip young label House of Holland used clashing colours for a 1970s-inspired look, while also adorning denim jackets, jeans and handbags with brightly coloured posies.
#2 Metal shine
London designers chose many ways to sparkle, from a pleated gold skirt to metallic embroidery and silver shoes, but no one does it with as much attitude as Tom Ford. The US designer showed silver mini-dresses with metallic flower embroidery over the nipples, skin-tight gold sequinned cocktails and gold platform sandals. Greece's Mary Katrantzou also showed dresses and jewellery with metallic snake details and sparkling black tops on a runway of glittering volcanic chips, in a collection inspired by the birth of planet Earth.
This practical trend has been around for a while, but thankfully designers are no longer vying to make the ugliest versions possible. Temperley London styled lace-up printed trainers with its elegant collection of calf-length trousers, jackets, waistcoats and dresses in stripes, prints and checks. There were brightly coloured sandals from Serbian-born Roksanda Ilincic and print kings Peter Pilotto, while Jonathan Saunders matched them with beautiful print dresses. Simone Rocha, the daughter of Irish designer John Rocha, matched the shoes to the dresses, with sandals and lace-ups in pink, black, nude, floral print and the odd feather trim.
#4 Vibrant colour
As winter looms, look ahead to spring days with clothes bursting with colour and bright prints. London was filled with pale pinks and blues, bright oranges, reds and yellows, offset with nude and cream shades. Mixing many of them, Burberry Prorsum turned to nature for a vibrant collection of dresses, jackets and skirts in poppy red, fern yellow, dragonfly blue and beetle green. There were stronger tones and blocks of colour at Roksanda, who used manmade fabrics to create bright orange and sky blue sculptured shapes.
Deeply flattering if you wear them the right way and hideous if you don't, stripes featured heavily in this week's shows. Jonathan Saunders used his in shimmering blue against black velvet, while Giles had baby pink pinstripe trouser suits. Topshop Unique used different sized horizontal stripes in blue, white, black and red on dresses and vertical stripes on trousers and jackets. At Preen, the husband-and-wife team beloved of celebrities, there were stripes in red, blue, yellow against a black background, almost like tape holding the clothes together.
#6 Clean white
Hard to pull off and almost impossible for anyone who takes public transport, the all-white look makes as much a statement as bold colour. British designer Amanda Wakeley showed how it was done with beautifully cut, pristine collection presented to a small crowd of ladies sipping champagne at her Mayfair shop.There were luxurious floor-length white trousers, shirts with the sleeves rolled at the elbow and voluminous skirts. On a similar theme, Pringle of Scotland had sharply tailored trousers with sleeveless sheer tops and crisp, boxy shirts. By contrast, Turkish designer Bora Aksu had intricate lace items matched with grey silk, while Erdem layered patterns of white leaves over sheer, slim-fitting dresses.
#7 Sports chic
Comfortable and stylish, this look works well with the fashion for trainers -- but must not be matched with jogging trousers lest someone redirect you to the gym. Knitwear label Pringle of Scotland showed tennis-inspired little white dresses, mesh vests and elasticated trim, a detail also seen on white and print tops at Jasper Conran. Canadian designer Jean-Pierre Braganza had graphic print sports jackets among striking monochrome dresses, a silhouette also seen at Amanda Wakeley, who added to the sporty luxe effect with judo belts.(AFP)