x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Katie Trotter: Blossom in florals but nip flashy bags in the bud

Floral can be fetching, but nib flashy bags in the bud, says our fashion expert.

I suppose there is nothing particularly groundbreaking in the idea of florals for summer. What we have is a user-friendly trend, which in the world of fashion and its often anti-feminine ideals is perhaps something to celebrate.

Let's start with head-to-toe florals, which are decidedly sophisticated this season - despite what the name suggests - as demonstrated by Phillip Lim and Dior. It's easy, of course, to appear slightly prissy - a little too English tea party. So be sure to focus on pieces with strong lines and an almost masculine edge by keep things close to the skin and well-fitted to the silhouette. If you don't do well with tailoring, go for a nipped waist and full skirt, which is a good option and no less flattering or fashion forward.

A bright flowery pattern works well as long as the pattern is delicate and the colour spectrum subtle. Remember, if you want to go for a bolder flower try to stick to muted tones such as mustards, dusky pinks, pewter greys and subtle yellows in order to keep a modern hue. The digital age has brought some interesting design techniques to the forefront, so try to venture beyond your normal comfort zone and look into more unexpected takes on the trend.

What we were most excited about this season were the 3-D florals - embroidered petal designs - seen on the runway from the likes of Erdem and Oscar de la Renta. We witnessed chrysanthemums at Dries Van Noten, dandelions at Bottega Veneta and a bold bouquet of freesias at Thakoon among other exciting offerings.

If you can't commit to an all over floral-embellished piece, the best alternative is to look for separates. Focus on a bold floral used within your outfit such as a collar, a cropped jacket or a chiffon top. A detail, such as a floral inset or lining can be equally exciting as working the trend head to toe.

When it comes to accessorising remember the golden rule of less is more. Avoid anything that makes a statement, particularly anything remotely chunky or decorative as it will only clutter what is already a busy look. When it comes to bags and shoes, the same rule should be applied. A clutch is a great option as it avoids the addition of a strap. Avoid anything with texture or shine as it will, again, only complicate things.

Alternatively, if you feel that wearing a statement floral print is too much then just show a nod to the trend with a simple 3-D floral necklace or printed floral scarf.

Floral trousers can be a fun option and there are plenty on the high street that won't break the bank if you want to experiment, although make sure to pair them with a solid block of colour in the form of a blazer.

If you are petite, there is a risk of getting lost in a bold print, so keep to a finer print and pair it with neutral accessories. If you have a more curvy frame, opt for a floral print that draws the eye inward, for example a print that runs down the centre of a dress or skirt or works from the hip area to the centre.

Vivienne Westwood's Red Label vintage prints are ideal for those who like just the right amount of drama. Her tea dress prints are pretty and well cut without the look-at-me aspect.

Overall, have a little fun with the trend - but not too much fun. Think bright but not loud, feminine but not too pretty. Let's call it undone femininity - for everything in fashion must have a name.

ktrotter@thenational.ae

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