Add accessories and structure for an updated take on pastels.
Katie Trotter: On pastels
While the rest of the world shivers and sniffles, Abu Dhabi, as always, seems to be baking. Which for all the moaning we seem to do does have its positive points.
Take pastels, for example, one of the new season's most important trends that have recently undergone a huge revamp - hard to pull off in a snow cloud, yet positively carefree in the warm eastern winds we get here.
Pastels scare us a little. There is a sickly sweetness about bubble-gum shades of pretty pinks, sugar almond blues and powdery purples that turn away those who like to be taken a little more seriously. That need not be so - we simply need to learn how to toughen up accessories and add structure to our layering to de-feminise.
Forget the Nineties' take on pastels with the sugary pink frosted lip and instead look to Prada, which has come up with the rather wonderful and unusual combination of pale yellow and powder blue - soft and chalky in equal measure. Try cream, blush, soft turquoise, salmon pink or celery green - even try layering a mix for impact, as all will work as long as we get a little brave with the accessorising.
Jonathan Saunders sent models down the runway with a rock 'n' roll flicked eye that paid tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, and Prada paired the girlie tone with a rather harsh masculine hairstyle in order to offset the overtly feminine attire. Try accessorising with black, in a hard structured fabric such as patent to provide an air of the unexpected, or try mixing them with an intensified version of the same hue - pale pink becomes scarlet, powder blue becomes sky blue, et cetera.
Anything studded or silver will help, as will dark tights in an opposite colour to that of the spectrum, emulating a Sixties aesthetic. All of this, however, is not to say that pastels can't still be pretty; we simply need to challenge the classic take, something that will be much easier for those with dark hair for once, as pale pink and the brunette work beautifully.
If you are still plagued by the Nineties Clueless era, try adding a touch of pastel to your beauty routine instead. We saw pastel eyeshadows in shades of lavender, light blue and silver paired with thick, full and defined eyebrows and flushed cheeks head down the catwalks, so the trend will soon be hitting the make-up counters in the next few weeks.
Not to forget, of course, what lies ahead with the launch of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby and its inspired 1920s pieces, such as the drop waist, seen for the first time in many seasons. So it seems, spring is well and truly on its way - albeit a spring that should be viewed through a pair of rose-tinted spectacles.
This week's high and lows
MARIA GRACHVOGEL We featured the London-based designer in our rooftop fashion shoot Cloud Atlas. Symphony now stocks her new collection.
CASH BODIES Why waste money on gyms when you can go for a free walk or cycle on the beach at this time of year?
GRAPHIC ADVERTISING Boater hats, black-and-white and two of the coolest Asian models of the moment. We couldn't love Emporio Armani's new ad campaign more.
AXE FOR WOMEN The cheesy teenage boy's go-to deodorant brand is introducing a women's fragrance.
NEW LAUNCH Saks Fifth Avenue recently added Lanvin Petite to their childrenswear department. Now you can match your little one at the next family 'do.