x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

With spring come sickly sweet fashion notes

With a swoosh of soft pink, you'll be on well on your way to a whimsical spring look.

The first few weeks of January are bleak. Resolutions start to unravel and most of us are hanging on to the last few dirhams from December's pay cheque - along with that bowling-ball bulge threatening to settle in and become a fixture of our waistline.

The fashion industry, thank goodness, celebrates its new year several months early - this spring/summer's designer collections were shown on the catwalks last September. We watched in awe - the girls were tanned, fresh faced and full of hope (rather than turkey) but it all seemed so far away before we would get our hands on any of it. Yet finally, my dear friends, for all of us "real people" hanging around on the periphery, the spring/summer 2011 collections have actually arrived.

While 2010 was all about austere structured dresses, hard lines and even harder ankle boots, 2011 is set to be softer, more ethereal. We simply need to take a look at the movie Black Swan, which stars Natalie Portman playing the role of Nina, a dancer in the New York City Ballet.

Although the ballet trend has long been gaining momentum (Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen gave obvious nods), it was the cult New York label Rodarte, with its multilayered tulle, shredded fabrics, feathered headpieces and cobwebby knits, that finally sealed the deal.

I'm all for it. There's something wonderfully poetic about the whole feminine feel. And to a certain extent a little escapism on planet fashion is refreshing, whimsical and - dare I say it - fun.

Look for soft pinks, corals, taupes and nudes in your colour scheme. Anything that gives a bit of a swoosh with movement and you know you are on the right track. If nude tones are lost on you, try pleats, ruffles or bows to create drama. Start with flashes such as a chiffon shirt or a fine cotton vest and a high-waisted skirt. If you are feeling brave go for a pair of white tights (more flattering than they sound and they will give you a bit of bite.)

The key here is to try to create what can almost be described as modest veiling - soft, subtle, sheer fabrics that create movement and a lightness of being. Stay clear of hard contrast. Instead of your normal black or brown leather accessories go for a pale grey suede or a light tan.

Wear a size bigger than normal. Nothing should cling, and a fabric tends to drape better if there is more of it.

And if all this talk of sickly sweet makes your teeth hurt, fear not. Because before you know it something far worse will come along and save us. That's the wonderful thing about the fashion cycle: it's always one step ahead of us.



This week's highs and lows:

Detoxing Who wants to stick to a diet of celery and apples? Come on, give up on that resolution already.

James Jeans The cult fave is now available at Symphony in Dubai Mall. We can't wait to grab a pair of "Shorty".

Not so fair Elle India is being sued by Aishwarya Rai for lightening the actress's skin on the magazine's cover.

Galaxy shirt Christopher Kane's latest masterpiece has us dreaming of a starry night.

The scrunchie We can't think of a worse hair accessory to try to creep back into fashion.