The effortless ease of denim is no longer exclusive to your favourite pair of skinnies. Spring runways see the universal fabric reincarnated in softened styles and shapes, from femme ruffles to laser-print florals. Dries Van Noten goes in with wide leg pants, while Fendi and Chanel turn to the dark side with fit-and-flare frocks and wide-legged trousers, and Tomas Maier streamlines with a sleek shift.
Fiery orange-red Fiesta is a Pantone Top Ten colour for spring and it's easy to see why. Spirited and festive, it speaks of sensual salsa and summer-night heat, its fluid movement captured in swishy silhouettes by Angel Sanches and Hugo Boss. In subtler style, the season's sunny palette spans from Tony Ward's pretty peach to Stella McCartney's juicy citrus, 2016's answer to warm-weather pastels.
Craft meets couture in poetic Victorian styles adorned with old-world artisanal detail. Delicately spun lace, pearl buttons, and intricate embroidery lavish flowing forms hued in crèmes anglaise and tea roses. And roses themselves make a definitive presence: in Khan’s and Fedorova’s all-over prints, in multi-dimensional textures like Tony Ward’s bud-festooned ballgown, and on Dior’s blooming ivory jacket.
Forget hiked-up hemlines; for 2016, the hottest skin to bare is up top. Show off dainty shoulders in subtle yet surprisingly elegant necklines: get a glimpse with asymmetrical cuts, play peek-a-boo in catchy cutouts, or go as low as you dare with off-the-shoulder tops. Try it in one of Herve Leger’s dramatic bandage dresses, or Escada take on a classic elegant two tone bustier dress.
Cast in molten metal or shimmery starbursts, space-age silver is the year’s undisputed champion when it comes to metallics. Iridescent shades from Houghton’s icy white to Naeem Khan’s stormy grey get a wash of cosmic sparkle. Khan offers gauzy stardust gowns, while Lacoste and Victoria Beckham relax with a sporty feel and Chanel coats its timeless tweed in foiled frost.
In the Sleeve
Big, billowing, and brazen is what it’s all about when it comes to swathing your arms this season. In Old English inspiration, voluptuous sleeves in streaming silks and stiff taffetas inject instant drama. Fendi goes dark and gothic opposite Alexander McQueen’s innocent romanticism and Balmain gets in with its signature strong shoulder. Pair this theatrical look with a simple fitted bottom for a balanced silhouette.
Stripe It Up
Plaids and polka dots step aside for spring and summer, giving way to striking, graphics-inspired stripes in all forms and colours. Mod streaks in red, black, and white from Zuhair Murad give a clean classic feel echoed in Dior’s brown-and-white take. Viva Vox and Dolce & Gabbana work fine stripes in verticals and diagonals, with chevrons taking shape at Naeem Khan and desert-shade horizontals at Alberta Ferretti.
It may take two to tango, but only one to look stunning in these ultra-feminine flamenco-inspired looks. Multitudes of layered ruffles cascade down skirts and gowns from fitted tops in a sophisticated spin on the girly favourite. Go statuesque with Christian Siriano or Oscar de la Renta’s subdued version, or delight in all-out frill with Tark Ediz’s oversized ballet-pink folds or Valentin Yudashkin’s succulently tropical flounces.