Thursday,21 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1387, (29 March - 4 April 2018)
Thursday,21 February, 2019
Issue 1387, (29 March - 4 April 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Make way for a sparkling summer

Rollicking, frolicking spring has sprung. Those are the days when birds come back to sing in gardens about to bloom and Mother Nature displays her bright new attire.

As Nature’s children, we follow suit, ready to discard our staid winter garments and get well equipped for the long summer days ahead. 

The skies are blue, the sunsets gold and the perfume of spring is in the air. It is time to step out and inhale the charm, the vigour and the magic of a new season — with a new wardrobe of course.

A return to glamour is in the stars. It is all sparkle and glitter for you this summer as sequins prevail in every fashion capital. Crystals, silver, sparkle amount to a veritable bounty to mine from. Wear a little, wear a lot but glitter you must any time of the day and night, all the way to the beach, says Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Dior, Gucci and Channel. Make a joyous statement with daytime sequins, whether a smattering on a collar, pockets, cuff or belt, shoes, or keep in step with downright dedication to the trend.

Would it be summer, without our delicate pastel palette? Lavender dominates, so does lilac, lemon or duck-egg blue. An array of the prettiest pastel shades can be as delicate as they can be strong. White makes the most sense with its cool, fresh and innocent features. Not optical white for this summer but a milk-white and full warm hue, as displayed at Miu Miu and Roland Mouret. 

Trends take two opposed directions, pastel hues, for an ethereal look and a strong vibrant colour explosion, such as red… tomato red no less. For the ultimate in cocktail chic, red is your jam, with slim-fitting silhouettes, cinched waists as shown by Ralph Lauren and Vivienne Westwood. Always alluring, never underestimate red’s confidence boosting powers (as in Trump’s neck-ties), but must be approached with full caution. For a more demure look opt for high necklines and sleeves.

Green is another great message for spring, even if it is simply a pair of emerald-coloured earrings, a green belt around a black dress, or a chunky necklace on a cream silk dress. Avoid other bright colours with emerald understatement.

Ruffles add a feminine air yet again this season. So flattering, our fashionistas and designers love them, as witnessed at Givenchy, McQueen, Erdem and Valentino.

If you are a fan of the pantsuit, you have a 1,001 to choose from. The preferred name now is the tailored trouser suit which was a constant feature on the runways. Back in full force, it is less manly than it was during the 1970s Bianca Jagger’s man suits. Romantic, yet elegant, a masculine suit is now accepted as a fitting alternative to a dress.

“Le Smoking” is a great evening option especially in velvet or satin with flared, tapered or cropped pants. Velvet continues to capture celebrity hearts and it is little wonder. This sumptuous fabric that can be worn from autumn to early spring is Angelina Jolie’s favourite.

Jaws dropped to the floor at Maison Versace as sister Donatella marked the 20th anniversary of the designer’s premature death with a revival of his entire atelier. Not only his original most famous prints and designs, styles and bold vision, but his super A-list models as well. Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, Carla Bruni, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer appeared resplendent in gold sparkle and smiled amid tears and cheers. A salute to Donatella’s bright, bold and beautiful homage to her iconic brother, Gianni Versace.

Transparency in fabric was a headlining trend — sheer coats, skirts, lovely dresses, floating chiffons and soft silks. The 1980s’ era styles simply will not quit. No one wishes to give them up. Shoulders and stilettos are popular still. Diana, princess of Wales, remains an inspiration to many, as her influence in high fashion continues — nipped waist, strong shoulders and long legs. Virgil Abloh cites her as the inspiration for his spring collection.

Not too many minis, in fact not any, but we do have cyclists’ shorts and short shorts. Hemlines are mostly at the knee, just above or just below. “Le nouveau grunge” is a midi with a generous slit.

Plastic has been elevated to luxury status from grocery bags and water bottles to raincoats, jackets, capes, boots, sandals and handbags. See-through handbags are in, so be careful, anyone can have a glimpse. 

If you are a fan of monograms, they are bigger and better than ever. From bum to clutches, the bags have monograms as big as, shall we say their egos? 

More important to remember than what to wear is what not to wear. As a rule, what not to wear is too much of anything. Less is indeed more. Style is always a matter of less. 

It will be hard for some of us to give up a maxi-length skirt, the bare shoulder, and oh those flattering chokers. The bomber jackets we gladly abandon but those bucket bags, even if they are out, most of us will still hang on to them.

The summer glimmer may well be an antidote for a sombre mood of insecurities. It might well soothe our anxieties. 

Elegance remains the catch-word in fashion and simplicity is nothing less than divine.

One fashion item is enough. And with it wear a smile… it is the ultimate fashion trend.

“Nothing is so hideous as an obsolete fashion”.

 Stendahl, Marie Henri Beyle 


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