Sunday,19 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1194, (24-30 April 2014)
Sunday,19 August, 2018
Issue 1194, (24-30 April 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Summer roses at your doorstep

Here they come, jovially rushing in, those rollicking, frolicking days of summer. It is time to shed old winter’s sombre garments, and get ready for the fizzy, frothy long hot summer.

Is this the time to be pre-occupied with Fashion?  Despite our uncertain circumstances that haunt us day and night, it is unavoidable. In fact, some of us love, live and breathe the trends and fads of fashion.

Conflicts, catastrophes and calamities may stop a flourishing economy in its tracks, cripple a lucrative tourist industry, paralyse the profits of show-business, but fashion, unhindered, undaunted, marches on. This multi-billion dollar industry stands on firm ground---for clothes we need and clothes we must have, so why not modern, fresh and appealing new styles.

Designers create fashion for the haut monde and beau monde; the rest of us follow studiously in the dominion of La Grande Mode.

Even if your whole summer is spent sailing and surfing by the sea-side, you will need more than a pair of sandals, a bathing suit and a dozen beach towels.

The first bill on the ‘Constitution of Fashion’ is colour, and this season “everything’s coming up roses”, nature’s most perfect creation. A multi-coloured bouquet of a hundred roses and more in every hue, with emphasis on pink and orange, awaits you. Roses also come in stunningly beautiful rainbow shades and soft pastels, such as mint- green, lilac, lavender, yellow, blue and white, buoyant and uplifting, with a genuine promise for a romantic, rhapsodic season.

Orange is the new black, according to most designers. Its fiery hue has made its way from the hit colour for lips, all the way down to dresses, pants, bags and shoes.

If you like prints, an explosion of garden flowers are at your finger-tips. Lavish prints are this summer’s neutrals, almost exuding the fragrance of a Chelsea Flower show.  Go batty over poppies and peonies, daisies and daffodils and roses of every hue.

Lengths are always a concern, and while flowing maxis are welcome during summer’s balmy evenings, designers are determined to bring back those calf-grazing lengths so many find dumpy and unflattering. Not to worry! All lengths are in, from maxi to mini and short shorts if you dare.

Despite the enchantingly splashy botanical prints, styles are less feminine and body-hugging, but more sculptured and cut away from the body, almost masculine, but nothing old-fashioned or fluffy! There may be good reason to borrow men’s styles as sales of women’s clothing have lagged behind for the first time in a decade. It is comforting to know that men also try as hard to charm the opposite sex.

In past decades designers became as glamourous as rock-stars. Names such as Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Valentino, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci etc, dazzled us, but most are retired or deceased, their fashion houses now run by still unfamiliar names. How thankful we are for the imagination and creativity of Lagerfeld and Armani who are still as active as ever thrilling us season after season with contemporary, genteel styles and a youthful freshness, even the youth cannot master.

The Teutonic artist, Herr Lagerfeld, transformed ‘Le Grand Palais’ into a gigantic museum with 75 paintings and sculptures, sketched by him, adding touches of the beloved Chanel motifs, a string of pearls, a camellia, or a bottle of No 5, his processed fabrics mounted on tulle created a light, airy style, distinctly Chanel.

Il Maestro Armani’s show of ‘Lights and Shadows’, presented fluttering, diaphanous chiffons in chalky pastels, flitting and flickering like sails in the breeze. Again the clothes fall away from the body with a lightness of touch for summer comfort.  Always refined and elegant, his clothes beckon to ladies of impeccable taste and style.

Lots of metallic fabrics in gold and silver, flooded the runways for those sultry summer evenings.  Alber el Baz for Lanvin, outdid himself, presenting a variety of glamourous party dresses in rich brocades and opulent lames.

We saw bare midriffs everywhere but who other than a sixteen year old can proudly expose a bare midriff, unless you spend every day of the week at the gym!

After re-vamping your wardrobe with a print or an orange rose, do the same for your looks. A change of hair colour can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, even if it is no more than a few sun-kissed highlights.

Blue is the choice colour for most accessories, and why not?  Not only does it reflect a clear, sunlit sky and a calm, quiet sea, it signifies loyalty, trust and peace, qualities we sorely need this summer and forever more!  From cobalt to turquoise, the addition of blue is stunning in dangling earrings, chokers, bib-necklaces, scarves, hats and cross-body bags, and it blends beautifully with most pastels.

Will black, white, or black and white, ever go out of style? The answer is obvious. If none of the above tickles your fancy, stick to the tried and true. Classics never go out of style!

The main thing is to dress to your body shape, wear your best colour and maximize your assets while camouflaging those areas you hate so much. A light fresh face with orange lipstick and a rebellious eye-liner will accentuate an azure, sapphire, sky or navy eye-shadow. Blue is the hue! 

Great style is not just about fashion trends, it is about re-uniting fashion with body, figure, colour, personality and lifestyle!

“Fashion must be bought. Style one must possess!”

Edna Woodman Chase son.

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