What? Now that spring has sprung, only the most diehard black-clothing wearers will able to resist slipping into something more colourful. Designers have offered an array of sugary pastels for spring/summer, alongside the kind of ribbons, bows, flowers and lace you might find in an Easter basket.
Where? With daffodil-yellow coats, parasols and white dresses made from layers of georgette, lace and broderie anglaise, all set against a carousel, Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer collection actually felt like an Easter parade, minus the eggs. In their place, however, was a minaudière bag covered with 12,500 fragments of eggshell.
Jonathan Saunders used a “hyper colour palette of pastels and washed-out yellow and blue acid tones reminiscent of Miami architecture”. His pale blue dress with primrose yellow waist captured the freshness of an April morning, while his paisley-like patterns on metallic skirts recalled the hand-painted eggs traditional to eastern Europe. Pastel lace appeared at Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana – perfect for church on Easter Sunday. Coloured metallic fabrics evoked foil sweet wrappers at Giambattista Valli, Balmain and Christopher Kane, where mint green and electric blue florals came on 1960s-style mini-skirts and A-line coats. Victoria Beckham even dubbed a blue and gold egg-shaped jacquard dress in her Victoria by Victoria Beckham range “a Fabergé”.
While Easter bonnets are best left to five-year-olds, modern hats for a spring wedding or garden party included Erdem’s boaters in delicate lace and Jil Sander’s powder blue pillbox hat with mini-veil, which proved a favourite with fashion insiders.
Why? Easter is all about new beginnings. Following the toughness of his Louis Vuitton fetish-inspired collection for autumn/winter, Marc Jacobs ushered in a new mood that he described as “tender, feminine and soft” and “fresh and clean, like the spring”, while Jonathan Saunders “wanted to present something more romantic”. It’s also part of a post-feminist trend for ultra-girlish dressing: Prada and Jonathan Saunders showed that pastels can be powerful, while at Meadham Kirchoff confectionery-like frills subverted beauty-queen aesthetics. Natalie Kingham, international buyer at Matches, says: “Feminine pieces and pastel tones are performing very well at Matches – women feel empowered to embrace this light mood. It feels modern and celebrates femininity – this sense of fun is strong at the moment.
Should you invest? On a price per wear, George Osborne-approved basis, no. There wasn’t much sign of spring’s sweetness for next season, so this trend might last as long as an Easter egg on a radiator. Sometimes, though, it pays to act on instinct and spring-like clothes will freshen up a dour winter wardrobe. Kingham suggests “a strong shoe to counterbalance the sweetness of these feminine pieces – a Charlotte Olympia or Pierre Hardy wedge or the floral Tabitha Simmons Bailee sandal.” On the high street, Jaeger Boutique’s 1950s-style white lace Alicia dress (£220; www.jaeger.co.uk) offers some commitment-free sweetness and light.