London designers are still thinking pink – and blue and yellow and lilac and green – in a line-up of pastel shades that would put a sweet shop at Easter to shame. Christopher Bailey dedicated the whole of his Burberry Prorsum collection to sugary hues – from spongy knit coats to strapless dresses and heavy lace trenchcoats. Go for one top-to-toe shade – or mix with white (the other big statement at the shows) for something fresh, saccharine and summery. “Pink has become a neutral,” said Central Saint Martins professor Louise Wilson. And she has a point; find the right shade for you and it can work a darn sight better than beige.
The big contradiction at the heart of the London collections was that although there have never been so many embellished, bejewelled, appliquéd and downright tricksy designs on the runway, the freshest looking were also the simplest. Think of a sweatshirt or square-cut T-shirt shape over a soft A-line or pleat skirt and you have your summer wardrobe in the bag. Easy. Of course if that T-shirt happens to be in a luxurious damask or bubbly clouqué fabric, and the pleat skirt is in a rich floral lace or a gauzey pastel organza, so much the better.
Everything in the garden was rosy at the London collections. Yes, flowers were a trend taken up by just about everyone – and not just any old blooms either. “Flower prints have been done to death,” admitted Christopher Kane after his show, inspired by dissecting flora during his school days. The newest-looking blooms come in three dimensions created to add texture and depth: petals cut from organza and scattered over dresses, heavily embroidered floral designs stitched into satin, and sheer layers or florals crafted into glittering works of art in crystals. OK, there were some cool prints too but if it looks like you’ve pinned a bouquet’s worth of flowerheads to your dress next season, so much the better.
For more from the international collections, visit www.ft.com/fashionweeks