Modern Utility | Tailoring Relaxed | Full Bloom | White Romantic | Statement Stripes | Summer Luxe
Head to McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands this season where designers have emerged from collective lockdown with a renewed sense of positivity for Spring/Summer 21, merging the timeless with the modern and all bound together with a stampede of colours and patterns.
Power dressing needn’t be all edgy tailoring and attitude - this season’s empowermentcomes courtesy of a softer, more feminine mix of sartorial and technical details for a day-to- day look, encapsulated by the boiler suit, which has become something of a second suit in recent seasons. In a palette of beiges, khaki greens, greys and rust oranges, look for belted styles in lightweight technical fabrics at Reiss and Phase Eight for a modern approach. Sneakers keep the look everyday, but heels will take you through the night. Failing the boiler suit, another great option is the oversize tunic as seen at Acne Studios and Boss. You’ll find a trove of sustainable styles in organic cotton and linen at McArthurGlen this season, too.
The tailoring train built up a head of steam in 2020 and even though so many of us were working from home, the momentum is staying on track. In fact, this season’s tailoring is exquisite, especially with the inclusion of the season’s must-have item - the bralette. Worn with statement-colour suiting at Drome, Jason Wu, and Alberta Ferretti, it’s a powerfulcombo that redefines business chic. Trend hawks should train their eyes on the oversize co- ord suits at Hobbs and Phase Eight and look out for matching Bermuda shorts too, for a directional play on the classic two-piece. If co-ord feels too uniform, opt for bold tailored trousers and a separate blazer to break things up. Then dress the look down with a contrast bralette or crop top and strappy sandals.
Nature is a wonderful muse and so it’s not surprising that designers often tap into it for inspiration. Florals are once again huge this season (quite literally oversize at Valentino), but it’s the interior space that provided the petals, rather than the garden. From Rodarte and Elie Saab to Carolina Herrera and Issay Miyake, florals took on a figurative, painterly style that emphasised colour and volume. We’re big fans of the interior-inspired prints at Ted Baker, and love how floral motifs have been applied to voluminous maxi dresses at Kate Spade and co-ord suits at Reiss. Clash with brightly coloured strappy footwear and you’ve got a look that will keep on flowering right through the season.
The saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” could be applied to this season’s most timeless of trends, which sees the ancient Grecian Goddess reimagined for 2021. Romantic to the core and sexy to boot, the lacy white summer dress is back with a bang. Inspiration ran amok at Alberta Ferretti, Burberry and Elie Saab, where dresses we’re cut high on the thigh in sheer layers or delicate lace, and often with big puffy sleeves for an eye-catching silhouette. It’s a vintage look with ‘60s collar details, but you can equally opt for a white layer mini skirt and coordinated white blouse to give yourself more wardrobe options. Head-to-toe white is the statement look, so coordinate your sunglasses, wedge sandals, bag and jewellery options for maximum impact.
And by stripes we mean STRIPES! Put your delicate pinstripes and your Breton tops away because this season’s geometric patterns are loud and proud. From Dolce & Gabbana to Louis Vuitton, the SS21 runways were awash with straight lines, wavy lines, vertical and horizontal - it doesn’t really matter so long as they are visible from space! Head-to-toe stripes at Joules give you optimum firepower when it comes to maxi dresses and co-ord suits. As a rule of thumb, the bolder the stripe the better, and the same goes with clashing them too. Fluid silhouettes in maxi dresses by Phase Eight or full-length skirts by Hobbs will give you the most bang for your buck!
Whether you’re a fashionista, brand devotee or someone who draws influence from the seasonal fashion trends, you’ll all get something from the most simple yet sophisticated look of the season: the slip dress. Fluid, floaty, and fabulously bohemian, the slip dress was the understated star of the show at Chloe, Jacquemus, Alyx, and so many more. From striking shades of pink and lime options at Guess and Ted Baker to more muted hues of light blue, beige and white at the likes of Reiss, the key features to look for include asymmetric cuts with elaborate draping, delicate spaghetti straps, and deep necklines. Think satin and silk for eveningwear, and cotton and linen blends for boho daywear, all accessorised with square-toe sandals. If you can’t go on holiday, then bring the holiday to you.