It doesn't matter which city or which part of the world you
live in, the neutral
palette won't go away. Neutrals translate well into natural material such as
toned hemp, ramie, linen, pure cotton and double faced linens. Chiffon and
viscose also give this colour way a summery feel. Neutrals are
also used in contrasting textures and give garments an expensive
look when the palette is finely limited to a small range of
related neutral tones.
Above - New Look SS2011 Fashions For Summer 2011 -
www.newlook.com or Tel:
0500 454 094.
Fine pleating has had a revival and it lends itself superbly
to all manner of drapery especially in tops and blouse, but also
to skirts and ruffles. In neutrals tones like these garments it
looks ultra expensive.
The cropped fine pleated jacket left is the ideal cover up
for a skimpy top or dress whilst helping retaining a floaty
It has a pure 1970s retro quality and captures the
1970s mood totally. Team it with palazzo pants and
platform shoes for a real 70s vibe.
Left - Monsoon SS 2011 - Sindri Nude Pleated Jacket £140/€238.e.
These images illustrate how versatile fine pleating can be
when used to make a flowing asymmetric ruffled dress. The pleats
add an extra feminine touch whilst enhancing a Grecian quality.
This fantastic elegant filmy dress enables the wearer to ooze
Right - Coffee Fine Pleated One Shoulder Chiffon Dress - NEXT.
The pleated chiffon skirt is a most appealing trend as whole generations of
women are unfamiliar with it's flowing style. Think
minute pleats that fan and flare. TopShop do a great silk
chiffon skirt for £60 and at Whistles a silk skirt with fine
pleats is £125.
Design houses currently seem deeply besotted with fine
pleats, fine wispy chiffons, ribbon-work, roses and torn chiffon
as well as fringe. Ribbonwork, Cornelli embroidery dresses and
rose corsage encrusted tops are now very easily available at
high street prices. Far Right - Jane Norman One Shoulder Dress
With Roses. This dress is part ballerina part baby doll.
Women are thinking anew
about the ease of wearing chic elegant timeless fashion. Thus
deconstructed looks are on the wane giving way to a precise
sharper, tailoring and contoured better finished
The rawness of some outfits the past decade in
their lack of finish in the name of 'latest fashion', has been replaced by
a return to a desire for couture qualities in construction.
The latest designs show garments and accessories with better finish
with finer hems, or
precisely edged faced band
finishes. Look out too for a merging of transparent fabric strips
into solid materials. All this points to a neater and less
slipshod way than many Boho garments of the past
decade made possible.
Craft is important in dress once again,
making skilled workmanship worth paying for, and making an item
the purchaser deems worthy of wearing many times. Glamour and grooming is back and
even punk is glamorous. Glam punk has become the foil to the latest
softer fashion trends of floral romance, ladylike ballerina,
1970's retro, minimalism and the lace summer whites so dominant
in the latest Spring 2011 fashion trends.
For great crafted dresses like this embellished creamy one
above check out the Monsoon website. This embellished blush pink
dress is from ASOS.
Catwalk collections for summer 2011 showed lace alongside
other crafted textures. Crafted handmade crochet was further
emphasised with natural elements of wooden jewellery and leather
pleating. There was texture, texture and more texture.
These 3 dresses below illustrate some of that texture or
embroidered fabric mixed with lace, surface appliqué work and
feather trimmed hemlines.
Note too the focus on contrast hemlines and recognise that
this 1920's element to looser dropped styling is probably a
direct result of the popularity of the 1920's TV mini series
Above Left - Gardenia Pink Beaded Shift Dress
£150/€254 S/S 2011 Monsoon Dreamers.
Above Centre - Monsoon Dreamers - Orchid White Feather Hem Dress
£150/€254 - SS2011.
Above Right - Peridot Cream Embroidered Sheer Tunic Dress
£65/€110 -S/S 2011 Monsoon Stockist Tel: 08448110068.
Handcrafted quality work in an accessory gives it must-have
desirability. This is equally evidenced in minimalist finely
crafted handbags that are ultra subtle in their simplicity of
Safari jackets, crafted sandy leather
pieces, macramé and tassels showed Gucci workmanship to teasing
effect. Sporty looks were added with satchel bags and other
pieces gave a commercial nod to tribal trends. The palate cleanser collection from Dolce & Gabbana collection
was full of fine crafted
handwork incorporating lace, silk and appliqué, crochet bags
and broderie anglaise. This was contrasted with a little leopard/lace print or black pieces. The fashion elements were imbued with quality and subtle handwork
understated glamour to gowns.
All this artisan workmanship is costly, so fashion needs to be
savoured and slow down for us to truly appreciate these items
are made to last. Forever Fashion beckons the recession
challenged shopper who now demands product excellence as well as
sartorial satisfaction in purchases.
The leather dress trend is a hard reaction to soft
floating dreamy dresses and ballerina romance currently found in dress.
At anytime in fashion history there is always an alternative for
the woman who hates frilly or feminine.
Leather has been a winter trend, but much of it was covered up
with knitwear the climate was so cold. Summer Punk is chic
with leather looks that sport studs on biker jackets. Appliqué leather jackets from Miu Miu
spread creativity in leatherwork. Rock inspired
heavily studded cropped luxe biker jackets from Burberry
Prorsum add glam biker chic which is always in fashion. For biker
jackets Burberry and Pinko both have designs that will be vintage of
Right - French Connection Ladies SS11 Nude
Leather Dress £325, Jenae Stiletto £100 - French Connection
Stockist Number: 020 7036 7200.
Left - Autograph Leather Dress £225/£199 - Marks & Spencer.
Leather is worked in not only neutral colours, but also jewel. At Gucci leather was crafted with fringe, macramé and
tassels. Lovely leather glows with honest goodness with top quality
skins. Leather dresses, skirts and lush leather bags show a new
fascination with quality items bought to last longer than one
season. Leather fashion is definitely part of forever fashion.
This is a season of beautiful understated leather bags. There
are classic handbags that will see you through many a season if
you prefer to concentrate on the new preoccupation with quality
rather than quantity.
Aquascutum, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Chloé. Michael Kors
and other top brands all have sleek leather handbags and purses
that are classy and understated in design. At Marks and Spencer
their small leather purse belt for the waist is much smarter
than any bum bag seen recently.
Suede is embroidered in ethnic fashion style with leathers showing
similar artisan craftsmanship. Artisan craftsmanship is always
in abundance at Ralph Lauren. The current Spring 2011 adverts
for Ralph Lauren emphasise the fabulousness of tradition in
tooled leather with trims of Western buffalo head buckles and
silver Concho elements that are all based on traditional
American Indian roots.
The Balmain collection explored 1980s punk using the obvious
elements of safety pins and leather.
Shorter jackets have biker appeal. Traditional and enduring good quality leather biker jackets can go on for
years as this trend of girl on a motorcycle turns round and
round. Silver jewellery with biker jackets gives modern look and
who better than Burberry to find the ideal biker jacket. If you
are going to buy one invest in a desirable collectable reliable
Neutrals got coverage at Alessandro Dell'Acqua where caramelised tobacco brown, cream and
beige create looks with style. Subtle yet lush colour palettes
of caramels, tan and every subtle tone of dusty sand between covering
creamy oyster, taupe and tan were all the focus at Ralph Lauren.
Right - Classic Tan Neutral Leather Top From Louise Goldin.
Far Right - Mint Velvet Dark Tan Laser Cut Leather Dress £199.
Mint Velvet SS11 Stockist Number: 0845 456 2200
underlying trend for the new twentens decade shows women are
relearning the concept of glamour. The fashion mood is changing
and women have begun to discover understated, but contemporary
fashion of ageless design. The newest fashion trend is to
concentrate on buying apparel that can fit seamlessly into an
Designers have begun to understand the need and desires of an
older demographic. That same woman has real spending power and
she will return season after season for desirable wearable
fashion pieces. Designers are acknowledging their customers
needs in more than one way. At Burberry Christopher Bailey has
explained how he is aware that a global customer in USA or
Australasia needs to be accommodated with collections that are
This is also the year when the average British bra size moved
up to 36E, so what woman would not be happy to find some pieces
that are wearable season after season. Hunting for the perfect
fitting garment for a beautiful full busted silhouette takes
time and passion. The concept of forever fashion where a woman
select carefully to add to her wardrobe is on the up.
Above Left - Classic Dress that will remain fashionable over
several seasons. J by Jasper Conran - Debenhams Stockist Number:
08445616161.Far Right - Penneys Polka Dot Chiffon Dress €19, Penneys (Ireland)
Spring 2011 Womenswear.
The neutral fashion palette for 2011 takes in cappuccino
shades from milky creams to dark roasted coffee beans. The rich
gills of dark inky mushroom tones to palest soft pinks helps
create frocks with flair. Buff hues are the new black.
Buff neutral colours of flesh and nude tones are colour of
those with taste and a love of expensive materials. These are
the tones that look wonderfully expensive when made up in
trouser suits, palazzo pants and silky evening gowns. Buying
into the concept of soft flesh and buff cafe au lait and taupe
tones will help develop a closet of pieces that takes on relaxed
understated luxury with ease. The colours work so well with
black or white, navy, olive or red, add them to your wardrobe in
2011 and they will fit seamlessly with outfits in 2012.
On the high street clever use of neutrals takes the ditsy
dolly bird floral print into an everyday wearable style.
Left - NEXT Mink Ditsy Print Wide Leg Trousers £38, Mink Cotton
Blazer £39, Cream Lace Top £30, Shoes £30, Bag £28.
Conclusion of Neutrals & Texture in Fashion Apparel
Copyright of images courtesy of Prshots.com, Swarovski,
Marks & Spencer, Hobbs, House of Fraser, Penneys, Debenhams,
River Island, , Matalan, ASOS,
Warehouse, New Look, Jane Norman, Bonprix.co.uk,
Next, Monsoon, very.co.uk, French Connection, Mint Velvet, Phase
Eight, A|wear, Matalan, Fifty Plus, Simply Be.
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