Invest in the dramatic summer dress
The catwalks have seen an injection of colour and volume at recent fashion weeks, trends that best manifest themselves in ephemeral dresses which enable you to waft effortlessly from day to night, wherever you happen to be in the world. The perfect summer dress marries a bohemian spirit with a hint of Victorian design – think Mrs Dalloway meets Fleetwood Mac. As such, any shopper looking to add a signature flourish to their staple outfits in the month ahead should look to invest in this key piece.
Bright colours ensure positive sunshine vibes, while tiered layers such as this piece by Valentino offer energy and a hint of drama – perfect for posing on rooftops as the sun goes down. For a relaxed take, look to Alexa Chung’s new fashion line in which ruffled, off-the-shoulder dresses offer a fresh, floral vibe. Alternatively covet a statement maxi-dress such as those from Solace: block colours and maximalist silhouettes are a sure bet for getting noticed wherever you go.
Buy rough cut jewels and add texture to simple silhouettes
Summer whites are a given, but sometimes there is a need to add a little quirk to minimalist looks. Rough cut gems worn around the neck on gold chains, or large opulent stones set in rose gold offer an elegant way of updating classic looks. Make jewellery the main focus of your outfit; plain shirts and cropped white jeans will be lifted to the next level.
In their recent curation for Style.com, Katie Phelan, senior contributing fashion editor of British Vogue, suggests looking to Christopher Kane’s Beetle necklace, he’s countered his bejewelled Croc offering with something a little more universal in the accessories department. Alternatively covet Marni’s stone and glass earrings, or red garnets from Annoushka’s shard collection. Meanwhile Uribe’s cube bracelet is perfect if you’re looking for a sharp, geometric complement to looser silhouettes.
Prepare to play with volume
Forget flat sandals and simple linen styles, this summer voluminous sleeves, platforms and tulip hems are of the moment and discerning shoppers should covet plenty of fluted designs. Pair sculptural sleeves with 90s shoes and oversized earrings, or use a corset to re-imagine the humble shirt. ‘Trapping a shirt with a corset allows you to play with proportion, while keeping the shape of the body,’ notes Kate Phelan.
Indeed, the key for nailing the art of proportion is not drowning the body in material; instead, use bold design to accentuate your silhouette in new and exciting ways. In need of inspiration? Look to designers such as Eudon Choi, Chloé and Petar Petrov for masterful offerings.
Champion under-the-radar designers
Nothing says you’re fashionably in the know than being an early adopter of emerging fashion talent. While major brands may seduce with obvious logos and immediate kudos, the satisfaction of wearing something not instantly recognisable is far greater.
This season, Vogue editors have looked to the likes of London-based Rejina Pyo, who has gained a cult following around her sculptural shoes and their eyelet detail. Her clothes take a similarly artful form, with voluminous sleeves and plenty of textured detail.
Another key name to seek out is the Ukrainian-born, Bulgarian-raised designer Petar Petrov. His feminine designs offer a refreshing take on tailoring, and the brand’s sustainable ethos makes investing in a gorgeous piece hard to refuse – after all, you’ll wear them for life. Alexa Chung’s fashion line has also just launched, which is the perfect excuse to try something new.
Add a statement shirt to complete your office summer style
For a fashionable quick fix, invest in a new kind of workwear – mix crisp, boxy shirts with embroidered detail for a masculine-meets-feminine hybrid. Vogue editors also favour off-the-shoulder styles such as Dolce & Gabbana’s gingham top. Wear it with an A-line skirt and espadrilles for a chic daytime style.
Explore new denim
The demise of the skinny jean may have left some confused as to what to wear, but in place of the early-noughties must-have is a cascade of new styles, all to be embraced. High waisted, wide leg pairs such as these from Marni are an easy way to transform everyday staples into a statement, while Isabel Marant’s thick cotton trousers with white stitching offer a stylish update on boyish cuts.