Introducing our new Style feature writer, Samantha Robinson, who has some excellent advice on Spring and Summer fashion this year.
Although the reoccurrence of snow is no incentive to pack away your winter woollies until next year and splash your hard earned cash on an entirely new Spring/Summer ensemble, the key trends for Spring/Summer 2010 are, however, filtering their way onto our high streets. With help from Elle and Vogue, now is indeed the time to become trend savvy, and begin to slowly introduce a few of the forthcoming seasonís must-haves into your own wardrobe.
Spring/Summer 2010 says adieu to the utilisation of bold colours prominent in previous seasons, and instead focuses heavily on nudes, pastels, and candyfloss colours, therefore style statements are projected via the cut and drapery of the garment. The vast amount of underwear as outerwear on the catwalks this season was also an extension of the nudity theme. If however parading your lingerie to the world is not quite for you, then structured corsets, or dresses with seaming and boning detail are just as on-trend. Oasisí £35 lace print corset vest top in nude is a subtle and feminine way to buy into this trend.
The stark alternative to these ice cream colours comes in the form of digital prints, techno abstracts, and earthy reptilian effects as seen on the catwalks of the late Alexander McQueen. There were also lots of gold, glitter, metallic, and crystals to promote feeling good and forgetting the recession. Lady Gagaís video for Bad Romance also features one of McQueenís reptilian effect dresses, so expect to see an abundance of reptile patterned garments hitting the high street this season. Next are already offering this python print tunic for £28. Given that this season is all about the shorter the better, it can be worn alone as an extra short dress, or alternatively for the more modest amongst us, with a pair of skinny jeans or leggings.
This season is also about dressing from head to toe in blue denim, be it a shirt with jeans, or even your old dungarees! This double denim look was lead by the likes of Ralph Lauren and Jean Paul Gaultier, and has already been seen on an array of celebrities who are proving that itís no longer a crime against fashion and cavorting this oh so 80ís look. Try out this Vila puff shoulder denim shirt available at ASOS.com for £40, and team it with a pair of your own jeans. Shoulder detail is also set to stay, so youíll be sporting two trends at once!
The utilitarian trend for Spring/Summer 2010 meant that the catwalks generally exuded simplistic pieces, which bore the message to invest in staple practical garments that last. If youíre undecided as to where to begin with your new spring/summer wardrobe, then, I suggest that you make a military jacket your first port of call. Although itís a basic throw-on, it will inject style in hand with practicality into your entire outfit. Balmain also portrayed the versatility of military jackets by embellishing them with sequins and chains. This glamorised take on the comfortable military jacket is sure to create a statement with any night time outfit.
Fashionistas Cheryl Cole and Rhiana have also already been seen sporting military jackets, so rest assure that this will be one of the biggest trends for Spring/Summer 2010. In order to make your transition into spring a little easier I have scoured all of the online retailers to find 3 of the hottest military jackets available at the moment. So for all of you military chics who fancy giving Cheryl Cole a run for her money, check out my favourites below!
For all you bargain hunters out there this black cropped military jacket is only £20 from New Look, and can be worn casually during the day with jeans and boots, or even over a dress to glamorise a night time look. Cropped jackets are especially good at making long torsos appear smaller, and lengthening the legs.
If you have a little extra cash to spend, and want a jacket that will last that little bit longer, then Topshopís fitted navy blue military jacket with gold buttons and piping is available for £60. Its versatility means you can even take it straight from the office to the pub! Team it with tailored trousers for a stylish workwear look, then, swap for skinny jeans as you head out with the girls.
If youíre looking to buy a quality piece that will last, then look no further than Current/Elliottís bleached denim military jacket. Itís available for £288 on my-wardrobe.com, and also covers two of this season's trends in one! Team it with an on-trend floral chiffon dress, and itíll have summertime written all over it.
Make-Up To Unleash Your Alter Ego!
At the moment Ilamasqua is the dernier cri of the make-up world, featuring at this yearís London Fashion Week for the first time, and being promoted in fashion trade magazines. Its heritage is a mixture of influences from the 1920s club scene and the manufacture of make-up for film and theatre.
Ilamasqua, adored by make-up professionals, believes in creating a make-up that allows you to unleash your bolder side and act as a confident statement of self-ownership. Although, they heavily target the alternative scene, their make-up can of course be used to create an array of looks, so itís up to you how daring you want to be.
Their price points are around that of M.A.C or Clinique, so a typical foundation will cost you £21. At the moment, I wonít leave the house without their rich liquid foundation which works out at around £7 per 10ml. Itís available in an array of natural looking shades, even suitable for the palest of skin tones, and gives maximum coverage of imperfections without feeling heavy on the skin. Although it may be deemed a little expensive to some, it honestly lasts twice as long as cheaper foundations, due to its high quality coverage enabling you to wear less. Everything you could possibly need for the eyes, lips, nails, and face is available to buy on their transactional website, www.Ilamasqua.com, which also offers worldwide delivery. Their website also features tutorials in order to ensure you are getting the optimum results out of your make-up, or even as a source of inspiration for a daring new look! Upon your third purchase from their website you are also entitled to a 10% loyalty discount, but I personally need no extra encouragement! Ilamasqua also has concessions at various Debenhams and Selfridges stores (see their website for details), and sells selected lines on ASOS.com.
In hand with the trends for Spring/Summer 2010, Ilamasquaís newest arrivals are nail varnishes in the latest pastel colours, lemon sorbet, cornflower blue, mint ice-cream, and soft lilac. They cost £13 per 10ml, or if you just canít decide which is your favourite £39 for a set of all four. Given that these little gems were originally subject a waiting list, Iím thinking that I better buy my own now before they sell out!
Matte Nail Varnish Trend
Pastel shades aside, one of the most fashion-forward looks for nails at the moment are undoubtedly mate finish varnishes. I am aware that not everybody has the time to paint their nails on a daily basis, but I however make the time to reapply my nail varnish almost every day. Even if this involves standing up on a crowded commuter train! I therefore particularly like to experiment with an array of colours, and love a new nail trend. At first however the thought of replacing my usual shiny polish for a dull almost old-looking matte finish didnít exactly thrill me, given the fact that we spend so much of our lives trying to make things look like new. Nevertheless, the pictures I began to see in blogs and magazines enticed me, as you can achieve an artistic and almost salon-like finish alone. Nails inc have just launched their Oxford Street black matte nail varnish available on their website for £10.50, or instead of buying a whole new collection of varnishes, Essie offer their Matte About You Finisher. It costs £9.95 and is available from www.nailsbymail.co.uk. You simply apply a coat of your usual nail polish, and then apply a coat of the finisher. This dries to give a textured, matte-look finish. After trying out this trend, I think it looks a lot more chic than your average shiny varnish does, and think I might find it hard to go back to my old shiny varnish ways! So be a matte trend setter yourself, and make all of your friends jealous!