Fashion: The A - Z of trends for summer/spring 2011

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From architectural prints to zinging colour, there's a whole alphabet of style to be explored this season

Architectural style

Look to the collections of our own Holly Fulton (right), Jil Sander and Pedro Lourenco for ultra-modern, sculptural shapes and prints using bold colours.

Biker chic

The revival of Great British brand Burberry (left), thanks to the inspired creative direction of Christopher Bailey, continues to accelerate with its latest campaign for men and womenswear. Shot on Brighton beach by Mario Testino, it features leather jackets with padded sleeves and shoulders and trousers with reinforced knees. Rock on.

The clash

Whether it's prints or colours, don't be afraid to pile it on. From yellow banana-print blouses with red swirly skirts at Prada and super fruity trouser suits at Stella McCartney, to pink paired with yellow and green at Jil Sander (left) and all the colours of the rainbow at once at Missoni, you're nothing in fashion if you're not a bright young thing.


Our love affair with denim just refuses to go away. This season the jean shape has to be the flare (see Derek Lam, Elie Tahari and MIH if you needed convincing), but skirts, playsuits, shirts and shoes also get a look in, while Stella (right) and Celine smarten it up with sharp shapes and a bright blue hue.


Feathered shoes at Pringle of Scotland and Dior, sparkling crystals at Lanvin, studs at By Malene Birger, fringing at Chanel and brocade at Alexander McQueen (right), this is the season of the detail. If you can't ~afford the catwalk version, customise, customise, customise ...

Flower power

Ladies will be embracing their feminine side if the flowing floral gowns at Matthew Williamson, Erdem (left) and Topshop Unique are anything to go by. And when it comes to length, take it to the maxi.

Gangster chic

Move over Mad Men, the 1920s are the new 1960s, as Boardwalk Empire sparks a major fashion moment. Expect to see cloche hats and long strings of pearls for girls, sharp suits and tweed caps for the boys.


Could it be the head is this season's erogenous zone? Everywhere we're seeing turbans (Jason Wu, Vivienne Westwood, Issa, right), hoods (Marni, Diane von Furstenberg) and hats (Herms, Moschino, Ralph Lauren). Elsewhere, the hairstyle of the season is ponytails – Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Jaeger and Jonathan Saunders can't all be wrong.

Investment buys

When finances are tight, you need to spend wisely on items that will last, not just season after season but that could, potentially, become a family heirloom. The Mulberry bag (right), the Burberry trench, the Chanel jacket will all stand the test of time. Buy now for maximum interest.

Jessie J

All eyes (and ears) are on the cool new singer and BBC Sound of 2011 winner. She may already have written for Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys, but we're more interested in her quirky style – check out the pale green bodysuit, metallic headpiece and embellished tights she wore to Vivienne Westwood's London Fashion Week party earlier this month .

The Kooples

You can hardly have avoided the advertising campaign from the uber cool French label now rocking his 'n' hers cool on this side of the Channel. It has opened three stand alone stores in the UK, with more promised. A signature look is slim trousers and sharp blazers accessorised with a scowl. In other words, typically French.


Just when you thought it was safe to go shopping again, the body and leotard are back. Those who lived through the trend in the 1980s will be sceptical, but Chloe, MaxMara and Lanvin have all revived it for their clean spring/summer lines. Wear it if you dare.

The model

If you thought the cult of the supermodel belongs in the 1980s, think again. It seems we can't get enough of the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Victoria's Secret, dating actor Jason Statham), Karlie Kloss (former ballerina, muse to John Galliano), Lara Stone (face of Calvin Klein, married to David Walliams) and Coco Rocha (winner of best model at the Elle Style Awards, married to interior designer James Conran). And that's before we even get started on the omnipresent Kate Moss ...


It's ties – the bigger the better at Fake London – tie pins and cravats for the boys as we sharpen up our acts, and statement necklaces for the girls. The perfect way to update a tired old outfit.


Not a shade that suits everyone, granted, but tangerine is where it's at this summer. The tango trend was all over the catwalks, from body con at MaxMara to trench coats at Tommy Hilfiger; floral sundresses at Dior and full-length and flowing at Paul & Joe. If you can't work the head-to-toe look (and, frankly, few of us can) work a handbag la Marc by Marc Jacobs instead.


For clothing, as seen at Farhi, Ferretti, House of Holland (left) and Miu Miu, but think elegant draping and flattering folds rather than the school skirt of old. Pleats also make an appearance on catwalk hair, at PPQ, Alexander McQueen, Erdem and Givenchy. Girls, time to grow out that boyish crop, perhaps?

Queues ...

at the dry cleaner. Yes, white is back in vogue, with elegant wrap dresses at Chloe, sheer tops and wide-leg trousers at Nicole Farhi and chic shift dresses at Pringle of Scotland. Things could get messy.


Don't look now, but rugger could be about to have a major fashion moment, what with Mickey Rourke set to star in film about Gareth Thomas and Thomas himself cosying up with Christian Louboutin lately. So think preppy style to work the look. Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers (left) do it like no other.


The big, bold, horizontal stripes as seen at Prada, Clements Ribeiro, Louis Vuitton and Sonia Rykiel are not for the faint-hearted (or broad of hip). And the red and black vertical stripe trouser suit from Tory Burch (left) is a brave fashion statement for anyone to carry off. But make a nod to the trend with a little Celine, perhaps, a spot of Jil Sander or Fendi's red, white and blue clutch.

Tali Lennox

daughter of Annie, of course, and currently making a name for herself on the modelling circuit, first with Topshop Freedom and just recently announced as the face of cutting-edge Swedish label Acne. One to watch.


Fashion is just loving luminosity, whether it be bright fuchsia lipstick (Jil Sander, Diane von Furstenberg, right), sunshine yellow frocks (Osman Yousefzada) or intense blue as far as the eye can see (Mulberry, Prada, Pucci, Jaeger London). Step aside, black, you have a contender.

Victoria Beckham

Who'd a thunk it? The former Spice Girl has confounded all her critics by winning a place in the fashion firmament with her ladylike dresses, superstar sunglasses and celebrity following. Now invited to send samples to the palace for Kate Middleton to try on, could Posh finally be living up to her moniker?


The shoe shape of the season – glamorous yet still comfortable. What's not to like? Look to Bally, D&G, Rupert Sanderson and Mary Katrantzou for inspiration.


Transparency is a key catwalk look thanks to its instant sex appeal (see Camilla Bruerberg, right, and Preen for Debenhams, left). So think chiffon, sheer silk and lots and lots of lace, as seen at Christopher Kane, Dolce e Gabbana, Richard Nicoll and Erdem.


Where Emma Watson and Alexa Chung once reigned, now it seems our fashion gurus are getting ever younger. Front row seats are held by the likes of ten-year-old Willow Smith (right, daughter of actor Will, people, keep up) and 13-year-old Chicago blogger Tavi Gevinson, while even four-year-old Suri Cruise's every change of shoes is noted and commented on by the fashion press. Is anyone else feeling old?

Zinging colour

In case you hadn't already got the message, colour is the biggest fashion story of the season. There's scarlet and purple (Diane von Furstenberg), emerald green (Etro, Gucci), lime green (Christopher Kane) and candy floss pink (Lowe). Pack away those greys and nudes (at least for summer) and embrace the brights while you can.

This article was first published in Scotland On Sunday, 27 February, 2011