Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Floral prints for Spring: In the night garden

Spring florals are given a dark edge this season with an inky palette and a grown-up flavour

Alexis Barrell spring/summer 2013
Alexis Barrell spring/summer 2013
Embellished dress £120, asos.com
Embellished dress £120, asos.com
Purple shoes £80, Dr Martens, asos.com
Purple shoes £80, Dr Martens, asos.com

Florals for spring? Whatever next, woollens for winter? OK, so it's no great shocker.

But just when you thought you had your head around spring's most frequent trend, there's been a sartorial shift. In the international collections, florals took on a new colour palette, one that consisted of midnight blues, navys and a smidge of black – less garden party, more in the night garden. For his spring/summer collection, Henry Holland used tie-dye to give his blooms flower power, while Viktor and Rolf supersized graphical, monochrome prints of roses toughened up floor-length skirts.

Forget the Laura Ashley frocks of your youth or your grandmother's flowery tablecloths – the new floral prints are grown-up, rather than girly or grannyish. This season more closely aligns with the gothic romance of the forest than the frills of the flower fairies. For Christopher Kane's last collaboration with Donatella Versace for Versus, primary colours and 1960s-style daisies adorned matching top-and-trouser combinations. Alexis Barrell's spring offering splashed tropical buds onto her statement T-shirt and midi skirts for a heady, holiday feel.

Opening Ceremony plumped for a daisy print with a navy background, the former freshening up the latter, while MaxMara took a walk down the garden path at midnight with its high-impact prints – the perfect complement for the season's obsession with Seventies-inspired motifs. Some darkness and a twist is what's necessary to bring spring's wreathed fantasy, perfectly exemplified by Rag & Bone's take on this season's bomber jacket, which combined leather sleeves with a sweet and sassy lemon garden panel.

Not as dark as Les Fleurs du Mal, but certainly sharper than The Darling Buds of May, even the most avowed floral-phobe will find spring 2013's bouquet offers a breath of fresh air.

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