Art Deco Divas and Pastel Punk Princesses – my guide to S/S 2012

As much as I love fashion sometimes I don’t want to wear much of it. I adore the theatre of couture, but how does it translate into real life? Sometimes it is like being stuck in a no-woman’s land. Can I still show my arms? Is it time to give up the mini? A lot of what I see seriously isn’t me. Lady Gaga makes a great dominatrix. I, on the other hand, do not. I do not wear nail art. Shoes that are designed for strippers should only be worn professionally. On the other hand, if you adopt too much of a ladylike look you can come across more Thatcher than hot chick. This season, though, I am in seventh heaven. There are so many looks to love but, as always, I have made my list and these are my absolute Top 5. Of course, I don’t have an oligarch to purchase my wardrobe at present and when the High Street comes calling I will be back with a more realistic Wish List. Until then, these are the looks that will inspire me……….

POWER PASTELS…It is hard to do pastels without looking like a 1980’s mother-of-the-bride, and on a grown woman they can look a little sickly. Add Marc Jacobs and a hint of irony, though, and you get the fairground catwalk fantasy that is this season’s Louis Vuitton. The cut and look is very retro Hollywood Housewife, but comes up fresh as a daisy with such modern styling. An unstructured up-do is a must, helmet hair is a no-no. Accessories are white or multi-coloured. Call it pretty power dressing, you are smiling sweetly at all times, but calling the shots. Atta girl.

DECO DIVA… Head Gucci designer Frida Giannini always had a tough job following Tom Ford but she has made this Italian fashion giant her own – celebrating 90 years of fashion history with her best collection yet. Her take on the 1920’s has been to mix it with punk androgny and Studio 54 hedonism to bring about a look that is both predatory and sensual. The dresses are to-die-for but it is this Art Deco inspired jacket and tailored trousers that really reeled me in. Jay Gatsby would be suitably enamoured.

FIFTIES FLIRT… Dolce and Gabanna have always known how to dress a real woman with curves, and this season they let go of that trademark tight tailoring and let loose with prints and voluminous skirts. They have mixed power with pretty in equal measure to create a look that is breathtakingly sexy with a smidgen of ladylike. Just add some fabulous earrings and perfect skin, and you are ready to be a modern day Sophia Loren. Without a doubt the most wearable look but with all the glamour that is part of Dolce and Gabanna’s heritage.

FUTURE PERFECT… Chanel collections by their very nature often make reference to the past, but are never, ever passe. Karl Lagerfeld created a Barbarella-meets-under-the-sea feel for his Spring/Summer collection, and in doing so created sublimely beautiful fashion. As ever there were directional pieces to keep the fashion editors happy, but it is this classic suit that holds my heart. Styled simply with slicked back hair and 1960’s style silver ankle boots, it is the suit that every woman dreams of owning. Me included.

MONOCHROME MAJESTY… The standout show of the season and last, but not least, comes Emporio Armani. Sharp lines, clean cuts and sleek tailoring edged out embellishments, frills and flounces. Armani has never lost his commercial edge but this is the first time that his name has been at the top of the fashion list again, and a whole knew era of fashionistas get to know his work. The Gatsby theme was very much in evidence but the 2012 tailoring takes it away from costume and would certainly be at home in my wardrobe. Daisy Buchanan, eat your heart out.

So there you have it, my dream looks of the season. I won’t be wearing Sport Luxe (yes, I know what year it is!), crop tops or white shoes, or anything that references the Wild West. As for the legs, I am sure they will get another airing this season, but in tailored shorts rather than Daisy Dukes. I may not be in my roaring 20’s anymore, but good pins never go out of fashion. Just like Dolly Parton, they never go out of style!

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