Fashion: Petal power

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Spark joy with beautiful brights and blooming prints as we head into a summer of post-lockdown life, writes Amy Norbury.

It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally heading for a summer of going ‘out-out’, with the prospect of staycays and even vacays on the horizon. So after the best part of a year of living in loungewear, it’s time for our wardrobes to receive a much-needed update. 

The SS21 catwalk collections have been, understandably, a bit of a strange mix. After all, designers were operating in uncharted conditions, facing huge logistical challenges to put together collections which were presented to the world mostly via live streams and limited audiences, rather than the pomp and celebration which usually makes up the series of worldwide fashion weeks.

And perhaps more pressingly, with the pandemic-hit world at the start of 2021 still a mishmash of unknowns, it was more a case of exactly what will people be dressing for? 

Orange floral maxi dress, £99, Monsoon.

Orange floral maxi dress, £99, Monsoon.

One of the overriding elements of many collections was the emphasis on how clothes can make you feel. Getting all dressed up can be a serious mood-booster and, with that in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that there were so many fabulously flamboyant key pieces on show. To borrow a sentiment from interiors guru Marie Kondo, this season is all about fashion which spark joy. 

Feel-good prints were at the heart of many collections, and after the dominance of rainbow stripes, as we head into summer it’s all about beautiful blooms. Tried, tested and trending right now, flamboyant florals will help to put the fabulous back into your wardrobe. 

Pink floral bardot dress, from a selection at River Island.

Pink floral bardot dress, from a selection at River Island.

The bolder, the brighter, and the more impactful seems to be the only way forward. There’s no room for wallflowers here; instead, designers have been showcasing floral motifs in egg yolk yellows, on neon tulip dresses, and on gala-worthy ball gowns in shades of pink so eye-searingly hot you’ll need shades to look straight at them. 

Think oversized florals with this print and brighter than bright colours. Wear bold blooms with simple neutral pieces to let them shine or amp up the drama with a daring mix and match ensemble.


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