Belts are an accessory with multiple benefits – to complement, contrast, cinch, shape and wrap. Designed to hold things together literally, the belt is now taking a more metaphoric approach to this task.
Every fashion era has had a belt to match and they’re coming back as a leading accessory after a respite in the wardrobe. The wide belt was a big thing just after the turn of the millennium and now it’s time to buckle in again.
Cinch in the waist over dresses, shirts, tops and suits, or create casual cool with a wide belt slung nonchalantly above the hips.
Accentuate hourglass glamour, or create the illusion, with a corset-style belt. This look can also structurally formalise an otherwise shapeless dress. Added to a draping summer coat, or floaty dress, it creates a feminine form.
Belt bags are a big hit – wearing your pocket on your belt doubles its practicality. Designer-label logos are now loud and proud on buckles and the skinny belt adds delicate detailing to evening dresses.
Metal chain belts, hanging loose around midriffs, have gone full circle from the swinging ’60s. And as animal prints have been unleashed this year – wrap something wild around your waist.
There’s a slight organic shift happening in ring trends, so think Clare and Joel of New Regent Street’s Via Sollertia.
They design and sell mouth-wateringly lovely engagement and wedding rings, amongst other jewellery. The current mood seems to point in the direction of very simple yet hand-crafted, faceted rings in which the uniqueness lies in a certain ‘unfinished, non-uniform quality.’
“People are requesting beautiful buttery textures in which the metal appears soft and fluid,” Clare says. She’s able to design and bring any ring-profile desire to fruition. Every piece is created on-site, to any dreamy specifications. The finish created can be contemporary or traditional; raw, beaten, rough, or glossy.
Animal print is leading the pack this season, as designers tap into their wild side.
Leopard, tiger, zebra and even snakeskin have been seen prowling the streets in 2018 and now they’re set to make their impact known even more as we enter 2019. Tom Ford, Victoria Beckham, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors are just some of the designers who have been indulging their animal instinct and transforming the catwalk into an urban jungle.
Despite an otherwise intricate pattern, animal print has a muted colour palette which has seen it pegged as 2019’s equivalent to a neutral, with a chic, almost understated elegance (note, we said ‘almost’). It’s exceptional teamed with an otherwise all-black ensemble and striking teamed with an all-white outfit, or why not get wild with some serious power clashing? However you choose to wear it, it’s officially a reliable print that can be paired with just about any look.
Christian Dior famously wrote in his 1954 manual, The Little Dictionary of Fashion that “to wear leopard you must have a kind of femininity which is a little bit sophisticated. If you are fair and sweet, don’t wear it.”
Since then, it’s always been a little bit sexy, a little bit raunchy, a little bit daring and a little bit wild.
Green is the colour most closely associated with envy and when it comes to the field of fashion, the green-eyed monster in us is running rampant. After all, with so many things to covet and collect in this space, there’s always something bigger and better to fix our aspirational eyes on.
This season we’re going green with envy in a much more literal sense as designers use the colours of nature to bring fashion to life and new crops of clothing take to the sartorial street. Green is fast becoming the seasonal go-to, with Kelly Green making its mark. A colour concept which is believed to have originated in Ireland, this happy hue is highly saturated, leaning more towards yellow than emerald green.
Brighter than emerald, deeper than lime and more intense than forest green, this shade chameleon manages to be both cool and warm at the same time, enabling its rich, bold beauty to work for all seasons. The colour of nature, it represents growth, nature and fertility and, when it comes to colour psychology, it adds visual credence to the ‘green movement, with its reported ability to improve self-esteem, reduce anxiety and heighten awareness of one’s surroundings.
As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side and we’re looking forward to adding the lush palette to our wardrobes.
Owning and wearing precious jewellery unfailingly adds sparkle to life.
Dan Joines, national owner of Polished Diamonds, wants people to know that using CAD technology, he can create the ultimate engagement, wedding, and ‘just-because’ rings they’ve visualised. The award-winning ring-designer and merchant has enjoyed so much success here in New Regent Street that North Island boutiques have followed.
Clients can bring in their own precious stones and ideas, or choose from 20,000 internationally certified diamonds and two and a half thousand ring designs. Architectural CAD technology and equipment such as an MRI scanner ensure that any stone, any metal and any ring profile can be produced to exacting specifications. “In less than a week we can reproduce a vision, or transform an inherited or gifted ring into something perfectly bespoke; gorgeous and personalised,” Dan says.
The New Year means a new opportunity for a wardrobe revamp. That’s our excuse! And who wouldn’t agree? We look at what’s sizzling hot in the summer style stakes.
Dresses are summer days personified. Although any style goes, whether it be backless or puffy sleeves, this season we’re enjoying the freedom of dancing around in floaty, flouncy, baby doll and maxi-lengths. There’s definitely more material involved this summer to show off bouquets of fanciful florals, through to swirls of neon brightness. White and neutrals are also in the mix. Natural linens are the go-to material in dresses to feel cool and chic.
Floaty and wide-legged pants, whether long, mid-calf or knee length are here. All sizes and shapes will find a flattering, and forgiving, cut, print or length. Summer yellows have been brightening our mood, from our hats down to our shoes. However, we are also seeing a forest of different greens for summer. Lavenders to lilacs is a most feminine palette to drape yourself in this season. Feminine blush pink is a flattering shade we just don’t want to let go of. And on the other end of the spectrum, red it still a hot choice.
However, it’s still holiday season, so make the most of the fab tropical prints – from flowers to fruits – and the clashing of turquoise and carnival colours for the pool party. Lacey little numbers from broderie anglaise to cut-out cotton daisies are also daytime attire – from shorts to light bolero jackets. Conversely, sultry satin slip dresses have been slinking their way back into our wardrobes. With or without sequins, it’s very vogue. Checks and plaids are now officially a summer story too. Clash boldly with stripes and spots – yes you absolutely can!
Neck scarves are a cute, easy to wear accessory – or for when covering up against a cool sea breeze. They also stay put easier than longer scarves. Animal prints have been released once again for summer – add a little wild instinct to your bag, belts or shoes, or go completely tiger-print in a skirt, to attract your Tarzan. Jumpsuits are still seen out and about, but matching separates are also fun to wear. Head to toe theming also elongates the silhouette. All the playful prints around means you get to express your own personality.
Sunglasses are a girl’s best friend, there for you through thick and thin. It really doesn’t matter a hoot if the day is cloudy, rock them anyway.
Whether you are matching sunnies to your face-shape, budget, outfit or whim, all rules can be broken with the eclectic contrast in theme this season – from understated classics to outrageously glam.
Classic frames from the ’50s and ’60s are creating an elegant entrance, with a theatrical twist. For under wide-brimmed hats to glamming up a vintage-print dress, retro-rimmed cats-eye styles are very cool kitten.
This year they can be oversized or elongated and come in transparent feminine pastels to flattering tortoiseshell or eternally-demure black.
Karen Walker has reinvented looks from Mary Poppins in her Miss Lark and Admiral Boom styles; the latter, a chunky masculine meets feminine square vibe. Brands like Oakley are taking on the coloured-lens craze. See the world though green, blue, yellow or pink. And prescription lenses with your shades will be an invaluable accessory.
Flat-bottomed oval shapes are a new normal, and hexagonal is hot. Geometric shaping is the twist in the trend this year – literally an edgy style! Over the top, over-sized round glasses are oh so beach-worthy and the original black Ray-Ban Wayfarers are hip again.
Frameless contrasts with chunky rectangular lenses, whereas wire frames can come in classic, aviator, or seriously sporty. A futuristic style is the ‘zero-based’ lens which lies completely flat.
A statement pair of shades is an investment with benefits – through summer’s intensity to wintery glare, they make any outfit totally picture-perfect.
Beige has long been the ‘Plain Jane’ of the fashion world, but this year designers are injecting a sexier edge into this shy shade.
While the Oxford Dictionary defines beige as a “pale, sandy fawn”, the bare facts on beige are that the fashionable lines are increasingly being blurred between nude, flesh and champagne. From the high street to the most expensive designer collections, we’re seeing shades from the palest ‘natural’ to golden terracotta and even pale creamy khakis sheltering under the ‘beige’ umbrella.
No matter what sartorial shade you yearn for this season, we think it’s high time you join the beige brigade.
It’s great to see hats making a confident comeback. Once upon an era they were a mandatory item, while more recently just reserved for occasions, sun protection and bad hair days. No longer. The latest looks seen out and about are head-turning – beautiful in form and function.
Fabulous wide brim hats, shielding our precious complexions and shoulders, add balance to an outfit and silhouette. For everyday elegance, they are structured with florals, colour, neutrals and sashes, or are more nonchalant in summertime straw, floppy or fringed. Another brimmed beauty is the fedora, straight out of the movies, be it embellished cowgirl or gangster style, to black and white sophistication.
Bucket-style hats are a surprising statement from the catwalk. There is 1920’s style with vintage florals – so flirty with sundresses – to gingham and cute prints in every imaginable material. A new-look beret for summer is of leather and perched slightly askew. Sun visors have been snatched back from the ’80s.
From funky vinyl to slinky suede, they can be a dressy accessory. As sportswear merges with fashionwear, a designer-logo baseball cap easily partners a pair of heels. Hats of all shapes, attitudes and sartorial cloth entice everyone to don their most favourite.
Sometimes bold accessories are what’s needed to give your wardrobe a seasonal pick me up.
Accessories are certainly getting braver. They can create a statement of personal style. Seize the opportunity to splash out on the vivid side of the colour wheel, even if you prefer plain fabric. Wear a mishmash of gemstones, something that shimmers or shouts from your wrist or your collar, or perhaps invest in a funky original piece from a local artist that’s a conversation starter.
The little black handbag is temporarily overshadowed by colourful prints, metallic embellishments and floral features. Even with elegant blush pink, there’s most likely a glamourous adornment attached somewhere. Wide corset-style belts create hourglass silhouettes – perhaps contrast the colour for a fashionable impact. Hair is daring in dazzling diamantes, feathers and crystals for hair-slides and clips, on the catwalk this season. Knockout nails continue to bedazzle and statement scarves are the go-to accessory.
You might be feeling a little bored of your favourite summer dress. Just put on an out-there pendant in azure blue or molten metallic and voila, a fresh new outfit. Oversized earrings also glam up a look. Jewellery especially, exudes the effervescent part of ourselves. Demure or daring, it paints a picture of how we are feeling. If you are off to a party, a standout geometric necklace, a multi-beaded choker, or a collection of beguiling bracelets, will get you in the festive summery mood.
It’s the season of celebrations and frivolity, and absolutely nothing is going to look too loud or too lavish.