Fashion-wise, winter is almost over, and as the weather gets warmer, your wardrobe will be full of yellows, pinks and blues – but not like you’ve ever seen before. The new style is more Lana Del Rey than Minor Danish Royal.
Hot Rod Pastels on the S/S 2012 catwalks for Jonathan Saunders (left) and Prada.
It may be winter outside, but in my heart it’s spring. Because in fashion, winter ends the moment the winter collections hit the sale rails (one wouldn’t be seen dead in a trend that has been marked down, obviously). Sherlock on a bad nicotine-withdrawal grump has more patience than a fashion editor who has moved on to the next season. So if you’re still dithering over which luxe parka/Lund jumper to buy, then I’m afraid you’re on your own – unless this winter gets a late PR windfall, eg photogenic snowfall or similar.
It is time to embark on what American Vogue calls “planning your new season’s wardrobe”. Whatever this phrase may mean within the Manhattan offices of Vogue, in the rest of the world it means flicking through some magazines until a few new-season images lodge themselves in your head, dragging some pieces that fit the bill from the last time those trends were in from the bottom of the wardrobe on to the ironing pile, and wondering if you can fit in a lunchtime race around the shops at some point in the next fortnight.
Old-school pastels: Infanta Elena of Spain at a wedding last summer.
Acid-free tissue paper and shoe boxes labelled with Polaroids are not required. But what this season does demand, and at your earliest convenience, is a complete rethink on the subject of pastels. I haven’t worn pastel colours for about two decades, essentially because as a grownup operating in the real world there is almost no circumstance in which lemon-yellow tailoring or a minty green knit doesn’t read a bit oddly. “Outfits for the prizegiving ceremony at a ballet school” is not a wardrobe category I have much call for.
But pastels have had a revamp. The roll call for the poster girls of the new pastel reads as follows: Laura Palmer, Betty Draper, Katy Perry and Lana Del Rey. My point is: minor Danish royalty need not apply. On the cover of the new British Vogue, the hot American model Arizona Muse wears £1,590 worth of broderie anglaise Prada in pale shades of blue and yellow, hands perched confidently on hips just above a coverline proclaiming the New Look. Pastel shades even have new, more interesting names. Ralph Lauren relaunched an elegant pale green as “celery”. Sky blue was
renamed “Laura Palmer Blue” by London designer Richard Nicoll, who wanted to conjure “a disturbed sense of calm”. This is the season of the Hot Rod Pastel: sugared almond shades with a dark side. Like Ocean Drive in Miami they are pretty as a picture, but have a narcotic buzz.
It all began with September’s round of catwalk shows. Jonathan Saunders and Christopher Kane‘s London shows were staged in spare, modern halls of concrete and glass – Saunders at the Paddington Central office building, Kane at One New Change – with the audience seated on minimalist bleachers. And then on to both catwalks, the designers sent colours more usually associated with tea rooms and well-stuffed sofas. Pistachio and rose, aqua and daffodil. A few days later, at Prada, the brand’s headquarters were transformed by set designer Rem Koolhaas into a David Lynchian reimagining of Detroit: oil-slicked streets, with cut-out Greased Lightning cars. And when the show started, the clothes came in the colours that until this season were seen only on the royal photocall outside church on Easter Sunday.
Hot Rod Pastel inspiration: Ocean Drive in the Art Deco district of Miami Beach, Florida.
We have all become experts in decoding the subtleties of neutrals. (Black is now professional rather than rock’n'roll; dirty grey is the new black for Kate Moss wannabes; navy is good for making you look a bit French; oatmeal is for people who are really into work-life balance.) But pastels present a whole new learning curve. Early intelligence suggests that pink, being the least unexpected of the pastels, will be left in the shade by blue, green and yellow tones. The ultimate power-dressing combination for spring 2012 is lemon yellow with ice blue, as already seen on the catwalk at Prada and Preen, and the cover of Vogue.
But what makes a look Hot Rod Pastel rather than Minor Danish Royal is a chaser of something fierce. At Prada the models wore wet-look, bad-girl hair with their broderie anglaise. At Jonathan Saunders they sported exaggerated black eyeliner flicks with their pistachio, apricot and raspberry tones. Louis Vuitton’s crocodile-skin court shoes in lemon yellow have a dagger-sharp toe-cap in silver. Spring is here all right. The question is, are you brave enough to wear it yet?
Source from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/fashion/2012/jan/10/hot-rod-pastels-spring-fashion
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