A-Z of Spring/ Summer 2012 Trends

Last season I wrote a sartorial A-Z of Autumn/Winter trends. Here’s a summary of the top new season trends for Spring/ Summer 2012.

Alexander McQueen S/S '12

A – Aquatic

Oceanic influences were rife on the catwalks; mermaid-esque gowns, conch clutches, pearl detailing and metallic fabrics sounded fashion’s siren call. Delicate trapeze dresses swam down the catwalk and undulating ruffled gowns resembled jellyfish at Alexander McQueen. Karl Lagerfeld’s nymph-like models were clad in light pastel tweeds and mille-feuille pleats at the magical underwater world of Chanel, complete with a Venus-like Florence Welch emerging from a giant shell.

B – Big lace

This season lace has gone oversized. Louis Vuitton’s pastel hued super-sized Broderie Anglaise was sweetly feminine and Dolce & Gabbana’s flesh flashing peekaboo lace creations were a flirty take on the trend.

C – Crop tops

Banish all thoughts of a ‘90s style croptop-combats combo and welcome this season’s chic crops into your wardrobe. Dolce & Gabbana paired longline bras with flared ‘50s skirts and ruched bandeaus were worn with pencil skirts at Prada. Best get working on those abs…

Gucci S/S '12

D – Deco dream

The roaring Twenties are back! Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is due for release in December and fashion channeled the trend with flapper dresses as the eveningwear of choice at Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Etro. Drop waists, embellishments, tassels and Art Deco prints ooze Jazz Age glamour.

E – Eccentric

Fun fashion is having a moment. Meadham Kirchoff’s balloon-adorned catwalk and dancing doll-like models (with a grungy twist) showed fashion with a sense of humour (and a large dose of talented design too).

F- futuristic florals

Florals are back with a vengeance: bold, clashing colours and contrasting prints are the way to wear blooms this season. Mary Katrantzou’s cult digital prints and Christopher Kane’s appliquéd floral offerings put a distinctly modern stamp on spring’s favourite print.

Mary Katrantzou S/S '12

G – Grids

Grids and checkerboards are a new print to add to this season’s myriad of pattern. Gareth Pugh paired the graphic print with sheer panels and his trademark dark colour palette, but the print was rendered with ladylike silhouettes and retro styling at Dior.

H – Headwear

Hats are still a trend that’s simmering away. Oversized hats will look stylish and protect from the sun, but beaded skullcaps and more ornate retro-inspired headwear are a glamorous addition this season.

I – Iridescent

An offshoot of the aquatic trend, mermaid-esque metallics added shimmer and shine to the catwalks. Make a Summer statement in shimmering satin and cellophane fabrics or pair metallic separates with neutral basics for a more relaxed take on the trend.

Elie Saab S/S '12

J – Jeans in colour

This season denim has had a colourful makeover. The skinny silhouette doesn’t seem to be shifting, and pastel hued 7/8th length jeans are a key trend. If pastels aren’t your thing then acid denim brights are the way forward, such as Christopher Kane’s covetable J Brand collaboration.

K – Killer collars

Fashion is still having a bit of a love-in with neckwear and a buttoned-up shirt paired with a statement necklace, cuff or collar tips is still a huge blogging trend.

L – Light leather

Butter soft biker jackets in light or neutral shades are the cover-up of the season, with Acne’s blue version a particular favourite. The fashion world has gone mad for J Brand’s white leather jeans too, the perfect partner of peplum tops and bright summer lace.

M – Mix and Match

This season it’s all about mixing and matching the myriad of prints on the catwalk. There aren’t any rules, but more is more! Clashing florals is one way to tick two trends in one.

N – Neon

Acid brights are still stylish for Spring, with bold pinks, aqua, tangerine, yellow and lime taking centre stage. Neons and neutrals are the freshest way to wear the look for summer, and neon accents from bold accessories nod to the trend.

Rag & Bone S/S '12

O – Olympic Obsession

With Olympics hype reaching fever pitch in the run-up to the 2012 Games, the catwalks had a distinctly sporty vibe, from athletic silhouettes at Alexander Wang to Stella McCartney’s sportswear-inspired details.

P – Peplums

The Spring/ Summer catwalks celebrated a womanly silhouette, with the peplum as one of the most prolific trends on the catwalk. All eyes are on the hips with bold statements at Jason Wu and Cushnie et Ochs and softer shapes at Acne and Céline.

Jason Wu S/S '12

Q – Quintessentially British

This season many editors agreed that the UK’s capital had the hottest ticket shows; the attention of the world was drawn to London Fashion Week and our city’s hub of creative talent.

R – Rucksacks

The chicest bag around this season is the rucksack: sling metallic leather or translucent plastic textured bags over the shoulder nonchalantly, and choose between a myriad of hues or stylish neutrals (Topshop seems to have a good offering!)

S – Sugared almonds

Sugar sweet pastel hues have to be one of the biggest trends this season: the catwalks were awash with shades of soft pink, parma violet, muted apricot, lemon curd, baby blue and icy mint. The coolest way to wear ice cream colours is head to toe, clashing pastels or combining hints of sugar with Summery neutrals.

Louis Vuitton S/S '12

T – Traveller

Fashion took inspiration from around the world; Bottega Veneta and Burberry lead the pack. Bold tribal prints and textures ruled, leather and suede combined with various embellishments: beading, feathers, tassels and suede.


Designers lived the American Dream this season: retro-Americana, cowgirl influences, T-shirts emblazoned with the stars and stripes, retro diner styles, and prairie girl patchwork all had a moment.

V – Va va vroom

Prada’s kitsch car print suited their retro ‘50s American-inspired collection to a tee; the pattern formed the background of sweet pastel blouses and adorned leather pencil skirts. Prada’s automobile-influenced flame heels are the most coveted shoes of the season.

W – Wow heels

This season’s heels are ultra ladylike. Spiky stilettos with pointed heels and contrasting toecaps are the order of the day, as seen at Louis Vuitton. Neutral hued heels are the perfect partner to pastel ensembles.

Richard Nicoll S/S '12

X- X-ray

Sheer fabrics were the texture of the day, with many shows favouring romantic chiffon. Richard Nicoll’s clear plastic skirts were a futuristic take on the trend. Just make sure your underwear is up to scratch.

Y – Yellow

Every shade of yellow under the sun adorned the catwalks, from banana brights to baby yellow pastels. The perfect sunshine shade was a popular choice for summery dresses, as seen at Mulberry, Nicole Farhi and Preen.

Z – Zzzz

Pyjamas aren’t just for the bedroom this season. Nightwear was given a chic twist with pyjama-style trouser suits adorning the catwalks at Stella McCartney, Jonathan Saunders and Haider Ackermann. So wrong it’s right.

Stella McCartney S/S '12

All images: style.com

Only in St Andrews: Elisabeth May Shoe Boutique Spring ‘Ladies Night’

Tonight was Elisabeth May Shoe Boutique’s ‘Spring Ladies Night’, the first of the St Andrews shoe emporium’s events I have been able to attend. The evening saw the thriving boutique launch three more brands in store: H by Hudson, Bourne and (some more) French Connection Jewellery. Cupcakes, pink champagne and shoes, what more could you want?! In a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere shoe lovers mingled, browsed the carefully selected new stock and received pedicures by So…Glamourous of Anstruther to show off their new purchases.

The evening was evidence of how the unique boutique is making its mark in St Andrews by creating a brand centred around the woman in the shoes. Elisabeth May shoe parties are key to making the boutique more than just a shop but a lifestyle experience. Owner Natalie is clearly passionate about her job and her energy and eye for style have created a unique shopping experience.

Firstly: the selection of beautiful heels. If you’ve got a ball or wedding to go to, then look no further than Elisabeth May. There’s a great selection of styles, from low and mid-heels to sculptural skyscrapers. Covering all the bases from minimal to glamorous embellished beauties there’s a shoe style to fit all tastes. Leg-lengthening peep-toe platforms are on trend for this season’s ’70s obsession with the platform/ flatform. My favourites were the delectable Moda in Pelle suede platform heels. I was finding it impossible to choose between the romantic pale pink or the coral brights, both are so right for this Spring/ Summer. For a sturdier heel, the Moda in Pelle wooden wedges are perfect for this season’s return to natural materials. Great for offsetting a voluminous maxi or this season’s palazzo pants.

If heels aren’t your thing then chic ballet pumps are available in neutral shades and playful leopard print as well as other hues. The H by Hudson brand which was launched in store tonight had some more retro designs – the slick black loafers caught my eye, or if you want to rock androgynous cool then their boyish brogues are perfection. Butter soft leather and quirky design, what more could you want in a flat? Wear them with girly florals and floaty chiffon to give an androgynous edge.

The French Connection Jewellery complemented the shoes with its understated glamour. There was an art deco vibe to some of the geometric pieces, my favourites were the square tassled earrings. French Connection offer quirky, quality designs and I am loving their new branding; I like fashion with a sense of humour that isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself.

I was looking forward to seeing the new Mischa Barton bags; I got a black patent slouchy handbag from the range a few years ago that I loved to bits (literally – the zip fell off on the street in London) and since then the brand had fallen off my radar. This range had a distinctly Mulberry-esque feel. They reflected the structured yet slouchy aesthetic and attention to detail, rendered at a much more wallet friendly price for an air of catwalk cool. The detailing was my favourite part: the studding, eyelets tassles and zips gave the classic designs an edge. From envelope style clutches to structured shoulder bags in neutral tones the range fit the stylish but timeless vibe of Elisabeth May.

Only in St Andrews: Elisabeth May Shoe Boutique

If any of you know me even just a little bit, you’ll know that I am obsessed with shoes. I even have a category on this very blog entitled “shoe love”, so when I heard there was a new shoe shop in town I had to go and investigate as soon as humanly possible. In case you missed it, here’s the link to my latest post for Visit St Andrews. Instead of doing my usual individual product style picks for my monthly ‘Style in St Andrews’ post, I decided to do a spotlight on new St Andrews footwear emporium, Elisabeth May Shoe Boutique.

I went in last week to chat to owner Natalie Anderson about the talk of the town. Natalie has done extensive market research and knows her niche – the stock is perfectly chosen for the unique St Andrews demographic, with pieces and prices to suit a range of residents.

As I said in my Visit St Andrews article, generally the shopping experience in St Andrews is a lot more personal. Perusing the local shops here you can find some really unique pieces. Sometimes the prices are a bit more than the High Street, but for that you get great quality and avoid that irritating everyone’s-wearing-my-new-dress-from-New-Look-moment. Elisabeth May fits in perfectly with this cohort and takes the personal touch even further. Excellent customer service is an integral part of the business; for example owner Natalie can order in individual shoes in your size and deliver them straight to your door in St Andrews.

Moreover, Elisabeth May shoe parties make for an all-new shopping experience. Coo over court shoes with a cupcake and glass of champagne in either hand. Natalie’s background in brand management for some big High Street names makes her well-placed to offer her words of wisdom on trends; for example she has some great presentations  to show you how to translate catwalk trends into your footwear selection.

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for: the shoes! Elisabeth May has a gorgeous selection of colours and styles – there really is something for everyone. Stocking well-known brands such as Moda in Pelle and Ravel you’re spoilt for choice, whether you’re looking for statement satin ball shoes or chic suede pumps. Cult Brand Ragged Priest Vintage were my favourite addition. Stocked in Topshop’s flagship store, the brand offer a unique customisation service for Elisabeth May now too. Feathered embellishments adorned converse and mannish lace-up boots for an edgy, girly touch.

It’s not just shoes either – Natalie is looking to expand the brand into a Summer capsule collection of dresses. She showed me the expected stock and it includes some stunning floral floaty maxi dresses. The accessories perfectly complement the stock; Mischa Barton handbags have a Mulberry-esque appeal and Natalie has ordered in some gorgeous FCUK jewellery, in store very soon.

Not only is the choice of stock and service fantastic, but the prices are extremely affordable. The top end of the pricing is £85 which I think is extremely affordable, especially considering all of the above. It’s the perfect middle ground between New Look/ H&M disposable fashion and the Kurt Geiger high end of the High Street.

I hope I’ve inspired you to pop in and treat your feet. Elisabeth May is found opposite Schmooz, on the West Port end of South Street. I’m excited to do a photo shoot for The Tribe for Elisabeth May this wednesday and will share the pictures with you once the new issue is online next Monday.

Pictures – with thanks to Elisabeth May

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Here are a few new things I bought the other day I thought you might like me to share with you. Both items are really Miu Miu, and exceptionally priced, coincidentally bought on the same shopping trip!

The dress has the signature Miu Miu swallow print and I love the beigey pale pink shade. It’s from Primark and is one of the rarer nice pieces to make it to my local store; at just £6 I had to have it. I love the cute details, the silver buttons and embroidered circle edging on the pockets and neckline. It’s really round-necked but it was a bit constricting for me so I undid the first two buttons and tucked it in to make a V-neck. The slouchy side pockets and ruched waistline ( you can’t really see as I sort of tucked the dress up) draw attention to an hourglass shape.

Again I used my signature Rosie twist, and toughened up the girlyness with my studded leather biker jacket, some statement rings, black opaques and chunky platforms.

These shoes are the best bargain I’ve found in a while. I have lusted over these gorgeous black block heel Topshop “Lexi” shoes since I first saw them. However, I thought £70 was a bit steep as I already have an abundance of black heels. I saw these the other day in Topshop reduced to £25 in my size (weird as 5 is such a popular size!) and knew I couldn’t leave them behind. My day got even better when the girl at the till scanned them and they showed up as £10! Could not believe my luck. Coincidentally they’re also really Miu Miu with their signature block heel and platform combination. Love.

These heels are so 70s which is great for the coming season and its flirtation with 70s flares, platforms and floppy hats. I can’t wait for the new trends to properly hit the high street as just now its still in the annoying in betweeny stage.

Jacket- H&M
Dress- Primark
Heart-shaped watch necklace-Topshop
Rings- H&M, Accessorize
Heels- Topshop

Heidi and her bird-patterned jumpsuit

I got this gorgeous jumpsuit in our (still new-ish) St Andrews’ H&M the other day. The print of it is so me, and I’ve been looking for a reasonably priced jumpsuit for ages. A little tricky to pull off if you’re challenged in the height department like I am, but I loved it too much to let go! The cinched in waist and tapered leg mean your figure isn’t lost. The print is very Miu Miu and if you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while you will know I’m obsessed with all things birdy! It’s feminine but fresher than florals for spring. I love the attention to detail of it too, the criss-cross detail on the back in particular. An absolute bargain for £25, as I know I will wear this to death.

It’s really easy to style up or down too. I wore it earlier today with ballet pumps but it looks amazing with chunky heels for a night out. I also forgot to take a picture, but it looked great with my fur coat earlier as it breaks up the look a bit an adds a bit of texture. I wanted to show off the print especially though, so you get the picture! I accessorised with one, simple chunky ring to keep attention on the statement print.

Continuing the girly vibe, I’ve been trying to do a plait round my head ever since I saw the models in the Erdem S/S ’11 show. As you’ve seen, my hair is still mid-length (after a disaster cut 2 years ago when the hairdresser gave me a bob that I didn’t want, all the way from having elbow length hair. It’s finally getting long again!) so not quite long enough to do this. I have tried and failed to french plait it round but it just doesn’t work. I have a fake hair plait from Next that is a really good match for my hair but I still wanted to try it for myself.

Today I tried a different tack and it worked really well! So here’s how to do Heidi hair with mid-length locks:

I parted my hair at the back into two, and backcombed it for a bit of volume. Then I started a normal plait at about ear-level, pulling the hair fairly tight. It’s important to plait away from your head (sort of pulling it up and out to the side as you plait) or it won’t work. Then I secured the ends with a clear elastic (you can get 100 or something for a £1 in Primark).

Here’s what it looked like in the first few steps:

Once you’ve done both sides you pull them up and round your head. The tricky part is making them stay put, I had umpteen kirbys and clips but I found the best way was to tie the two ends together with another elastic and then tuck this under the plait- you can hardly even see it! So it basically looks like it goes all the way around your head, and secure with a few grips.

The key is to not be too heavy-handed and just do it in one go without looking in the mirror whilst plaiting. Also ensure that there’s a bit of height and volume from back-combing or your hair ends up looking really flat. Don’t be too precious about how neat it is, and I even mussed it up a bit at the end; you want it to look more Heidi’s sexy sister than Heidi.

Jumpsuit- H&M
Cardigan- Topshop
Ring- Accessorize
Heels- Topshop

p.s. sorry for the lack of smiling here! Don’t know why I look so cross, I think I was making dinner so probably hungry…