Romancing the style


NIGHTYWEAR This Alexander Wang lace-trimmed dress from the designer's spring/summer collection embodies many of the season’s trends.

With ruffles, satin, lace and fur, spring/summer 2016 is dominated by feminine looks

Maggie Gibbons

The spring/summer 2016 catwalks from New York to London and Paris to Milan showcased a myriad of trends, among them, slip dresses, lace-trimmed lingerie, Victorian femininity, ruffles, stripes, pleats and fur.
There were some common denominators, like the shoulder cut out, which was included in all the designer collections, and retro revival.
Spring and summer beg for colour, and the coming seasons won’t disappoint. A welcome opportunity to pack away the black and embrace the new colour palette. The prospect of some glorious splashes of pigment is so appealing during these dark wintry days.
Colour-wise, there is a focus on peach, several hues of blue (from almost navy to sky blue), buttercup yellow, fiesta red, bright green, rose quartz (a soft gentle pink) and iced coffee. White is having quite the fashion moment in this season too.
You might wonder who decides what colours we will wear each season? The Pantone Colour Institute’s experts provide trend forecasting, as well as providing visual inspiration to the fashion industry. They work on colour palettes for up to two years before a particular season. Right now they are deciding on trends for 2017. They also help companies make informed decisions about colours for their brands and products.

The influencers
Victoria Beckham, Céline and Stella McCartney showed us lots of checks, and wide trousers, while Michael Kors favoured ruffles. Most designers featured stripes.

The ’70s and ’90s
These were definitely the most popular retro decades at the spring/summer ’16 shows. The ’70s influence was less boho though – a good thing. I always feel that real ‘Style’ totally skipped this particular decade. It was all about clunky platforms and hippie clothes.

Faux fur
Whether on coats or just thrown over the shoulder, faux fur was everywhere. For a super tactile wardrobe, get your hands on some of the current faux fur collars and stoles. Check your local boutique for a faux fur collar; it will instantly update your wardrobe.

This year you will see plenty of knife pleats. This trend is not for everyone though, particularly those of us with weight around the middle or on the hips.

Plaid scarves
These are oversized, very snug and cozy and an inexpensive way to look current.

Brimmed hats
Brimmed hats are bang on trend (think Indiana Jones crossed with Italian mobster). Brimmed straw hats are still in too. If you fancy something different, bucket hats and baseball caps were also evident on the catwalks.

Are you a fan of ruffles? If so, this is your perfect season, as there will be ruffles on everything – very Victoriana. You’ll find them everywhere, from sleeves to necklines, hips to hems.

Bedroom chic
If you’re feeling a bit daring, why not dip your toe into the ‘lingerie as outerwear’ trend; it’s all out there this season! Pyjamas featured hugely among the main designers’ collections.  Think fluid, silky blouses and pants with contrasting piping. Satin nighties and camisoles too.

If you don’t quite have the nerve to parade down the street in your nightie, don’t worry – before you know it, all these extravagant catwalk designs will be diluted down to more-realistic, wearable versions in your local boutique. Then all you need to do is don the hat, add a pair of colourful leather gloves, sling on the fur collar and you’re good to go!

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at