Your holiday hot five


by Nathalie Riddle

Leading fashion stylist Nathalie Riddle shows you how to create five on-trend holiday looks with the latest products, accessories and five customisable Ridley holiday dresses

Having worked was a fashion editor and styling director for numerous well known fashion publications including Condé Nast Traveller, there’s nothing Nathalie Riddle doesn’t know about vacation style. Particularly when it comes to creating that effortlessly chic look we’re all after. While the fashion pages are stuffed full of the latest, seductive holiday styles and looks, what’s often overlooked is an intelligent and economical approach to styling in favour of pure product placement. Nathalie has curated five effortless chic holiday looks that will not only take the headache out of packing this summer, but will stand the test of time for your holidays to come.

Look 1: The timeless summer statement


The versatile Ridley London Serena silk maxi dress is the perfect statement holiday dress and can be customised to flatter in your choice of tropical and floral prints. It's worn here by Mirabeau Wine founder Jeany Cronk pictured on holiday with her husband Stephen

Buying smarter is something we all think about these days and a dress that you will wear over and over is not only good for the planet, but makes great investment sense. And this is no different for the all important accessories you choose. I love a statement tropical floral print silk sun dress, they just scream summer and really capture that timeless holiday vibe. This Ridley floral print maxi dress would work for a multitude of wearing occasions. For day time, pair back your accessories and let the dress do the work. Keep your jewellery simple and classic, in my opinion you can’t beat a gold hoop. And I love this season’s statement sunglasses with tinted translucent frames to colour match your dress. For wearability opt for an easy summer slide in either an understate neutral or match it to the colours within the dress. I also love a raffia basket, and straw bags have undoubtedly become a holiday classic for good reason. They go with pretty much everything, will fit all your holiday essentials and again perfectly capture that holiday spirit.  For evenings, add a touch of glamour with a simple strappy heeled sandal and pair with an on-trend resin clutch bag. Again keep your jewellery simple, with either gold chain bracelets or bangles to compliment the flattering three quarter length sleeves. And swap the gold hoops for a contrasting pair of modern statement earrings. Finally, smell is one of our most overlooked senses when it comes to dressing, and it can completely transform the way we feel and set the tone for an exciting evening. For me Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino fragrance perfectly captures the essence of a summer holiday with its exotic floral and citrus notes, transporting you to the Italian Riviera. 

Look 2: Relaxed Riviera 


The popular Ridley London Manon dress is an incredibly versatile holiday dress and can be customised to flatter in your choice of any Ridley printed or pain cotton or silk. It's worn here by Jen Brown, founder @meet_you_at_the_barre in the new fucshia Flourish floral cotton print

I am continually drawn to pieces for my summer holiday wardrobe that will cover a multitude of wearing occasions, and this flattering floral print silk midi dress is a great example. The more structured silhouette and pretty ruffle detailing elevate this piece to ensure it would be suitable for a more formal lunch or, styled with heels and some statement jewellery, a summer party or dinner. But don’t be fooled into thinking it can only be worn for those more special occasions. I would simply style this dress with some cute canvas plimsolls, and a large straw basket bag for a day scouring the local town for treasures, and even throw a denim jacket over the top to create that effortless, elegant, and comfortable look to travel in. 

Look 3: Beach chic


The Ridley London Sadie swing style dress is the perfect piece to throw over a bikini for a day on the beach. It's available customised to flatter in your choice of printed cottons and silks and is worn here by the gorgeous Maxine...

The key to this look is a simple dress that you can just throw over your favourite one piece or bikini for a day on the beach. The relaxed on-trend cut is great in the heat, fits seamlessly into that beach bar scene, and would comfortably see you through an early evening drink or wonder into town. To keep the vibe totally casual, pair with some modern super bright ankle toe espadrilles ( I have had my eyes on these beauties from Chloe), a large on-trend basket bag (perfect for cramming all the days beach essentials), oversized sunnies (sunglasses are my all-time favourite summer accessory) and some fun summer bracelets. If you're a watch wearer, again there are lots of practical and playful products available now. Essentially, it's a laid back youthful look, minimal effort for maximum effect! The cut of this dress is super flattering for all body types, and wonderfully unrestrictive - exactly what you want from a great holiday dress. The graphic print, the zingy bright colours, and the swing-style shape give this dress a youthful attitude/edge that is bang on-trend. But of course because it's Ridley, you can have this dress customised to flatter in any of their beautifully vibrant summer prints.

Look 4: The sunset stunner


The Ridley London Serena dress is also available in a relaxed midi length and can be customised to flatter in a variety of printed silks and cottons including these vibrant on-trend zebra prints. The Serena midi dress is worn here by influencer and fashionista Becky @bricksandstitches. Charlotte Knapman earings are available in the Ridley store in London

Holidays are all about spontaneity, and I want to know that I’ve packed a versatile time saving dress that I can throw on after a day on the beach, add a few key accessories and feel relaxed, glamorous and ready for a sundowner. You can miss so many moments by having to go back to the hotel or villa to change, and it’s great to have something that easily folds into your beach bag and won’t looked creased. I love the effortlessness of this dress for an evening cocktail. The collarbone-baring detail is a chic way to show a little skin (especially if miniskirts and plunging necklines are not your thing). These pink colours chime brilliantly with that golden hour as the sun is setting, and will work wonders with a tan.The clever stuff is in the fine design details such as the puff cap sleeves that give volume around the shoulder area, whilst the figure-flattering smocking through the bodice accentuates the waist. For day-time, I would wear it with the sleeves pulled up over the shoulder, add some flat slip-on sandals, and fun beaded bracelets. And you could easily take it up a notch by simply pulling the sleeves down and adding some summer heels and a smaller neutral bag, with touches of simple gold jewellery.

Look 5: The glamours showstopper


Everyone needs a glamorous holiday dress for those special summer evenings out and the halter neck Tam Maxi dress, worn here by Ridley's very on Heidy, and on-trend Millena cut-out dress are perfect. Both feature timeless statement styles which can be customised to flatter in your choice of luxurious plain and printed silks.

Every summer holiday wardrobe needs a show-stopper dress for that special dinner or party that just makes you look and feel fantastic. I always look for timeless cuts and beautiful fabrics, but I was sold on the on-trend detailing and flattering silhouettes here. Whether it is this season’s 'must have' cut-away style, or the timeless classic halter-neck these are dresses that will ensure you have that ‘wow’ item sorted. Chiffon and silk travel particularly well, and the hot colours will work brilliantly with a tan and so many of my favourite gold accessories. The touches of gold act as a styling ’neutral’ and compliment the elevated look, without competing with the bold print or colour. The finishing touch will be nothing more complicated than my recently discovered go-to scent from the beautiful new fragrance brand Altra. An impactful but uncomplicated evening look that takes the stress out of getting ready and allows you to get on with enjoying that special evening. These are dresses that will do all the hard work for you! 

Nathalie Riddle is a fashion editor and leading international stylist whose helped many of the world's most iconic luxury brands, publications and celebrities create compelling campaigns and stand out. Her client list includes: Harper's Bazaar, Conde Nast Traveller, ES Magazine, Numero France, Fabergé, Net-A-Porter, Pomellato, Pandora, Tiffany & Co., Marks & Spencer, Sony music, Mandarin Oriental, Dior, Moët & Chandon and many more. She also styles clients for red carpet appearances including: Salma Hayek Pinault, Kristen Scott Thomas, Elizabeth McGovern, Rosamund Pike and Thandie Newton. Visit Nathalie's Website

Ridley London's new holiday collection of summer dresses, skirts and tops is available to purchase online and in Ridley's Barnes store. Celebrate your individuality this season with a unique piece that's  individually crafted to flatter from your choice of any of our stunning new printed floral or solid silks or cottons. Or call us to arrange a virtual fitting: 

Ridley London, 82 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ T: 0203 3367900

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