by Camilla Ridley
This season's catwalks are a cocktail of colour and cut extremes. Here's our concise analysis of this season's key trends and how to transform them into a flattering, versatile and wearable spring wardrobe.
Spring 2022 is a season for everyone, full of colour and a celebration of real femininity and diversity in all of its fabulous forms, captured here (From left to right) by a colourful new creation by Halpern, A model for Brandon Maxwell, a piece from Channel's Spring collection
With January over, the days getting discernibly longer and Covid news looking increasingly positive, now’s the perfect time to look ahead to a really exciting spring and summer season and to think about your wardrobe for the events, get togethers and trips we’ll finally be able to enjoy unimpeded. My recent visit to central London certainly showed how much things have changed in only a matter of weeks. The pubs and streets of soho were full again bustling with life and an air of confidence and positivity. And nowhere is this optimism more apparent than on the catwalks and pages of this season's fashion press. Let’s not forget that as well as being a trend setter, fashion is also reliable barometer of wider attitudes, values and desires. And this season's dial is certainly set to sunshine and blue skies, with streets, offices, parks and parties promising to be transformed into a vibrant sartorial wildflower meadow teaming with colour, diversity and life. Having scrutinised an incredible volume of imagery, catwalk shows, influencer blogs and column inches a handful of 11 overriding macro and micro trends stand out for the team here at Ridley. At first glance what may look ridiculous, with the right styling and tailoring know-how can be transformed into a genuinely wearable, flattering and even practical on-trend wardrobe for the season ahead. I hope you enjoy our little guide, and do get in touch if you have any questions we'd love to help.
1. A celebration of real femininity
Most importantly there’s a celebration of real inclusive femininity in all of it’s diverse and fabulous forms. This season’s Catwalks are a spectrum of shapes, sizes, skin tones and smiles. Gone are the days of scowling androgynous nymphs and strutting supermodels…as Vogue recently pointed out "fashion is finally wising up to the fact that sexy comes in all shapes, skin tones and sizes. About time!” Literally everyone’s invited and spring 22 is unashamedly about embracing and celebrating you for being you.
Designers used a number of traditional artisanlal craft techniques to produce modern bohemian collections and show case their commitment to longevity (from top left to right) Pacco Rabanne, A patch work print dress by Free People, A colourfull women maxi dress by Etro. (Bottom) An extraordinary printed silk dress by Marine Serre, and a luxurious floral evening look by Daniel Roseberry for Schiaparelli
2. Anything goes
Likewise 'Anything goes’ this spring, or as industry bible Who, What, Wear points out “trends are dead, long live trends!” which means that "the outdated concept of things being "in" or "out" is in itself redundant.” From the catwalks and press, there’s an overarching mood of real optimism, balanced with easy, simple, wearable luxury. Gorgeous clothes and outfits you can wear to the ball or fling on in a hurry. There’s never been a better opportunity to assess your wardrobe and re-focus onto outfits that really flatter and express exactly who you are.
3. A shift towards slower artisanal fashion
The last few years has shone a spotlight onto the widespread ethical and environmental damage fashion, and in particular its fastest forms have caused. Despite the numerous examples of greenwashing now emerging, many labels are making a genuine leap towards a less disposable and more ethical and sustainable approach. As longstanding champions of slow ethical fashion, here at Ridley we absolutely salute this big slice of positive news. To demonstrate their commitment, a number of well known designers have used intricate crafted features and tactile fabrics to introduce a unique sense of timeless value to their latest collections. These combine to create a strong luxe bohemian aesthetic and exotic feel that as Who, What, Wear points out "speaks to our most fabulous holiday selves”. Here at Ridley we’ve always valued exceptional craft, quality and fine detail, particularly when it’s put to work in individually made to measure investment pieces that really flatter and help wearers look and feel their very best. Let’s hope this runway shift towards slower artisanal fashion amounts to more than a momentary infatuation with a bohemian aesthetic.
4. Colour high
The colour dial has been turned up to full for Spring 2022 with an incredible array of dresses in vivid hues. (from top left to right) dresses by Molly Goddard, Richard Quinn and Gucci. (Bottom) colour has always been a feature of our collections and this season is no exception (from left to right) the new Octavia Midaxi dress in the beautiful blue Fantasy Land printed floral silk and our new Alicia top in a bold tangerine monochrome silk crepe de chine
Designers consistently use colour to inject a 'feel good’ factor into spring collections and to reflect the vibrancy of their surroundings and environment. For 2022 the colour volume switch has been turned up to max, as Vogue recently observed "there is not the slightest excuse for neutrals. Not when the colour combinations on the catwalks look this juicy!” This seasons catwalks are teaming with a spectrum of statement hues and vivid monochromes. If you’re someone who likes to make a statement, this spring is definitely for you. However not everyone can or will even want to pull this look off. Understanding and wearing the colours that really flatter you and embracing print is a great way to introduce this season’s must have hues into your wardrobe without looking or feeling ridiculous. Our experienced Ridley London stylists are on hand in store or on-line to help you find the colours that will really work for your unique complexion. Here at Ridley, we also prefer easing opposed to shocking into spring and while vibrant, our versatile palette this season also embraces some of the softer shades typically associated with an English spring, mixed with some beautiful easy to wear prints in this season’s must have bold hues. Learn how to discover your hero colours in our previous post with colour guru Jules Standish.
5. On your biker
Biker jackets have been a big feature of Spring 2022 collections including (from top left to right) Dolce and Gabbana, Blumarine, Simone Rocha and (bottom left) Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. And bottom right the ever gorgeous Kat Farmer @doesmybumlook40 teams her biker with a beautiful Ridley London printed floral maxi dress
As with all things 90’s making a comeback, the leather biker jacket is having a moment this spring, and it comes in a variety of wild child styles. Now before you think "forget it”, a biker is a great and practical way to introduce some elegant edge and versatility into a spring outfit while keeping warm in the process. I particularly love the contrast that’s created when a biker is teamed with delicate floral print dress (shown here by my lovely friend Lucy), and shorter cuts help to break up a long flowing dresses, creating and emphasising a natural waist. Team with boots, trainers or heels and suddenly you can get a whole new relaxed urban look out of a more classic ‘investment’ piece. We’ve got some great Ridley bikers in a variety of deliciously soft leather hues with unique print linings, made to measure available from our Barnes store.
6. The big reveal
Spring Summer 2022 is all about body confidence with super sexy revealing looks by (from top left to right) Etro, Christian Dior, and Alberto Ferretti. Reveals at Ridley London are slightly more subtle this season created with delicate diaphanous silks as shown here (bottom left) on our Alicia top and a flattering off the shoulder look on the beautiful printed floral silk Serena maxi dress
Whether it's one of this springs must have micro skirts or a full on ball gown, the catwalks and press are brimming with all things super sheer, super tight, and super short. This season is all about body confidence and overt sexiness regardless of your shape and size. Now I agree this is largely a look that’s probably best pulled off by anyone under 21, who hasn’t had kids, and isn’t living on a tropical island. I for one certainly won't be baring my mid-drift and legs in this season’s must have micro skirt / crop top combo anytime soon! However flashing the right flesh is a proven strategy to creating a visual impression of slenderness. For most women, the slimmest and most taught parts of our bodies after 40 are our shoulders, wrists and forearms, and clever tailoring that emphasises these features really flatters. Our collection for spring features a number of diaphanous fabrics that subtly elude to this trend and we’ll be introducing new flattering off the shoulder styles for high summer and our holidays collection.
7. Maxi-dress mania
The maxi dress is back shown here (from left to right) by Sleki, Fendi and Alberto Ferretti. (Below) We've subtly updated some of our most popular Ridley London maxi dress styles for spring summer 2020 including some beautiful Liberty floral print silks (from left to right) the Dana Maxi dress in the spring proposal silk chiffon and the Talitha maxi dress in the tangerine spring proposal silk satin floral print
Big News...the maxi dress is back. According to trend website Lyst 'Oversized' and 'maxi' are already amongst the most popular keywords when looking at dresses with mini styles currently 46% of skirts stocked online at fast-fashion retailers. And if runway evidence is to be believed, this spring we’ll be embracing both ends of the hem length spectrum. No doubt, designers are looking to make a statement and in my opinion nothing does this better than a flattering maxi length dress or skirt with their magical elongating properties, especially when they’re flatteringly cut and worn with heels. Like our Ridley maxi dresses and skirts many of the styles here at Ridley are individually cut so can be tailored to flatter each customers unique physique.
8. Trail blazers
Bright coloured Blazers worn over skirts and dresses are a key look for this spring as shown here in this season's collections (from top left to right) by Tom Ford, Gucci and Altuzarra. (Bottom) Here at Ridley London we've introduced wearable cord blazers in a range of spring shades
Looking for the flattering cut that’s guaranteed by good tailoring, as well as the feminine ease of a pleated skirt? According to Vogue "this Spring’s fashion solution is a boy-meets-girl combination of structured blazer and fluid dress.” That’s right, finally the look that’s been championed by so many influencers like Kat farmer for the last few years has finally hit the catwalks. This is particularly great news for anyone here in the UK whose used to chillier summer evenings and forecasts that promise sunshine and end up somewhat overcast. So expect to see weddings, Royal Ascot and all other this summer’s other major events bursting with blazers. While edgier catwalk styles have been oversized, shoulder padded and angular, here at Ridley we’ve gone for a softer, more classically feminine style which can be tailored to flatter. Our collection of spring blazers come in a spectrum of soft spring needlecord shades, match beautifully with the prints and colours of our skirts and dresses, and would look fabulous with a pair of jeans and a printed blouse.
9. All that glitters
Statement party dresses in various metallic shades are a big thing this season as shown here (from left to right) by Bottega Venetta, Gucci, and Belenciaga. We're keeping an eye on this trend at Ridley London and introducing some new statement dresses in incredible new metallics for later in the season
This summers overriding frequency is one of unadulterated optimism. Certainly after the last few years we could all do with a brighter outlook and a serious injection of glamour. And the catwalks and collections have cottoned onto this in metallic and sequinned glory. Vogue have labelled the look ‘up all night’ and it certainly says party. Now I’m certainly hoping for a glut of invitations this season that call for non stop sequins and high glamour, but in reality I’m just not sure how versatile and widely wearable this trend really is. Yes you could buy an investment piece that will see you through every high glamour event for years to come, but how many full length strappy sequinned dresses we’ll be seeing at Ascot this year for example? But I’m certainly prepared to be open minded. Here at Ridley, we’ll be introducing some shimmering looks for high summer and the holiday season where I believe this kind of sparkle definitely works better than on a soggy April lawn. But if that occasion does arise for you in the meantime, where nothing but absolute glitz will do, we have a number of stunning metallic satins that we can make up into any of our styles.
10. White Purity
As a counterbalance to all the colour and overt sexiness, a number of pure white dresses have featured across multiple collections including (from top left to right) Givenchy, Boss, and Alexander McQueen. As a spring variant, here at Ridley London we've added some subtle floral print (from bottom left to right) our Josie midi dress and Carman midi skirt and blouse co-ord, both in beautiful new Liberty print floral silk chiffons
For those of you who prefer something a little more understated to this season's razzmatazz, the palate cleansing antidote comes in the form of a pure white dress. And whatever the mood or occasion, there’s a pure white dress to match. This look is perfect for high summer and holiday heat as it’s sure to keep you cool as temperatures soar and it will look fantastic against a tan. However worn with a fair complexion on an early UK spring day and it’s more than likely it will wash you out and pure white dresses are really not the done thing at weddings, unless of course it’s yours. However, If you are intent on making a purity statement this spring, I’d recommend introducing some subtle pattern as the additional colours will help to soften the effects of a pure white.
11. Co-ords continued
Versatile Co-ords have again proved popular featuring in multiple collections by designers including (from top left to right) Brandon Maxwell, L'Agence, and Acne Studios. Here at Ridley London we've introduced a number of flexible 'complimentary' co-ords in this season's hottest and freshest spring colours (bottom left to right) our Alicia top in Emerald green silk crepe de chine matched with a new style Sam maxi skirt in the bold Glastonbury printed floral silk satin. (Centre) Livi blouse in petal pink silk is worn with a new Ava skirt in the new smokey blue Festival Flower silk print. (Right) our feminine Olivia blouse in the delicate Meadow Song silk satin floral print is paired here with a new Sammy cord maxi skirt in warm turquoise needlecord
With consumers continued focus on versatility and reducing the environmental impact of their wardrobes by increasing wearability, it’s no surprise that designers are still infatuated with the co-ord which proved so popular last season. For those of you that missed this one, the idea is a matching combination outfit which can be worn together or individually paired with other items within your wardrobe. Essentially a multitude of looks for the price of one. While much of the catwalk co-ords have embraced this season’s trend for bold colour blocking, we’ve been obsessing over real wearability and versatility. And while a co-ord in one of this seasons must have solid hues promises so much, it’s never going to offer the same possibility of colour matching and multi-wear options that a print with a number of colours. And let's face it, however fabulous a shade seems right now, you’re going to be pretty board of endlessly wearing it by July. Our solution is a flexible outfit, based on a print or plain skirt and contrasting top. Either can be worn together or apart, with the print offering endless colour matching possibilities. And we've also got a number of matching co-ords. The look can then be finished off with one of our new blazers and you have invested in complete modular wardrobe that will definitely help you hit your 30 to 50 wears.
Ridley London's new spring collection of dresses, skirts, tops and blazers is available to purchase on-line 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: 01730 823097