the spring shake-up


by Camilla Ridley

With temperatures rising and lockdown ending soon, it's time to ditch the loungewear for this season's hottest new trends.


This season's key trends of optimism, femininity and visible sustainability are shown here (from left to right) with a blast of bright femininity from Zimmerman, up-cycled patchwork fabrics from Dolce & Gabanna and serious puffed proportions from Patou

What a week! Finally there is a shimmering light at the end of a very long dark tunnel. Lockdown will soon be over, and by June England could be entirely restriction free. And as if the weather had also been following the news, suddenly it's brighter, warmer with the evenings getting noticeably longer, all heralding the arrival of spring. Likewise, the catwalks and fashion press have been brimming with optimism, this is set to be a spring unlike any other. Or as the Telegraph's Fashion Journalist of the year Lisa Armstrong recently pointed out Spring 2021 is all about “celebrating the joy of dressing up” once again. Finally its time to trade in the lockdown leisurewear for this season’s all important ‘Feel Good Dress’, and to invest in a flatteringly fresh wardrobe for all of the garden parties, dinner parties, holidays, weddings and wonderful social occasions that now lie ahead of us. 

Three spring macro-trends

While a proliferation of individual styles are set to dominate SS21, three macro trends are consistently apparent across all the catwalks: 

1. Incredible optimism

A positive mood of ‘Optimism’ has been ubiquitous across all of the catwalk shows and fashion weeks, with the volume turned right up on vibrant colours and bold feel good prints. As Fashion Director Sarah Harris points out in this month’s UK Vogue, you can wear any colour “as long as it’s…bright!"

2. A celebration of femininity

There’s a confident 'celebration of diverse femininity' with a mix of retro glamour, frills, froth, as well as corseting, figure hugging silhouettes and daring flesh baring cut-outs, all shown off by a noticeably diverse range of models in a variety of shapes, sizes and ethnicities. But without doubt, top of the list of must haves is the 'feel good dress’. As popular fashion blog Who White Wear so aptly explains: "Occasionwear had no place in our wardrobes in 2020, however optimistically designers imagined the most fantastical dresses ready for whenever rescheduled weddings and evening plans can take place again. Full skirts! Embellishment! Layers of tulle! Dresses are flamboyant, extravagant and incredibly beautiful.

3. Visible sustainability

Finally as Vogue also pointed out this month, fashion is starting to actively embrace the sustainability challenge, “from the old guard to fresh talent, fashion’s greats are now up cycling deadstock materials into newly desirable pieces.” Catwalks for SS-21have been teaming with collections featuring a variety of ingenious fabric mash-ups, all aimed at proudly displaying the wearer's eco credentials.


The new Ridley London collection for spring 2021 picks up on the key trends for the season with luxurious 'feel good' maxi dresses in a spectrum of vivid liberty print floral silks including (from left to right) a mixed patchwork mash-up design and an easy contemporary take on retro glamour

Spring wardrobe essentials

At Ridley London, we aim to create collections that embrace the latest catwalk trends while being easy, wearable and flattering for a variety of individual physiques. Not to mention bringing much needed versatility and durability to our wardrobes. So while many in the fashion media this season are waxing lyrical about bralettes or midriff flossing, I’m yet to be convinced that either of these looks are aimed at anyone over 18. Instead, we've focused on ‘transitional heros' that will bring an immediate pop of colour and an easy re-fresh to your lockdown wardrobe, including wearable items like statement blouses and skirts which will work with almost anything. And as always there are several statement dresses.

Every garment in the new collection will be locally made to order and individually cut by our seamstresses here in London. This approach dramatically reduces waste and carbon footprint to a minimum, while enabling customers to personalise hem and sleeve lengths for a more flattering fit. We’re also offering a fully bespoke service with virtual fittings. With this in mind, here's our take on the most wearable and flattering trends for Spring 2021: 

1. The feel good dress


This spring is all about escapism and the 'feel good' dress in effervescent retro florals is the key piece for your wardrobe demonstrated here by (from top left to right) Temperley, Valentino and (bottom) our luxurious new Ridley London printed floral silk maxi dress

Ditch the loungewear and get ready to indulge in some serious post lockdown escapism. Whether it’s a wedding or a dinner in the garden with friends, this season is all about dresses that make us look and feel fabulous. And seemingly the bigger, bolder, frothier and floatier and more feminine they are, the better. According to Marie Clare’s Penny Goldstone "puff sleeves, ribbons and tulle will be everywhere". And while this spring will be ‘literally blooming with floral prints", later summer looks featuring sheer style maxi dresses that according to Vogue "confer a glamorous cocktails-on-the-Riviera-terrace status to their wearers" SHOP FEEL GOOD SPRING DRESSES

2. The statement shirt


Statement shirts are everywhere this spring and the bolder, more feminine and retro the better. (From top left to right) retro floral printed pussy bow silk blouse by Gucci. A ruffled crepe silk blouse by Alberta Ferreti. And (bottom) our new Ridley London ruffled pussy bow blouses come in a variety of on-trend spring shades as well as printed floral silks and cottons

Shirting is big this spring with collections from From Gucci and Celine to British stalwarts like Temperly packed with retro seventies style blouses. Collars are big, colours are bright and there are bows and ruffles galore to bring instant femininity. These styles are a great way to add a punchy on-trend re-fresh to jeans and a chic counterpoint for this springs's boot cut denim trend. They also look great teamed with this season’s must have wide legged trousers or skirt for a more complete look. Our Ridley London blouses this season come in a variety of bright plains and Liberty print floral silks and cottons and can be customised for a more flattering fit. SHOP RIDLEY LONDON STATEMENT SHIRTS

3. Baggy trousers


Trousers are baggy and bold this season (from top left to right) Stella McCartney and Chloe with a pair of our new wide legged Ridley London pants matched with a beautiful printed floral silk blouse

If you weren't aware, Spring 21 is the season of the wide legged pant. Baggy trousers may not have the streamlining effect of slim-line silhouettes. But, according to Vogue "they’re a bona fide trend for spring” and let's face far more comfortable than jeans, especially on warmer days. At Ridley London we’ve created our own pared back take on the trend, that’s slightly reminiscent of the chic style favoured by 1930’s Hollywood starlets  They’re available in a range of on-trend brights as well as versatile neutrals. Pair them with one of our statement blouses and perhaps a knitted vest for early spring and then one of our new summer tops when things heat up. Complete the look with a pair of ubiquitous white trainers or Birkenstocks for warmer days.

4. Puffed proportions


The popular exaggerated puff sleeves silhouette remains a key trend for this spring and summer as shown here by (from top left to right) Zimmerman's printed yellow floral silk maxi dress and a bold new dress by Loewe. (Bottom) a new Ridley London printed floral cotton maxi dress

According to Grazia "Exaggerated, puff sleeves is a silhouette has dominated in recent years, and it is set to continue and become even more prominent in 2021”. Dresses with huge ballooned shoulders have featured in a number of collections including those from Loewe, Erdem and Altuzarra. We’ve incorporated this on-trend detail across our new collection, including updating some popular classics with this new look. I definitely think it introduces a greater femininity while helping to flatteringly conceal areas like upper arms and make waistlines appear slimmer. SHOP PUFF DRESSES FOR SPRING

5. Tank tops


Knitted vests have featured prominently across spring catwalks and collections shown here (by from top left to right) Louis Vuitton and Ganni. (Bottom) our new Ridley London vests are individually hand knitted in London to colour match every piece within the new collection.

The knitted vest is already having a celebrity fashion moment and judging from the catwalks, will be big for Spring 21 with variations spotted at Gucci, The Row & Louis Vuitton. Layer them up now with a statement blouse and pair with T-shirts when the weather warms up. Our Ridley knitted vests are individually hand knitted to order here in London in partnership with Virginia Wool. So they’re both sustainable and unique as well as available in all of this season’s key colours so they match seamlessly with the rest of our spring collection.

6. Patchwork skirts


'Patchwork' style garments have featured prominently across Spring catwalks and collections from major labels keen to demonstrate their sustainability credentials including skirts by (from top left to right) Dolce & Gabanna and Gucci. (Bottom) our new collection of Ridley London skirts and maxi skirts come in a variety of luxurious Liberty print silks and cottons including contrasting up-cycled patchwork versions

This season's catwalks and collections have seen the movement for sustainability promoted with greater vigour and energy, and nowhere has this been embodied more vividly than through the number of bold patchwork style creations made from a variety of seemingly clashing fabrics. While 'mash-up' dresses are clearly a big look for later in the summer, statement patchwork skirts are a great, versatile way to get on board with this trend early and demonstrate your commitment to sustainable style. Our new Ridley London collection of patchwork skirts, maxi skirts and statement dresses features a combination of sustainably sourced natural fabrics in this season's latest prints combined with contrasting sections and details made from up-cycled off-cuts from fabric stocks. The result is an entirely unique collection of statement pieces. And as the catwalks are showing they can be teamed easily with a variety of tops including simple t-shirt and Birkenstocks for warmer summer temperatures.



Our luxurious new collection is available to purchase on-line and will be available in our London store as soon as restrictions are eased. Celebrate your individuality with a unique piece that's made to measure from your choice of any of our stunning new printed floral silks or cottons. Either visit us in store or call us to arrange a virtual fitting: 

Ridley London, 82 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ T: 01730 823097

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