by Camilla Ridley
With spring just around the corner and a plethora of catwalk trends... here’s our concise guide to the key styles and wearable looks that are going to make you look and feel truly fabulous season.
Key pieces for this season include the high necked floral maxi dresses in a new prairie style shown here by Alexander McQueen. Crafted fabrics including macrame and lace and perfect holiday maxi dresses featuring a clash of floral prints shown here by Etro
“Suddenly it's February. And if you’re anything like me, you’re well and truly over winter and are already willing on warmer temperatures, lighter evenings and the arrival of Spring. But with the thermometer seemingly stuck around zero, talk of another visit from the Beast from the East and god lets not mention Brexit, we could all do with a shot of optimism and colour right now. So ask yourself, is there anything better to finally see off those January blues than the arrival of the spring summer collections? And if you’re craving colour…boy do we have a treat for you. So without further ado, I have pleasure in handing you over to the newest member of the Ridley London team Millie, with her take on this spring/summer's key trends and introduction to our latest collection. Take it away Millie!
(Oh and just in case you were wondering… not absolutely everyone here at Ridley is called Millie... But it does seem to help!)
Through tracking the global fashion weeks, fashion and social media, leading trend reports, search engine analytics and much internal debate, we’ve distilled this season’s plethora of insights and ideas down into five key wearable trends we believe will be most relevant to Ridley customers and will ensure you step into spring looking and feeling your very best. Camilla and her creative team have been hard at work over the winter developing a versatile new capsule collection to launch spring 2019, which I’m really looking forward to showing you. Above all, we’re especially excited as this season appears to be ushering a long overdue shift of emphasis in the role fashion plays.
Inspired by the #metoo movement, the industry and this seasons collections overwhelmingly appear to be focusing on driving concepts around re-claiming your independence and individuality as a woman and a celebration of diversity and femininity. Or as Elizabeth von der Goltz, the Net a Porter senior buyer aptly summarised,
“One of the biggest trends we saw during the shows was the overarching theme of the real woman; a welcome return to femininity… wanting to dress for yourself by feeling confident and comfortable”.
This is embodied in a huge return to elegance, glamour and tailoring or as Rebecca Lowthorpe, Fashion Director at Grazia recently described it:
"clothes that can’t be knocked up in a nanosecond on a factory production line and slapped with a designer label. After years of designer sportswear heading down the catwalks, designers have clawed back the stuff that sets them apart; clothes that look and feel special with design as a core value.”
This in turn seamlessly marries with today’s biggest sweeping global movement: sustainability, which is already starting to see shoppers move away from disposable fast fashion towards a more discerning, conscious level of consumption driven by investment pieces, smart styling and up to the moment accessorising.
As a Ridley customer or subscriber, you will no doubt already be on first name terms with this ethos, as it's been our mantra right from the start. And it’s the reason why we like to spend time getting to know each customer and why we individually make every garment to order and like to tailor fit. It’s the only way to ensure you will go out looking and feeling your most comfortable, confident and very best. So while SS19 catwalks have seen the rise of ready-couture (ready to wear shows that resemble couture) in all their uber-glamorous, exquisitely detailed, beautifully crafted glory...It will be interesting to see if the industry really lives up to this vision going forwards and fully embraces the benefits of intelligent personalisation, quality and longevity. But for now here’s our concise take on the diverse plethora of trends you should be aware of this season.
“Go Kaleidoscopic, the more daring the better. Everyone needs an optimistic print in their wardrobe” -Grazia Luxury Designer Dresses From Top left: Chloe, Ellie Saab, From Bottom Left: Versace, Meghan Markle and Etro SS19
According to Vogue, this season’s trend for bright and bold colours is all about energising your wardrobe in politically and socially challenging times. The sheer range of colour and print shown on the catwalks from pastels to neons offers endless opportunity for individuality and puts an end to the ubiquitous question “does this go?”. In 2019, conflict is key... and not just off the catwalk. This trend has already received the royal (and pregnant) stamp of approval with Meghan Markle’s recent bold appearance in red and purple. This technicolour freedom of expression is most epitomised by the clashing prints favoured by Gucci, Erdem and Etro’s latest collections and has featured in high street collections by labels including Sandro and Karen Millen.
If you’re feeling slightly daunted by a deep dive into bold colour and clashing print don’t be. There are various layers of subtlety and refinement one can buy into this trend and the team at Ridley are here help you understand which of this season’s key colours are going to help you look and feel truly fabulous. The really great news about this style is the ease it lends to throwing together an outfit and the new Ridley London collection features a number of kaleidoscopic pieces which have been designed with maximum versatility in mind.
(Left) Our new Ridley London patch work silk floral Melody maxi skirt showcases a mix of Liberty prints that, however they may compete in colour and design, blend to create an incredibly flattering kaleidoscopic effect. (Right) Our new statement silk Martha midi dress features a mix of clashing prints.
Take for example our new patchwork silk maxi skirts in a universally flattering maxi length which can be easily paired with a neutral roll-neck jumper or t-shirt when temperatures rise and a pair of trainers for an easy stylish everyday look. Simply swap the trainers for ankle boots for some height and one of our new pussy bow silk blouses (in a range of this season’s hottest colours including coral ) and the outfit immediately shifts to a chic evening look. The clashing print motif has been carried across a number of pieces- including our new Martha silk midi dress with its on trend midi length, slimming cinched waist and flattering A line skirt, which help to create an elongated hour glass silhouette. Above all the mixed print panels along the front of the skirt have been deliberately placed to help to draw the eye in away from the hips and curves resulting in an instantly slimming look.
2. Crafted femininity
The billowing sleeves, high necklines and lace detail create a feminine modern look. Above: Erdem, Bottom left: Erdem and YSL.
Inspired by a reaction to the unstoppable rise of tech and the ubiquity of sportswear; SS-2019 has seen the emergence of collections featuring a strong homespun or highly crafted feel. Giving designers and wearers alike a clear way to stand out from homogenised mass produced offerings. For Vogue “designers’ preoccupation with crochet, macrame and supersize fishnet makes for an exquisite game of reveal and conceal”, which has featured strongly in collections by Loewe, Dior and Victoria Beckham.
The addition of antique lace along with a high neckline hark back to a time of elegant constructed femininity. Our Ridley London statement Paloma silk maxi dress (right) features a flattering cinched waist, A line skirt and lace detailing and can be tailored to fit in a wide selection of printed floral silk chiffon. Our new Ridley London Carmen floral silk maxi skirt (right) also comes in a range of silk chiffon and features lace detailing. It is worn here with our new Cecelia silk and lace blouse featuring translucent sections of lace and on trend velvet ribbon tie details.
This nostalgic celebration of craft has also seen the emergence of iconic pieces inspired by more overtly feminine times including the emergence of modern prairie dress which is set to make a huge impact this summer. The traditional high neck line, long flowing sleeves and maxi length give the prairie an air of elegance and modesty. According to Emily Gordon Smith, the Director of Consumer Products at Stylus, the dress evokes ‘broader connotations about what it is to be feminine and in control’. Put simply, wearing a prairie helps you to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin.
Prairie promise: Holly Willoughby (left) and Kat Farmer from @doesmybumlook40 (right) already proving that prairie style floral maxi dresses are the must have statement dress for this season.
At Ridley we realise a Macrame bodice is probably not for everyone but intelligently adopting Vogue’s mantra of cleverly revealing and concealing delivers incredibly flattering, transformative results. For example, the clever use of exquisite trimmings and details can introduce a touch of on trend femininity to a piece while deliberately helping to guide they eye towards our best features.
Take the new Ridley London Paloma statement silk maxi dress for instance, a real show stopper for all summer events. Inspired by the prairie trend, we’ve created a universally flattering silhouette and added a twist of modern glamour with the use of cooling diaphanous silk chiffon and uncompromisingly feminine prints. While the long A line maxi length skirt and cinched waist elongate and slim, the high collar and bracelet length sleeves help to accentuate the wearers face and slimmest part of the arm creating an overall impression of lithe demureness with a hint of nonchalance. While darker shades are universally acknowledged for their slimming properties, the Paloma silk chiffon maxi dress will be available in a generous spectrum of this seasons must have shades and prints enabling greater individuality and personalisation for each wearer. To match this we’ve also created a complimentary collection of chiffon blouses and maxi skirts in a range of demure prints and colours.
3. Your great escape
Chanel's SS19 Paris show (top) exuded a fabulous holiday vibe with models dressed in a spectrum of summer brights sauntering down an incredible seaside set. Meanwhile Chloé's SS19 collection (left) featured bold colours and loose laid-back cuts. Dolce & Gabbana's collection (centre) featured super bright floral prints with ruffle details while Oscar de la Renta's collection featured Sarongs.
Again, this trend boldly brings fashion's current pre-occupation with introducing a much needed slice of optimism and escapism to life in a multicolour celebration of sunshine and hip topicality. Undoubtedly geared towards playing it cool in high sun and best served with a mojito, the look is the direct evolution of boho luxe with a dress code built around whirling prints, swirling colours, lightweight floaty outfits and cunning layering that could be rocked from the beach to the bar and onto the after party…hopefully on board a yacht moored somewhere stunning. Key pieces spotted across multiple leading catwalks included the re-emergence of the sarong (David Beckham need not apply!), tiered maxi skirts and anything that exposes a bit of sun kissed skin or features mardi-gras ruffles. This philosophy was most successfully embodied by Channel’s recent Paris show which featured models sauntering nonchalantly down a beach themed runway, heels in hand.
For us, nothing epitomises the holiday vibe like a vibrant, well cut sarong with it’s easy fully adjustable wrap around style and space saving brilliance. We’ll be introducing some new fully customisable silk sarongs as we head into summer but for now we’d like to draw your attention to two more versatile pieces that will see you right through the season in style.
Embrace the summer spirit with our perfect holiday maxi dresses from left to right our best selling Ridley London Alyssia silk maxi dress in one of our new super bright escapist silks. And our statement Margot Manto silk maxi dress features an effortless off the shoulder style, ruffled details and a gorgeous new selection of floral prints.
Our Manto Margot silk maxi is the perfect statement holiday dress. Bang on trend for this summer's escape with its effortlessly off-the-shoulder style, ruffled details and flattering maxi length and A line cut. But don’t be fooled if you think this dress is a one night affair, it’s actually incredibly versatile and is easy to style with flats for casual daywear or with strappy heals or classic wedges for that touch of glamour. Our holiday silk maxi dress is available in a range vibrant summery printed silks and tropical hues including this season’s must have corals, turquoise, pinks and sage as well as sunshine yellow.
Our best-selling Alyssia silk maxi dress has been updated for this summer and really is the perfect dress for spring into summer. It’s understated cut and long maxi length is incredibly flattering and versatile and the fine crepe de chine silk is incredibly cool in the heat. The Alyssia silk maxi dress can be styled in a variety of ways for different occasions with trainers or strappy sandals for a more casual look or heals and even a jacket for smarter events. Kat farmer @doesmybumlook40 likes to wear hers with a blazer and trainers for a laid-back summer lunch look.
4. Animal elegance
New refined Leopard print looks making its way down the Burberry and Tom Ford catwalks and the red carpet with A-lister Anne Hathaway, proving that animal is still bang on trend this spring.
And just when you thought the trend for all things animal had finally disappeared…Leopard print, in particular, has been widely spotted on this season’s catwalks. And this time it’s with an added air of grace and refinement. Collections by designers including Tom Ford and Burberry have featured the ubiquitous print in an elegant new guise matched with timeless blacks or paired back neutrals in this season’s must have beige tone; highlighting how it’s the perfect print for spring into summer. And animal print still seems to be cutting it amongst the glitterati with A list influencers including Anne Hathaway spotted at the recent Golden Globes adorned in leopard. As this trend carries on from last season, it is evident that animal print is gaining a timelessness, meaning there has never been a better time to invest in some great jungle print pieces.
This season’s Ridley London animal print offerings are in luxurious silk chiffon introducing an understated dimension of diaphanous refinement to the look for this season. And for those who love leopard…the print is available across a plethora of our maxi skirts, maxi dresses and blouses. And if you’re looking for a fresh take on this style, why not try one of our new Grania maxi dresses which mixes leopard print in a range of shades including natural, red and azure blue silk chiffon with ruffles and lace detailing for a wildly refined feminine look.
Our elegant new leopard print offerings for spring 2019 include our new Grania silk maxi dress and Carmen silk maxi skirt which are available in a spectrum of vibrant leopard print shades.
Bows have featured prominently in spring collections by key designers including (from left to right) Erdem, Rodarte and Gucci
Girlie femininity is once again brought to the fore with the emergence of bows as a key detailing and styling feature across many of this season’s collections with gravity defying oversized variants featuring prominently at Erdem, Celine, Gucci Noten shows. Like ruffles, the emergence of applied detailing including bows is a really positive styling step as they can be usefully employed to draw the eye and flatteringly accentuate our best features. As celebrity stylist Claire McNestry explains: “If for example you’re a pear shape, your top half is smaller than your hips the main aim here is to balance out your curvy bottom half by adding volume from the waist upwards. Think bold, bright tops with statement sleeves, features and frills.” The prominent bow detailing on our elegant new satin pussy bow silk blouses would work perfectly here and can be tailored to fit in all this season’s on trend shades. Likewise, our new prairie style silk chiffon blouses offer a subtler take on bow detailing with an added element of reveal. Both these styles are incredibly versatile and can be dressed
down with jeans and trainers, add balance to a bold printed floral silk maxi skirt, or worn with trousers and heels for the office or smarter occasions.
Our new Ridley London collection of satin silk blouses picks up on the bow trend with oversized pussy bow details shown here in pale pink and coral with two variations of our floral silk chiffon maxi skirts.
Whilst our new spring/summer collection will keep you on trend with the hottest looks of the season, real wearability comes from understanding how best to apply these styles to flatter our individual physiques and colouring; and from skilful tailoring that can really transform the way we look and feel.
Our experienced team of Ridley stylists is here to help you discover the looks, prints, colours and styles that are really going to enhance your individuality. And to fit you for a unique, versatile garment so you step out looking and feeling your very best - whatever the occasion. So why not pop along to our store in Barnes or call our styling team directly with any questions you may have. We would be delighted to help.