Sustainable spring


by Camilla Ridley

Our edit of this springs most wearable catwalk styles, with a sharp eye on environmental impact.


This week's launch of the Ridley London spring collection at Goodnestone Park House was enjoyed by a host of influencers pictured here in our luxurious new printed floral silk maxi and midi dresses. Every Ridley London silk dress and skirt is individually made to order in London and is available in any one of our beautiful printed silks.

I don’t know about you, but the endless stream of grey days and the recent spate of 70 mph winds and flooding (as captured in my Instagram storieshas had me desperately longing for Spring. More importantly, it’s really brought the issues of climate change home, highlighting a real concern for the future and our role as stewards of our planet. As a family, we watched the apocalyptic scenes from Australia in horror.  And there’s been much dinner table debate about our own collective personal responsibility. From how and where we travel to the everyday consumer and dietary choices we make. And of course, it’s really made me think about this business and the impact of fashion at large.

I’m pretty sure we can now all agree that the trend of disposable fast fashion is severely damaging our planet. According to The UN, fashion is now the world's second-biggest polluting industry.  And whether it’s through chemicals and microplastics within man-made fibers entering the water cycle and food chains, or the carbon impact from endless shipping and waste disposal, Not to mention the exploitation of vulnerable women in the developing world... it's clear that real change is necessary. But this shouldn’t mean chucking the stylistic baby out with the ecological bathwater.

As the ever-insightful Virginia Chadwyk-Healy in The Telegraph so neatly summarises in “How to justify buying a £449 dress" - if we all simply start to shop smarter and discerningly invest in a few beautiful, versatile pieces that we want to wear time and again each season, the positive impact would be profound. So it’s interesting to see that some of the big fashion houses appear to be starting to think along these lines with many of the catwalks this season featuring more crafted aesthetics and stylistic interpretations on timeless themes of femininity. Something that’s been part of our DNA at Ridley London right from the very start. Along with the use of only the highest quality natural fabrics, skilled tailoring and a locally made to order production model which radically reduces carbon impact. So without further ado, here are our top five wearable trends for Spring 2020. Just make sure you shop them wisely!ridleylondon-camilla-ridley-signature

1. Sheer Layering


 (top left) Influencers @theturquoiseflamingo and @shedreamsofgucci enjoying the launch celebrations at Goodnestone Park House in their beautiful new printed floral silk Isabella maxi dress and Mathilda skirt. Meanwhile, Becky @bricksandstitches looks stunning in the new Ridley London Josephine maxi dress. All of these dresses reflect this season's trend for sheer layering which featured heavily on the catwalks of (bottom from left to right) Issey Miyake, Simone Rocha and Loewe

A modern twist on The Age of Enlightenment, this trend focuses on sheer or soft prints layered to a fuller and softer effect. The catwalk witnessed a diaphanous display from Etro, Gucci, Simone Rocca and Lowe in delicate fabrics imparting a romantic aesthetic in wearable silhouettes. This trend is utilitarian transitioning from day to evening. Our silk chiffon Mathilda maxi dress echoes the trend with tiered layers in the skirt, sleeve and collar. Wear it with strappy sandals or trainers for day or with heels for the evening. Achieve the look with the versatility of separates pairing our sheer chiffon Rebecca Blouse with the multi-tiered Mathilda maxi skirt. The result is a feminine ethereal take on the trend that stands the test of time. 

2. Bigger, Bolder Florals


Kat Farmer @doesmybumlook40 (top left) embraces this season's trend for bold florals in her made to measure printed floral silk maxi dress. Meanwhile, Fran Bacon @thefashion_lift finds her floral in a bespoke Heidi Mathilda silk midi dress. The bold florals trend has proved popular on the catwalks and red carpets alike including (from bottom left)  Marc Jacobs, Cate Blanchet at this weeks Berlinale film festival and Erdem

This trend is a variation on traditional spring florals amped to the next level. This season it’s all about bold floral in hues once thought incongruous with their background. This is a statement about breaking the rules to achieve a sophisticated look. As Justine Carreon of Elle described the trend: “Groundbreaking…more top designers suggest graphic prints that could double as the wallpaper of a time capsuled living room, except it looks thoroughly refreshing as a contemporary sundress.”

 Dramatic oversized florals were the mainstay on the catwalk in the three cities with collections by designers including Marc Jacobs, Badgley Mischka, Erdem and Christopher John Rogers featuring printed silk maxi dresses in bold floral hues. Get the look with our Arabella printed floral silk midi dress  perfect for spring/summer occasions such as The Chelsea Flower Show (see our Chelsea Flower Show Blog) or throw on a pair of trainers, aviator sunglasses and an oversized shoulder bag for a casual lunch. Our printed floral silk Vinia wrap midi dress is a more conservative silhouette covering the trend with a melange of oversized ferns dotted with gold flora. Accessorise with manageable heals and hat for Ladies Day at Ascot. The classic style makes this dress a slightly safer take on this season's bold trend and a great investment piece, knowing the timelessly flattering style and classic print will never date.

3. 70's Re-run


Hostess with the mostest Deborah James @bowelbabe opts for a touch of retro glamour in her bespoke Ridley London metallic lilac silk Celeste maxi dress (top left). While celebrity stylist Gayle Rinkoff @gaylerinkoff makes an entrance in her made to measure printed floral silk Mathilda maxi dress. The chic 70's trend has been championed on catwalks with bold floral prints, layering and pussy bow details by brands including Celine (left) and Michael Kors (right). While the decade of decadence is perfectly captured in the new Ridley London printed floral silk Octavia maxi dress.

A stylistic antidote to gloomy skies, this season’s tribute to the decade of decadence features unselfconscious hues in retro silhouettes. A return to colour blocking, paisley, pussy bows and layered ruffles hark back to iconic looks from Halston and Ossie Clark. Think Granny Takes a Trip and studio 54. Ridley London's Octavia maxi dress in a bold silk chiffon print, inspired by the heady days of the ’70s, elongates the body with a cinched waist and flounce skirt. Wear it to the office with flats or a music festival (see our guide to mastering festival fashion) with wedge heels. The timeless silhouette shifts this look from novelty to heirloom. You'll always be of the moment in this dress.

4. Get Shirty


Versatile shirt dresses are again featuring highly in this season's designer collections as an easy day into evening look. (Top) Ridley London's ever-popular printed floral silk Araminta shirt dress is available in both maxi and midi lengths and has been updated in this season's key prints. (Botom left) Microdots in a belted silk midi dress from Altuzzara, while Spain's Queen Letizia embodies effortless elegance in a silk shirt dress by Hugo Boss. Finally a modern twist on a silk shirt dress in peach by Valentino (bottom right).

From Carolina Herrera and Valentino to Kate Spade and Roland Mouret, the classic shirt dress was omnipresent on the catwalk. Natasha Harding of Cosmopolitan dubbed it one of the ‘it pieces”, “a summer wardrobe staple for a reason: it’s versatile AF!” 

In striped, floral wrapped and belted or simply buttoned shirting is a variation on a theme – that of tailored, wearable elegance. This is a 24-hour dress. Nail the trend in a maxi dress with our Araminta maxi. The contrast of the tailoring above the waist to a pleated, tiered skirt gives it contemporary elegance. Accessorise with aviators and mules. Sling on a crochet bag and you’re ready for lunch, museum, garden party or wine bar. It’s practical and perfect for the season and the best news is this classic design is here to stay.

5. White Noise


Pure influence: Sammy Duder @theturquoiseflamingo embraces this season's ethereal trend for white in her printed floral silk Josephine maxi dress. (bottom left) Lace Maxi dress from Zimmerman, (bottom centre) Silk Maxi dress with short sleeves from Altuzarra, (bottom right) Alexander McQueen's Maxi dress with an asymmetrical hemline.

An ethereal aesthetic through precision tailoring, this trend highlights the purity of white in a multitude of finishes. The catwalk saw a plethora of takes on the trend from macrame, lace and cut-out details, delicate florals, layering and asymmetrical hemlines. Not only is white is the one colour every woman can wear, but we all also have an annual natural inclination to gravitate to it's energizing properties as the season changes to Spring and Summer. Our latest Ridley London collection for spring 2020 features a range of new printed floral silks in white and ofcourse we can make up any of our maxi dress and midi dress styles in any of these prints.

6. Tropical Nights


Two on-trend tropical dresses from Ridley London from (top left) the new Rania midi dress features layering and a classic off the shoulder style which can be made to order in any of our printed floral silks. The new Celeste silk maxi dress is bang on trend, especially shown here in the tropical Fornasetti print. We literally had difficulty discerning the original dress and the wearer in 2000 from the one in 2020 - Jennifer Lopez in Versace. (bottom right) Dolce and Gabbana's jungle print silk maxi dress, (bottom centre) and actress Laura Dern in a Valentino tropical printed silk maxi dress on the step and repeat at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Who could forget JLo’s iconic green tropical silk maxi dress from Versace at the 2000 Grammy Awards? Not only is she back (and with said maxi dress on the catwalk), the return has inspired this season’s trend of bold, glorious, tropical prints. The catwalk was replete with lustrous tropical prints in chiffon from Dolce and Gabbana, Valentino, Versace and Missoni. With her seal of approval, Oscar-winning actress Laura Dern wore a pleated tropical silk maxi dress at the Film Independent Spirit Awards earlier this month. Get the look with our Celeste silk maxi dress, a celebration of exotic flora. The fitted bodice emphasizes the waist for a slim elongated line. For your upcoming holiday in Ibiza, this is your go-to dress. And the beauty is, it's an absolute classic so you'll feel no compunction pulling this dress out for next year's holiday too!


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