look at what pier paolo picciolo and maria grazia chuiri did at valentino this season. there was a beautiful folklore twist, but what predominantly wafted down the runway was velvet flowers, wafer-thin leather and lace upon lace. the clothes were so delicate, so feminine, so pretty - and yet not too saccharine. emma hill at mulberry brought a tour de force of everything dainty; buttery leather, sobert shades and lace, broderie and embellishment. all the things you crave and love, a whole pick 'n' mix of trends; but until now, it was just wasn't quite the look du jour. this isn't necessarily something that's just emerged; i clocked this in AW11 when marc jacobs for louis vuitton reintroduced "the woman" with his 60s inspired silhouettes, biting back at the androgynous movement that had dominated the scene for seasons.
hands down, my favourite had to be louis vuitton. they illustrate my point perfectly; the leather dominatrix boots they made last season were a sell-out success. but jacobs and the rest of team did a complete u-turn for SS12 by creating one of the most gorgeous, soft and consistently feminine collections of the season. candy colours, oversized lattice colours, big buttons and a hint of the classic new look dior "bar suit" made for an absolute feast for the eyes. sure, there were items that were a little edgier, like biker jackets, but the icy pastel shades they were fashioned in landed the whole collection back in a more sugary tone. if you've always turned your nose up at more feminine trends, or still think it's a little basic, i urge you, try something different this season. a big ol' embellished colour for newbies. or for seasoned saccharine pros like me, mix up some sorbet shades and get down with the lace. seriously, the sun's coming out now - you've got no excuse!