Darren Kennedy fashion file: How to wear... Violet
This season's coolest colour, the prettiest of purples, has proved the reigning shade of summer pastels for 2015. 'Radiant Orchid' (known as purple to you and I), was named tone of the year 2014 by global colour authority Pantone, and it has clearly remained front of mind for many designers, with shades of lilac, lavender and violet saturating many of the spring/summer 2015 catwalks, appearing in varying degrees at Dsquared2, Mary Katrantzou, Cavalli, Hunter Original, Balenciaga and Missoni.
This is not a trend that relies on key pieces - everything from anoraks to trouser suits, cocktail dresses, dramatic full-length gowns and ankle boots were given the violet treatment. With a hint of icy elegance, violet gives the most masculine oversized pieces a feminine touch. If you want to work it like a fashion pro, take your lead from Burberry and layer up varying tones and textures of violet for a head-to-toe ensemble with maximum impact. The beauty of this shade is that it works with practically any skin tone.
I have a white shift dress with a lace detail around the waist that I wore to my son's christening and that I was hoping to wear again to a friend's birthday next weekend. For the christening I wore it with black accessories, but for the party I'd like to mix it up and make it look different. Would love your suggestions?
Abbie, 31, Clare
Darren replies: White-hot fashion epitomises summertime dressing. A white dress offers the same simple elegance and versatility of its rival the little black dress, or LBD, while being the perfect winter wardrobe antidote.
An abundance of white-on-white ensembles graced the catwalks of Michael Kors, Alexander Wang, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Victoria Beckham amongst others, for spring/summer 2015. This is a look that's unabashedly feminine and easy to achieve. For instance, team your white dress with a white blazer, such as the straight cut (1) jacket with shirt-style collar (reduced to €39.99, Zara) and a pair of white pointed-toe heels for a tailored, minimalist look.
As is the case with an LBD, a white dress can be worn with any other colour giving you plenty of outfit options. If you want to keep it simple but still have fun, try the (2) lattice-effect ankle strap sandals by Carvela (€160, Brown Thomas), or push the boat out with (3) Valentino's rainbow rockstud heels (€730, Brown Thomas).
At New Look, you'll find a more pocket-friendly alternative in the (4) floral print ankle strap wedge (€29.99, New Look). Mix up the colour with a (5) shoulder strap clutch in polka dot (€11, Penney's) or play up the neckline with this (6) necklace of grosgrain with chunky plastic beads (€19.99, H&M) that ties at the neck.
There's nothing to say you can't layer over, or indeed under, the dress. For instance, style your dress as a skirt by wearing it layered under a Breton stripe top for a chic outfit of separates.
Stainless steel pyramid strap watch, reduced from €145 to €79.95, Massimo Dutti