Friday 9 December 2016

Flower girl: Go floral and fruity this summer

Bairbre Power looks at pretty prints for a natural, romantic look

Published 14/05/2011 | 05:00

Vest, €60, shorts, €36,
both Warehouse; wrap
dress (worn open), €220,
Monsoon; necklace, €34,
Accessorize; shoes, €94,
River Island
Vest, €60, shorts, €36, both Warehouse; wrap dress (worn open), €220, Monsoon; necklace, €34, Accessorize; shoes, €94, River Island
Dress, €1,695, Stella McCartney, Brown Thomas; necklace, €33.50, boots, €114, both River Island
Dress, €895, Roberto Cavalli, Brown Thomas; necklaces, €34 each, Accessorize
Maxi, €1,555, D&G, Brown Thomas; necklace, €20, River Island
Top, €70, Topshop; dress, €99, print skirt, €99, both Monsoon; necklace, €30.50, Accessorize
Dress, €47, Rare at Topshop; necklace, €37, Accessorize
Floral jacket, €65; dress, €53, both Warehouse
Prom dress, €143, Debut at Debenhams;
Off-white vase dress, €45, Red Herring at Debenhams
Lemon roses dress, €57, Red Herring at Debenhams
Cold-shoulder shirt dress, €45.92, Asos.com
Panama hat, €6; floral, tassel scarf, €15; coin waistcoat, €13; 'Ibiza' skirt, €13, all Penneys
Floral-print dress, €195, Salon collection, Asos.com

You can go floral and fruity this summer without turning into a 1960s flower child or resembling an upholster's prized sofa. This year's fashionable blooms are botantically chic thanks to Stella McCartney, whose citrus-inspired prints were one of the high points of the floral parade this season.

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Dresses and tunics featuring statuesque tulips and gentle anemones are truly walking works of art and modern-day investment pieces worth seeking out.

Prada, Miu Miu, Anna Sui and Carolina Herrera featured the prettiest of florals in their 2011 catwalk collections, but it was the D&G boys who got it best, with a playful treatment of 1970s, peasant-girl vibe -- tops and skirts in contrasting floral prints, all topped off with a Russian-style handkerchief scarf.

My crush from the D&G florals collection was the flimsy, floaty, pretty-in-pink chiffon dress, one of the stars of our shoot in the wilds of Wicklow.

This is the kind of summer buy that defies you to stand still -- you just want to dance all night in it. .

Stella McCartney and Roberto Cavalli invaded the fragrant world of the ladies' flower-arranging clubs and introduced a raw, sexual element to their homage of the perennial borders.

Stella's cornflower-blue dress is full of surprises, from its floaty cape to the thigh-high slashes which are full of irony, given that the back of the dress is ever so sedate. The intensity of Cavalli's rambling florals is heightened by the dark background. I always associate floral prints like this with the iconic prints from Liberty of London. A trip to the historic Regent Street store was always one of the highlights of childhood holidays in London. From clothes to cufflinks, handbags to men's ties, photo frames to pin cushions, all were available in a bewildering assortment of floral fabrics ranging from paisley prints and blousy, showy tea rose to delicate carnations. I thoroughly recommend a visit to this historic store, whether you like flowers or not.

While larger floral prints work on petites, they are not recommended for larger frames. If you are nervous about looking too botanical (like Princess Anne unfortunately did at the recent royal wedding) look to floral accessories with block-colour clothing.

Office has the most amazing pair of 'Simple Minds', red floral, strappy wedge shoes which, I am reliably informed, are super comfy despite their height. Closer to terra firma, Red Herring at Debenhams has the cutest floral flats.

If you feel adventurous, layer up with floral prints and jewellery as we did in our shoot, shot by Emily Quinn in Glendalough.

Photography: Emily Quinn www.emilyquinn.com Styling: Karl Patrick Smith

karlpatrick85@yahoo.co.uk Make up/ Hair: Naomh Kirwan www.naomhkirwan.com

Model: Caroline @Morgan The Agency.

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