Fashion: Darren Kennedy - How to Wear art school prints
There was a real sense of breaking free from the controlled designs of past seasons as fashion embraced its artsy side for Spring/Summer 2014. Designers drew inspiration from street art and graffiti, creating a real sense of pure, unadulterated fun.
In what appears to be the antithesis of minimalism, the fashion world is paying homage to the art world with lavish designs featuring vivid colours and bold prints. Even at design house Céline, whom many would credit with ushering in the era of minimalism with its pared-back, understated aesthetic, creative director Phoebe Philo opened the SS/14 runway show with a selection of giant paint stroke designs in vibrant colour.
Penneys has already produced pieces with similar designs, but it was Prada who created the most interesting prints, having commissioned street artists and muralists to decorate the catwalk show space and then incorporating some of the images into the clothing. The result was pop-art fashion that Andy Warhol would no doubt be proud of. This trend may appear intimidating at first glance but the key to nailing the look is to let go. Be playful and don't be afraid to mix it up.
Reader Question: Outfit for friend's wedding
Q One of my closest friends is getting married at the end of May and for once I'm trying to be organised well in advance. I am a size 12-14 and looking for something that's keeping with the trends but still appropriate. I've a scar just above my left knee so I prefer skirts to fall slightly below knee-length.
Jen, 34, Kildare
Darren answers: Personally I think that there's a lot to be said about subtle styling for a wedding.
Obviously, you're best advised to steer clear of white but instead try wearing softer hues such as this year's colour palette of pastels. 2014's candy-coloured tones are cool and sophisticated with an icy feel to them. Think soft shades of pretty pink, lemon, lilac, mint and duck-egg blue on clean lines that feel grown-up and modern.
The 1) pale pink fitted dress with white collar and cuff trim by Lavish Alice hits all the right notes (€50.26, lavishalice.com). Plus, it's a mid-length style, so ideal for your tastes. When it comes to accessories, team with black and white for a cute retro look. Alternatively, toughen it up a little with this pair of perfectly perforated 2) Wexer heels with laser-cut geometric details on the straps by Vince Camuto (€125, Brown Thomas).
Another option you could pursue is the 3) pale pink draped dress by Carolyn Donnelly, The Edit at Dunnes Stores (€119). This beautifully-cut dress softly drapes over the figure whilst providing some arm coverage. Keep the look fresh and stylish with a metallic or white shoe such as the 4) 'Hunnie' ankle strap stiletto at Dune (€99).
However, if you fancy something completely different, then why not embrace colour in all its glory with the snazzy 5) coral and yellow print silk dress with navy belt at Fran & Jane (€179). The shape and print are both very figure-flattering and I adore the almost tribal influences of the pattern. To complete the look, accessorise elegantly and go for natural looking hair and make-up.