Though the joys of spring are still a long way away, the fever is already in the air. Chunky knits lie unwanted in the bargain bins of the High Street; despite the continuing cold, overcoats are steadily being replaced with raincoats; gentlemen brave the mid-January streets without scarves or hats: now that 2008 has started it seems half of us can’t wait until the first quarter of it is bally well over. And there is an awful lot to look forward to. In November and December, the barren trees in St James and The Green Parks merely offered ghostly reminders of that forgotten summer; a summer that seemed to be from another lifetime, but with the ringing in of the New Year, and the squeaking of a fresh calendar, once more we look to the ‘universal favourite’ of seasons.
The shiny new collections are now flowing into shops, feeding our spring appetites and it’s a refreshing change from the overcoats and scarves that have been bulging from the shelves since October. It’s always rather nice to have something to look forward to so here are my four favourite outfits from the spring 2008 collections.
The subtle elegance of this outfit is what draws me to it. While there are certainly more fantastical creations around for the coming season, there is a healthy, appealing crispness to this combination. Firstly, the trousers, cut at a perfect length, are of a lovely Bordeaux vintage red. Bright red trousers will be everywhere this spring, doubtless worn with navy blazers, and while such a look is of perennial appeal, this calmer and more patrician tone offers individuality. The patent loafers, looking rather Stemar, are one of the most versatile designs available; suits, chinos and denim are all suitable. The icing-on-the-cake of this ensemble is what covers the torso; the subtle Seychelles-sand roll neck and the off-white two-button jacket look simple enough at first glance, but it’s the lovely contrast of texture: while the jumper is a soft item, rippling like brandy cream, the jacket is clearly of a stiff but fine cotton with a good shape. The proverbial cherry is the cherry coloured pocket square, breaking the monotony of the white jacket.
Unconventional colours are a rather large hit with designers this season. This is a perfect example; the jacket material has an interesting 1970s-motel-room-lampshade quality, which is lifted by the detail around the lapels, and the complementary Dijon mustard striped shirt sets a smart background for the playful bow-tie and corsage. The lower half is sober enough; café latte straight leg tailored trousers, but the really delightful touch is the dual toned egg yolk and chocolate shoes.
This particular outfit is rather traditional in silhouette and delivery but it manages to avoid the staidness normally associated with these aristocratic concoctions. The beautifully cut lime coloured trousers are a strong feature and serve to freshen the traditionalistic blazer, shirt and cravat. The blazer itself works a returning trend; double-breasted clothing and the cravat is more Missoni than Turnbull & Asser which helps to modernise the ensemble.
One of the things I admire about the erratic DSquared is the ability to team casual pieces with more formal and luxe items. These black trousers, with their stiff, matt sheen are normally seen with sharp two button jackets, but the Italian designers have matched them with a casual short sleeved zipped polo shirt with black detailing. Underneath, a white shirt with a black tie keeps the overall look a sharp one.