• and electric color, though, which is fine if you are used to hot climes this time of year, or have what is known as a Print Personality. Those Knowles sisters, for example: my, do they know how to work a non-solid. But what if you are the sort of person who would wear head-to-toe black to a luau, if caught in the wrong kind of mood? And has the pictures to prove it?


    Where to start. Maybe with Etro, the go-to label for an elaborate, winter-be-damned print. Then there is Kenzo, which has done itself proud this season with those palm-frond prints – one hand-drawn (as opposed to the ubiquitous digital); one graphically, flatteringly, in black and white.

    The palm frond; the giant unfurling fern (courtesy of Gucci); the sunset (courtesy of Prada – pass me a Malibu cocktail, will you?): these are some of the big motifs of the season. Even if the sun doesn't put its hat on once for the next six months wherever you are, it might be good to sport a bit

    of one or the other to acknowledge the trend. If not the fern, the palm frond or the sunset, then what about the blowsy parrot tulip, as showcased by that clever Jonathan Saunders in electric blue and ice-lolly lime? From Gucci, there are parasols, beach balls and even love hearts – Love Hearts! How current do they suddenly feel? – all in slouchy silhouettes, which can all be worn with neutral tops and bottoms so that you are not overloading the world with your devastating sartorial wit.

    Meanwhile, if you want to make a real statement via print, look no further than the boys at Peter Pilotto and their lush, elaborate take on Southeast Asian culture for Cruise. Showcasing prints inspired by Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, and those


    “CRUISE is all about print and COLOR, which is fine if you have a Print PERSONALITY”

    Temari toy balls made out of silk kimono material, some of the pieces are so intricate, so exquisite, that it seems a shame not to send them straight to the framers and hang them on your wall.

    Am I slightly frightening you? I hope not. You can't get away from statement prints this season, but they don't have to come in the form of a frilly, off-the-shoulder crop top (God, to have the body to pull off the genius palm-print version Kenzo did), or, indeed, the full ensemble. How about luxe trackpants in, say, Gucci's parasol print, with a neutral tee and barely there flats? Or a tulip-print pencil skirt from Jonathan Saunders with, if it's cold, black opaque tights and a black sweater, and if it's not, a nothing camisole and "schooly" lace-up slingbacks? As for that tropical-shop-of-horrors dress that Prada did in putty, showed with rolled-down burgundy socks and wrestling boots... I would almost give up my flat bed to Mumbai for that.

    And, if you knew me, that is saying quite a lot.

    How to wear

    TROPICAL PRINTS

    mix QUIRKY patterns and splashes of color with simple shapes

    BE BOLD

    Pair this parasol-print
    top with neutral shorts.

    BEST DRESSED

    A great cut and
    striking print make
    this a daytime must.

    LET IT SLIDE

    The flat to finish off the look.

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