Spring! Summer! No other two words in the fashion language conjure up such exciting images of pretty prints, mouth-watering colours and bikinis hot enough to set any beach scene sizzling. And yes, even though the good old British weather might not be holding up its end of the bargain just yet (as I write, there’s a full-on storm going on outside), that’s no reason not to be getting your S/S12 wardrobes into gear. So, here it is, my pick of the hottest trends this season!



Surf’s up! From Versace’s pastel seashell designs to Richard Nicoll’s wash of cool blue shades to Choolips’ ethical ‘A Life Aquatic’ collection, under-the-sea style is making a splash this spring/summer. Channel your inner mermaid with seafloor-inspired prints, a seashell clutch (if you can afford Chanel) and surf-ready locks (sea salt spray is great for this). If you’re already looking ahead to the beach (lucky!), Selfridges are currently stocking swimwear and beachwear by cooler-than-cool label We Are Handsome – check out the ‘Diver’ minidress.

Richard Nicoll

Style References: Seashells, underwater scenes, surf culture, the beach, dolphins, starfish


Meadham Kirchhoff


Moving away from the dark colours and rigid textures of A/W, this trend is all about bringing out your inner (stylish) little girl – soft, sweet and ultra feminine. Meadham Kirchhoff brought a candy-bright collection of heart prints, fluffy mules and crayon-coloured makeup to the LFW runway, while Louis Vuitton dazzled in Paris, with models riding a life-size carousel in confections of sorbet and pure white lace that looked good enough to eat. Whether you decide to go all-out dolly or stick to the basics with neutral accessories, just remember to keep it cute – as a rule, you can’t go wrong with ruffles, lace or ribbons. And good news for those a bit strapped for cash – you can buy Meadham Kirchhoff nail wraps (inspired by the S/S12 collection) at Topshop for a very sweet £7!

Louis Vuitton

Style References: Fairgrounds, prom dresses, ballet, glitter, ice cream parlours


Burberry Prorsum


A fun alternative to florals, the tribal trend borrows from a huge mix of textures, colours and prints from around the world to bring some colourful exoticism to your everyday wardrobe. Whether it’s asymmetric Aztec prints, bold coloured Maxi dresses or
warrior-style jewellery, it’s easy to go native – and as this trend is all over the high street, it’s a look your bank balance will thank you for (probably)! Check out shops like New Look, River Island and ASOS for more.


Style References: Natural textures (wood, cotton, leather), Mexican art, the savannah, African prints




What with bands like the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays making comeback tours, the prequel to Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting hitting the shelves and the release of the American [Pie] Reunion at cinemas, it’s clear that 2012 is seeing a big ’90s revival – and of course, the fashion world is getting in on the act too! The ’90s grunge look is back in a big way in street style right now, so dig out your Doc Martens, throw on a checked shirt and find the perfect pair of stonewashed shorts (Diesel and ASOS have a great selections) to set it all off. With accessories, aim for studs, worn leather and stacked vintage jewellery.


Style References: Nirvana records, The Face magazine, ripped denim, music festivals, band T-shirts


Basso and Brooke


If the April showers are getting you down, and your pool-side holiday seems further away than ever before, what better way to get into the summer spirit than by embracing this season’s tropical trend? Get into the spirit of things with carnival-bright colours and exotic floral prints (and a fruity cocktail or two wouldn’t go amiss either), as we saw with Basso and Brooke’s S/S12 eye-catching assortment of foliage-based digital designs. I also loved the Hawaiian-inspired collection by up-and-coming designer Maarten Van Der Horst – and you can get a piece of the action with his brand new seven-piece collection for Topshop!

Maarten Van Der Horst for Topshop

Style References: The jungle, exotic birds, the Rio carnival, tigers, palm trees, Hawaiian luaus


About Charlotte McManus

Editor for and Freelance writer - The Creator's Project, SUPERSUPER!, Don't Panic, FAULT, Flux, Who's Jack & more.

Posted on 25/04/2012, in Fashion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I think my favourite part is how all of these trends contrast each other. Girly vs. Grunge, Lace vs. Bold Patterns, Pastel Underwater Hues vs. the blues and oranges of Tribal. So cool!

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