The classic summer palette of sharp and sheer whites returns year after year because it’s clean, fresh, optimistic and the antithesis to our all black winter uniform. Yesterday my thoughts turned to the highs, lows, pleats, cuts and layers of white fashion because of my current obsession with Celine’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection and Wimbledon starts on Monday, that time of year when we scrutinise the on-and-off courtside catwalk of both the players and watching celebrities, (would you call that a ‘skort?’ Where are her knickers?) Last year’s fashion highlight was the Duchess of Cambridge looking both chic and elegantly sporty in Alice Temperley pleats (there was then an international stampede to Temperley because every style savvy Royalist wanted that Moriah dress.)
Royalty and Wimbledon aside, white is part of this summer’s powerful ‘mixed whites’ palette and even if your immediate reaction is ‘what if I look like Liz Hurley pre-Warne?’ you/we have to get a hold on this. See wearing white as a refreshing palette cleanser after the amuse bouche of this seasons floral prints, neons and pastels.
When wearing white jeans make sure they are a super skinny fit, if you can get them on without having to lie down and thrust into them, they’re too big, (true story.) I like the stark contrast of bright white with a colour pop, I am wearing a lot of brilliant red and orange at the moment but also love the mix of white with neon and pastel shades or mix in some strong floral prints. In other denim news, never wear a white denim jacket. Case closed.
White Tux Styling
Now, I love white tailoring because it looks fantastic and makes me feel sexy, powerful and slick – look to Bianca Jagger circa Studio 54 for style inspiration. Despite being constantly reinvented, the tux/’le smoking’ is always elegantly constructed with long sharp lapels and clean lines, making a sharp silhouette of everything you wear it with. For a striking all-white look, as seen on the Helmut Lang S/S catwalk, team a tux with a crisp white shirt and narrow tailored trousers and fierce footwear in a neon or metallic finish. I especially love tuxedo styling because it is such a sexy and androgynous alternative to a dress for a party, so do as Bianca would.
I LOVE: The Kooples do really fantastic tailoring – this tux is sharp
White Short Suit
Ever since Kate Moss wore a short suit to the wedding of her friends Bobby Gillespie and Katy England back in 2006 I have coveted the partnership. What makes a jacket and tailored shorts ‘suit’ such a savvy wardrobe investment is that both parties will work very hard for your wardrobe, the jacket will add a tailored edge to anything you wear it with and the shorts will make even an old band tea and leather jacket look slick. There is a lot of room to mix up your textures here for example work Zara’s jacquard blazer with silk shorts or lace detail shorts with a leather trim jacket. I wouldn’t recommend wearing a white short suit to a wedding (white is a no-no for nuptials and I think the bride would loathe your high end styling.)
A crisp white shirt/classic blouse is the ultimate wardrobe essential because it goes with absolutely everything. Along with its cousin the white tee (which everyone is always on the hunt for the perfect ‘one’) the white shirt is not a trend piece but a forever piece, that you will wear, love, bleach, stain and wear until it is on its last threads. The white shirt will dress up/dress down your existing wardrobe, I wear mine buttoned up under a knit, buttoned down with skinny jeans, tucked into tailored shorts, with bold prints and of course this season, with white jeans and a white blazer. Cos and Zara are hotspots for greats white shirts, (I love the applique detail on this sleeveless design from Zara.)
I LOVE: Theory’ luxe silk shirt – this is white shirt perfection
White dress (note: wedding dresses not included)
If you’re ever having an indecisive wardrobe crisis (don’t we all) ahead of a party or event, fear not, and trust your ‘LWD’ – little white dress. Aforementioned, this season wearing white is all about a clean and contemporary silhouette so avoid anything voluminous, ruffled, frou-frou or with excessive embellishment/detailing.
I LOVE: The cool simplicity of YSL’s unbelievably slick tuxedo dress
Are you ready for the new season white out?