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How to wear blue in the summertime

I’ve never understood why blue represents cold. Doesn’t it make everyone think of clear skies and deep seas and happy summers? Well, that and Duncan James, obviously. But that’s a whole different matter.

The designers obviously agree with me (about the summer thing, not the Duncan thing) because blue was all over the summer collections. Though the catwalks carried every shade from cyan and sky to teal, it’s the shades that hover around cerulean and International Klein Blue that have really caught my eye.

These colours have been used on pristine white backgrounds to create glorious patterns – some a bit splodgy and Matisse-y, others more reminiscent of Delft porcelain. All of them lovely.

British designer Jonathan Saunders created layered clothes reminiscent of Matisse’s cutouts. The Loewe collection also featured layers – which fell like nursery-school collage from his models. Many of the prettiest clothes came in beautiful shades of blue. American label Alice + Olivia didn’t beat about the bush: they simply whacked one of Matisse’s Blue Nudes on a full skirted dress.

Even the collections that weren’t beholden to blue still featured lovely jolts of sapphire, cobalt and ultramarine. Clothes that made you think of that first glimpse of the sea as you travel to the coast for the holidays. Look at the shows by Lanvin, Valentino and Kenzo if you want to see what I mean.

What’s great at this time of year is that you can buy more blue for less. The sales are on and I think the enduring appeal of blue means it’s a good investment. I mean, it’s not like stocking up on neon yellow.

This summer frock by Edit is one of those dresses you can pull out of the cupboard for many summers to come. It’s a nice brand, too. Edit is a Hong Kong shop which specialises in importing cool British labels, such as Antipodium and Etre Cecile. Now the Edit team has designed its own range this year and is exporting it for cool British people to wear. Nice trade.

The painty top by Eggs comes from Farfetch. I’m sure you know this online shop. It gives an internet presence to hundreds of independent boutiques. It’s a great place to find out about unknown labels (like Eggs – never heard of it. It’s based in Parma if you’re interested, and does lovely patterns and high-waisted skirts) and during the sale you can even afford them, too.

On the high street, go to Cos for bargains in duck egg and powder blue. Karen Millen and Reiss have more stock in the ultramarine area of the spectrum. Mango has a nice line in azure and navy. & Other Stories has some great blue prints. Look out online for the “porcelain” and the blue “scarf” prints in particular.

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That should keep you happy for many summers to come. May they be long and sunny and very, very blue.


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