ALEXANDRA SHULMAN is breaking the fashion rules this summer with statement accessories
Fashion rules are made to be broken. The idea of matchy-matchy has long been a slur directed at any neat pairing of accessories, deemed too mundane or a throwback to the 1950s.
But not anymore. As the summer range of vibrant bags and shoes fills the stores, matching or not, as you please. Shoes can be matched with bags, bags can be matched with clothes; or, if you prefer, clash loudly. It’s a free-for-all. On the spring catwalks, Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior swapped more conventional tans and blacks for pop-colored bags that hung from her wrists and showcased the boxy minis that dominated her runway. And at Bottega Veneta, one of the most influential accessory houses, brightly colored bags and shoes in its signature quilting and intrecciato braided leather heralded a new phase of eye-catching accessories.
Left: dress, £51.35, warehouse. com; heels, £225, russellandbromley. co.uk; bag, £8, primark.com; headline, £195, merola.co.uk. Right: Trousers, £345, and shirt, £345, serenabutelondon.com; heels, £24, asos.com; bag, £160, Stand Studio at theoutnet.com
This summer, her bright green clutch bags are one of the season’s key pieces. But it’s not just luxury brands that have fallen for color.
Big brands and smaller independent brands have also embraced the trend, offering a rainbow of bags, shoes and sunglasses. This turquoise quilted clutch from River Island will add some pep to your look, either by adding color to your clothes or by sprucing up a plain white dress or suit.
Left: Dress, £227.50, wyselondon.com; bag, £26.24, newlook.com; sunglasses, £125, cubitts.com; Sandals, £145, Iris & Ink at theoutnet.com; ring, £33, ashiana-accessories.com. Right: satin trousers, £46.80, and red sandals, £38.35, both from warehousefashion.com; bracelet, £155, merola.co.uk
Stripes are in their element in summer (think the cheerful pattern of deckchairs and regattas) and work wonderfully in a woven-textured tote, which looks just as good at the beach as it does in the city.
Not to be left in the shadows, the shoe also went wild this summer, with a color palette that echoes the glam-rock shoes of the 1970s. At a recent wedding I attended, the bride wore tailored navy flared trousers with towering fuchsia satin Russell & Bromley platforms.
Left: Trousers, £25, riverisland.com; bag, £15, accessorize.com; heels, £295, russellandbromley.co.uk; watch, £209, rotarywatches.com. Right: Dress, £119, massimodutti. com; slingback heels, £49.99, zara.com; clutch, £11, accessorize.com
For the height of summer, ankle-lacing Roman-style sandals are more sophisticated in colored leather than the traditional tan, while a colored wedge heel like the square-toe Warehouse style shown here, is a comfortable alternative to the trusty sneaker.
You can’t let go of the exuberant colors and patterns of these Missoni-inspired River Island knit pants with a pair of bleak black heels sticking out.
The idea of matchy-matchy has long been a slur directed at any neat pairing of accessories, ruled out as too mundane or a throwback to the 1950s. Alexandra Shulman explains how this summer is free-for-all in terms of color
No, this summer it’s time to give free rein to the color palette and treat it with the childish joy of a new set of multicolored pencils. After all, before we know it, we’ll be heading into the fall, where the Technicolor train will most likely stop.