Bold Floral Prints (I Left my Soul there, Down by the Sea)

Zara floral print dress styleonthecouch william williams 2

Zara floral print dress styleonthecouch william williams

Zara floral printed dress styleonthecouch 1

Zara-floral-print-dress-StyleOnTheCouch-1

I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” – Anais Nin

These photos were taken at my ‘happy place’ by the sea in Mexico last year.  Our last morning there felt very sad, as is always the case when you must leave the sun and relaxation behind and return to real life. However the rich colours of the sea and sky along with my outfit that day reminded me of the power of colour and print in a design – and spring / summer 2014 will certainly bring an abundance of romantic and edgy prints and rich shades for us to choose from.

This Zara dress has seen me through three summers now. It is a beautiful slightly-racer neckline that accentuates the shoulders and the body con style seems to suit my shape at this length (I cannot go body con and short, which is why I have given up on the prospect of Herve Leger ever working for me*).

Zara have a couple of lovely colorful print dresses selling now that I wanted to let you know about:

Boat-neck printed dress 59.99 GBP

Printed dress with wide straps 59.99 GBP

Bigger budget you say? Well then try Prabal Gurung’s florals.  Oh, and readers of size EU 34 might want to head over to The Outnet right away to snap up this Stella McCartney bargain.

We’re having some beautiful weather in England right now. I hope you had a lovely weekend wherever you are, Blog Reader.

*This did not stop me from returning to NYC’s SoHo store every two months or so and trying on the whole collection when I lived in Manhattan. To the team at Herve Leger SoHo, sorry-not-sorry.

Photos: William Williams

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Preen Resort 2013

Graphic streaks and oversized flower prints mixed with their signature modern silhouettes; Preen resort 2013 is a wonderful mix of bold splashes of paint and sporty elements.  Having spoken of my love of Preen (yet again) on Sunday, it felt fitting to feature their recent line today.

The black dress top left, and the white shirt with Dolman-style sleeves and high-waisted flower print skirt are my favourites from this collection.  I was happy to hear the recent announcement that Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi will return to their design roots in London for fashion week this year (the duo had been showing in NYC since 2008), with Thornton quoted in WWD as saying:

“Today, London is a very different fashion week to what it once was, and it’s a great place for us to show. It feels right to be here again. It’s more of an international fashion week now.”

Attracted to and influenced by American sportswear when they first came to NYC, this current collection has a clear Olympic / athletic influence.  Cool, modern, sporty chic is seen in side-striped trousers, padded jackets and track pants.  Other inspirations for the line are the artist Jeff Koons and the photographer Nick Knight; resulting in vivid, bold splashes of paint and graphic lines that inject a delightful vibrancy into the designs.

I wrote on Sunday that there are designers who create collections I covet again and again – Preen is one of them.  I hope you like resort 2013 as much as I do, Blog Reader.

Images from Fashionising.
Visit the Preen website here.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Preen Fall 2012

Whilst the fall 2012 collection from Preen confused me somewhat (is it winter or spring? Where are the layers and coats?!) I loved the modern garden party vibe they presented.  Their poppy reds, forest green, vermilion and butterfly prints were also a welcome ray of sunshine amongst the ‘darker’ collections this season.

I do adore Preen for their decidedly grown up style - they have such lovely clean, fluid and straightforward silhouettes that appeal to me.  It’s one of the reasons I purchased their power dress and why I’d love to add more Preen to my wardrobe.  They also have a fabulous signature Britishness to their designs, taking inspiration from Victoriana (such as attention drawn to the waist), a theme continued this winter with embroidery and decorative prints.

The collection also drew from muses Virginia Woolf and Beatrix Potter, author, artist and conservationist.  Style.com said of the forthcoming line:

“For the strong women of today, Thornton and Bregazzi cut the inevitable high romance of botanical flower and butterfly prints by paneling them into dresses with sharp blocks of a very flat matte fabric they referred to as scuba wool, and generally manipulating them by printing the motifs on sequins and embroidering over them with tarnished silver beading. The effect was far from sugary. At times, it was nearly minimal—a successful dance with feminine codes. The brushstroke print mid-show that came from looking at Abstract Expressionists like Jasper Johns provided a sort of interlude.” ~ Meenal Mistry, Style.com

Despite taking inspiration from previous eras I find Preen’s designs quite futuristic in their delivery - here I adored the chunky wedge boots models wore, contrasting with the delicate femininity of the floral patterns and sheer fabrics.  I also liked the sporty touch given with the contrasting waistbands and the trouser side stripes.

It was a lovely executed collection too, with colours and themes flowing seamlessly together to mould a very coherent, cool, chic and sophisticated line overall.

So, who would like to (garden) party with me in Preen?

Images Elle.com.