With Fashion Week fast approaching, and Autumn/Winter 2013 collections nearly ready to be shown, the New Year brings with it shops full of sales in preparation for new Spring attire to take over the rails. Predictable but pretty, pastels are guaranteed to break into our wardrobes following the dark shades of winter. Despite popularity, the confectionary coloured trend can’t always prove to be quite as dominant as it was last year. With Spring/Summer 2012’s ultimate highlight being the sugar sweet Louis Vuitton carousel show, which featured an incredible assortment of deliciously delicate shades of cotton candy colours, this season had a lot to live up to. What we saw instead was a fusion of fondant fancy favourites whisked up with other trends, including neon, pop art prints, and minimalism. Erdem, Mulberry, Christopher Kane, and Mark Fast are just a selected handful of designers whose use of delicate frosted tones demand to be lusted over and used as inspiration.
The catwalks aside, it would be neglectful not to mention the crème de la crème of fanciful fashion films, “Marie Antoinette”, when delighting over powder blues, pistachio greens, and lovely lilacs. Few can boast the fashion connections as legendary film director Sofia Coppola, who is best known for her cult classics “The Virgin Suicides” and “Lost in Translation”. Often pictured with close friend Marc Jacobs, it is no surprise that Sofia’s creative projects are often such a visual treat. “Marie Antoinette” overflows with confectionary, as Kirsten Dunst plays the French queen who is constantly showered with an unimaginable array of edible delicacies, alongside a feast of exquisite shoes, gowns, and powdered wigs galore. No chance to embellish the queen and her ladies, or their extravagant parlours for that matter, is missed – no expense is spared adorning anything within view of the camera lens with a dusting of feathers, ribbons, and ruffles.
As with many cinematic interpretations, the film depicts Marie’s life in a heavily rose tinted manner. In reality, the young Austrian was severely unpopular with the French public when she became the last queen of France aged only nineteen. Known for her beauty, the vivacious partygoer was openly fanciful and frivolous at a time when her subjects suffered greatly due to failed harvests and economic crisis. Subsequently, she was transformed into a figurehead for the downfall of the monarchy following the French Revolution, and was eventually brought to trial, which led to her beheading, shortly after that of her husband King Louis 16th.
Regardless of politics, Marie Antoinette left behind her a legacy of fashion and decadence that can easily be encapsulated within a welcomed injection of candied colourways directly into a new springtime ensemble. Prepare for the new pastels by filtering in lighter, softer colours to replace basic greys and whites. Without having to be as overly feminine as in “Marie Antoinette”, this season allows for a flash of springtime delights; fondant colours teaming with other new styles for a more eclectic, less girly look. Welcome the New Year, the new season and, of course, the opportunity to shop for new garments.
By Sophie Seymour