I am not a proponent of the ditsy floral. It bores me. Unlike my personality, it is not brash or loquacious nor is it overpowering; it wilts into the background, demure as a wallflower, delightfully inoffensive, the embodiment of sophistication and grace. Unlike my personality, it does not impose, scold haughty local street urchins or complain about cappuccinos with scant amounts of foam worthy of a mere latte. While I enjoy an oriental chintzy kimono adorned with macro-blooms, a 3-d foliage-appliquéd skirt or sheer petal-strewn gothic shirt as much as the next thirty-something, the ditsy floral tea dress still feels like me, circa 2011.
Without fail, every spring summer when the florals are churned back out onto the runways and drip-fed into my high-street favourites, I wrestle with the inner conflict that dissuades me from getting in bloom. The fear looms – will I look like a gick 1970s curtain; so haggard it lives in exile in the kitchen, or worse still, the utility room, longing to retire in grace but helplessly denied the dignity? Yet I find myself being swept up in the floral phenomenon – like the common cold, I just cannot avoid it.
I recently vowed I would only invest in wardrobe staples; black jeans, leather jackets, white shirts and khaki trenches. But no matter how incessantly my brain promotes the classic key items, my heart swells when I see a pink pom-pom or a sugar candied frou frou prom dress harking back to my Debs dress which was both pink and frou frou in equal levels of Malibu-Barbie/Paris Hilton-inspired teenage chic.
So despite my best efforts to eschew the bubonic plague of the fashion world, here I am sporting a botanical print mini-skirt in all my glory. Red/turquoise is one of my favourite colour combinations and I feel it complements the coral/cantaloupe tones of my legs which let’s face it, if I’m honest are probably more tangerine dream than Tahitian gold as I have applied, not one, but two coats of my favourite fake tan and then another, for good measure.
If I’m looking smug, it’s because like the lady (pictured below, via V&A website) who features on the cover jacket of Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, the tome that accompanies the wonderful exhibition of the same name at the Victoria and Albert Museum, I had a crew of suited male helpers designated the role of helping me walk in these bad boys.
Top: Abercrombie & Fitch, currently in-store for €32.99, was €44.
Skirt: Topshop, on sale, currently in store, €25.
Shoes, bags rings: Primark, €2-€8.
Bracelet: Topshop, €5.
My Top Floral Picks Out Now
1. Simone Rocha floral-embroidered tulle top, €805.
2. Fendi printed mini-dress, €1640.
3. The Kooples silk blouse, €92.50.
4. Baum und Pferdgarten coat, €269.
5. Christopher Kane slip dress, €975.
6. Topshop archive collection tunic, £45.
7. Finery London crop straight trousers.
8. Maje organza puffball skirt, €87.50.
9. Finery London jumpsuit, £59.