The Spring/Summer 2013 catwalks were full of monochrome prints, from checks and diamond shapes through to stripes. With difficult colour contrasting rearing its ugly head as a trend for the past few summers, it was surprisingly refreshing to see the colour sucked back out this year – after all, is there a higher contrast with a greater impact than black on white? However, there is only one problem with this trend – wearability. Sure, repetitive diamonds look great on those of us with the good-fortune to be blessed with lean silhouettes, but when stretched across our unwanted lumps and bumps the look is far from forgiving.
More recently, however, I’ve noticed a micro-trend twist on the concept of monochrome stripes that has leapt out at me as not only wearable but actually flattering – that is, vertical stripes. Both slimming and lengthening, this look can do wonders when worn in the right way. All you have to do is look at Balmain’s high-waisted printed trousers – the model’s legs quite literally go on FOREVER. Meanwhile, Marc Jacobs’ take incorporated scalloped edging to add femininity to an otherwise harsh look. Dolce and Gabbana’s block bars now seem to ironically foreshadow the jail bars that the duo are soon to stand behind for tax evasion, but their crop top and skirt combo’s which hit the catwalk by storm last September seemed to add a welcome and summery colourful pop to the vertical trend that was reminiscent of Louis Vuitton’s similar coloured check crop combo’s.
So it seems that we should no longer just associate vertical stripes with raged-up football ref’s and bad burglar fancy dress costume’s. The high-street’s answer to the trend is not only wearable and flattering but also extremely affordable. I picked up a simple silky monochrome vest for only £4 in Primark a couple of weeks ago and have since seen a fantastic peg-leg printed trouser there too which could create a powerful matchy-matchy look for those who dare. River Island has also turned its attention to the vertical trend, and the Topshop mid-season sale has thrown some black-and-white bargains into the mix as well as some more delicate pastel-coloured pieces. See how the celebs wore theirs: