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Who’s stylish now? Eight unlikely fashion icons for spring

The aubergine emoji
Consider this prettiest of emoji, the aubergine, which when deployed in a message can mean anything from vegetarian to “Shag M8?”, depending on how you use it (FYI: placing it next to the cutlery or peach emoji, respectively, will clarify this). This season, it’s not the shape (or the carnality), but the colour that’s inspiring. It’s the deep lilac seen at flagship labels Chanel, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and here, at Alberta Ferretti, replete with fringing and cross-body bag (two further trends for the season).

James Brown
Framing pretty much every trend this spring is the 1970s. This has been filleted down to its various obvious trends: cleavage, flares and giant belts in offbeat metallic and rust colours, all of which Louis Vuitton, with designer Nicolas Ghesquière at the helm, nailed. To the onlooker, it conjured up a singular image: James Brown, rakish, legs splayed, in head-to-toe bodycon (before bodycon existed), his body entirely unzipped to the world. Too much.

George Harrison
Have we reached peak polo neck? Have we heck. The beauty of polo necks, which are drifting from season to season via various shapes and fabrics, from wide-necked and turtle through merino and nylon, is that absolutely anything goes. But this spring it’s all about the tight white polo neck: think a little bit Foucault and a lot George Harrison circa Rubber Soul, as seen at Ralph Lauren, the preppy king who modernised it by making it super-tight, semi-sheer and decidedly more spring-like.

Educating Rita
Set on the cusp of the 1980s, Educating Rita was renowned for its spirited take on institution, class and pretence. But the film version, starring Julie Walters as the platinum-blond hairdresser, was overlooked for its wardrobe: tight, bright minis, candy-striped pencil skirts and white blouses tucked right in. The whole look was very cross-decade and, it transpires, very APC this season. Think suede, A-line skirts, cream silk blouses and giant pendants, overall a decidedly more feminine take on the 1970s trend.

Ellen Ripley
Aliens aside, Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror tetralogy was a masterstroke in utility chic. To wit, Ellen Ripley, with her rock-solid perm and flameproof boiler suit. Boiler suits are a key look for SS15, via Whistles and Chloé but mainly Sonia Rykiel, who rolled out a number of versions. It was her sensational pillaging of the Ripley boiler suit – military green, tapered, serious buttons, trussed up with a faux-fur jacket – that grabbed us, even if it’s hard to go to the loo in.

Debbie Brill
The sportswear trend won’t die. Instead, it’s morphed, spectacularly, from a hint of athleticism to serious kit, via Stella McCartney x Adidas (whose new line is very golfwear) and, here, left-field rising star Nasir Mazhar. This athleisure mark 2 look goes big on branding and is inspired by real athletes, for example 1970s high-jumper Debbie Brill (of the head-first Brill Bend technique) with her tight perm, and two-toned and overtly branded Adidas kit. Think leisurewear with purpose and you’re halfway there.

Potato sacks
Sacks – bear with me – have an inescapable charm. Utilitarian, rustic and, when filled with potatoes, very Loewe spring/summer 2015. For his debut womenswear collection at the label, designer Jonathan Anderson dotted his whole collection with patches and flaps of jute and suede the colour of hessian. But it was the weighty potato sack-esque bags, which came in the softest leather, and swung beautifully, that looked set to be a staple this season, even if you’re off the carbs.

Huck Finn
Rebecca Minkoff said her dungaree-starring SS15 collection was influenced by the respected US photographer Deborah Turbeville, who changed the landscape for photographers by turning fashion into something wacky and avant garde. Poppycock. It, and the whole spring/summer 2015 dungaree movement (see also Sessùn and Alexa Chung for AG), was quite evidently inspired by Huckleberry Finn, who wore loose-fit denim dungarees and white shirts with aplomb. Straw in mouth optional.

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