Spring/Summer 2013 Trend: Pastels

Pastels. Everyone owns them. They’re catwalk regulars and this spring they’re everywhere. The best thing about pastels is that they literally sound good enough to eat. The SS13 catwalks were a blur of spun-sugar hues: mint, fondant pink, parma violet, baby blue and lemon. Bright pastels are also de rigeur: think aqua, coral, sour apple, sunshine-yellow and sky-blue.

At Mulberry we saw the launch of the Willow bag, available in candy shop hues of mint, apricot and nude alongside classic black, white, biscuit and navy. Models wore peach jackets, pleated skirts and below-the-knee hems: this season is all about luxurious femininity. 

Christopher Kane showcased draped crepe dresses and translucent pastel skirts in buttercup, blush pink and rose-embossed white leather, offset by hints of sinister – plastic bolts, duct tape, bat-shaped lace, and the appearance of Frankenstein’s monster on a T-shirt. 

Temperley London, a firm favourite of the the Duchess of Cambridge, stuck to sophisticated princess dressing: models glided down the catwalk in full skirts and translucent evening dresses in shades of parma violet and baby blue. Perhaps Alice Temperley had the Duchess’s spring wardrobe in mind when she designed the dreamlike collection. 

But this season it’s not all about wearing head-to-toe pastels: colour popping featured prominently at shows such as Erdem, where delicate lace necklines and sleeves and hues of lavender, lemon and baby blue were juxtaposed with bold flower prints in orange and red. The 1950s nipped-in waists, prim skirts and ruffled collars in trademark lace, silk and satin were fused with reptilian skins, futuristic plastics, neons and patent leather.

Lego colours are, somewhat confusingly, another huge SS13 trend, seen in David Koma’s vivid orange, cobalt blue and emerald green cut-out mesh dresses. Oscar de la Renta’s fusion of soft mint and coral hues with mustards and alarming fuschias bedecked with green pompoms proves that ingenuity is still there: pastels don’t have to be predictable.

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From Corrie Nielsen’s structured, sugary collection of the palest blue satins and shell pink ruffles, to Céline’s yellow fur shoes teamed with crisp neutrals, this season is all about pretty pastels with a twist. For those of us confined to simply gawping like children in a candy shop at the sugar-spun delights showcased on the catwalk, the high street is awash with affordable alternatives. Undoubtedly you’ll have on-trend clothes from previous summers lurking in your wardrobes but for those who want something new, our style picks below will carry you right through the season. And, in true British style, don’t shy away from being bold with your sartorial choices. If Erdem can combine powder blue with tomato red, anything’s possible.

Get the Look with Topshop’s delicate organza prom dress (£65, topshop.com), Ted Baker’s Jaynesh Tuxedo Tailored Shorts (£109, tedbaker.com), and a structured metal tip clutch bag from Oasis (£25, Houseoffraser.co.uk).