My soul slowly being crushed by endless revision that goes in my brain and comes right out again, I'm in dire need of an exotic, far flung holiday to somewhere hot and sunny to set me back on track. Unable to afford anything more exotic than cocktails at Las Iguanas, Latin bar on the Southbank, it's comforting to know that in the fashion world Frida Giannini is starting to feel the burn too, that is if Gucci's S/S collection is anything to go by.
After naming her Spring show 'Gucci Exotica', Gucci's S/S collection is exactly what it says on the tin; bright colours, bold prints, the archetypal holiday postcard in fabric form. While Giannini has experimented with a variety of bold, pseudo-80's prints, the main vibe I'm getting off her collection is defiantly Hawaiian utility chic. I would never have predicted that the Hawaiian shirt, stereotypical symbol of speed boating riding Cuban gangsters and fat tourists wielding fake floral garlands on a cruise or package holiday, would be gracing the catwalks this season, but this new twist on the classic 'cheese and grapes on a cocktail stick' print, re-creates the Hawaiian shirt as new wardrobe must have.
Printing sleek Hawaiian prints on tailored, but casual and delicate silk blouses, rather than the usual baggy cotton, Giannini has teamed her Hawaiian shirts with sleek, two piece utility suits in vibrant colours that remind me of parrots and exotic looking cocktails, adding patent high heels and ribbon trimmed trilby's to give a fun twist to this look, refusing to commit to 'cruise' or 'city'. Attention grabbing brights and playful prints make the suit fun and fresh, giving everyone a taste summer holidays every 9-5.
By altering the Hawaiian print, to make it less '80's floral', and more 'abstract floral', the same theme is carried over into bandeau bikinis, sexy mini dresses and loose, floating tops, worn tucked into tailored 'city' shorts made from soft, 'holiday' fabrics'.
To add your own spin to Giannini's look, why not replace your over sized plaid shirt with a 'cheese on a stick', Hawaiian shirt, it might look terrible on a 40+ holiday maker, but great on you! Not available in the high street shops, (these one-of-a-kind babies only seem to be found in Miami and C&A circa 1996), you can find some amazing, floral and lurid Hawaiian shirts in your dad's wardrobe or local charity shops. But for the best selection of every style of Hawaiian print imaginable, in shorts, skirts and flip flops as well as men's shirts, you can't beat Beyond Retro. Their Brick Lane store is always choc a bloc with crazy prints begging for someone to pull them off, so if you live near enough, get yourself down to Cheshire Street (or else the darkest depth of your seedy uncle's wardrobe), and grab yourself a one-of-a-kind piece of the hottest Exoticia.