Despite the promise of rain on the horizon, the clouds pregnant with its salty tears, summer is very much ever-present, the scent of honeysuckle permeating the air. We grab at ice cream with our bare hands, languishing in the heat of the sun, dripping down our chins, we catch it deftly with a tongue flick. Our feet are bare, we feel the grass between our toes, children picking daisies in a blurred mirage. Beachgoers in wetsuits clammy in sea salted water, youngsters building sandcastles, faces scrunching up as the sand crumbles. Hikers in boots wiping sweat off their brows, tourists snapping local attractions, chattering excitedly. In this land that we call summer, there is something so inviting about the warmer weather, as tastes, textures and scents meld in a melting pot of culture. And fashion is no exception, trends are born and bred on a summer day, reinvention of identities, office girl gone wild. A Spanish senorita fanning herself, cha cha heels at the ready, a lady in blue picking lemons from Les Senteurs, tart liquid coating her lips acidic taste. Nearby elegance with a 50’s twist saunters into Peggy Porschen’s, a cupcake for two she decries, mouth wrapped around saccharine morsels. Meanwhile in Camden the lady in white is late, night for an important date, red sunglasses jauntily askew as she walks. And who could forget the leopard print lover and her quest for afternoon tea, sipping on herbal tea, lounging on iron backed chairs nonchalantly? But these were no ordinary ladies, these were Femme Luxe ladies.
It began that one fateful evening where they declared that they had nothing to wear. Alas their clothing would not do, but what would be their sweet, sweet poison? Femme Luxe Finery clambered across their screens merrily, merrily, as if in a daydream and their eyes were awakened to prints galore. Leopard prints and florals, monochromes and colours, each opposite trend led piece competed for the ladies affections, mewling to be chosen. Let us be the one that you give your heart to tonight, not that male floozy from the down the road. It was discount season and the ladies had just got their pay rises, a celebratory meal in their favourite haunt Dishoom, salivating over the Indian fancy that passed their lips. A vegetarian spread of chickpea curry nestled in madras sauce, garlic naans clouding their breath, they did not care for their bellies were sated. And it was there that they discussed their latest purchases and the stories that came alongside it, where each woman represented their favourite trend, yet each woman was intrinsically linked. Wine coated parched lips, ears perked up with interest as one by one the women stepped forward, recounting their journey with Femme Luxe in all it’s ‘Finery’.
The Spanish Senorita
The Spanish Senorita remembered when she wandered through Notting Hill, red court shoes tip tapping across stone pavements. And it was there on Portobello Road where this dancer found her next choreographed inspiration montage, the infamously charming ‘Alice Antique Store’ emblazoned in red, gleaming in the distance. A passer goer commented that she matched the aesthetics and indeed she did, red and white floral Femme Luxe co ord, a floaty bohemian crop and matching modernized ra ra skirt sashaying and shantaying effortlessly. At first she practiced a sequence of dance moves, limbs stretching and lunging as she prepared for her big debut. She would do the suave, a cross body lead in disguise, her imaginary partner completing a full left turn. She would perfect her hand switch ochos and take it to the next level, before getting fancy with a cascading ochos, her dance teacher would be proud, she had moved beyond the basics. As she danced she played pretend and imagined herself to be the modern version of Alice, dancing salsa with peculiar anthropomorphic creatures. They professed their love to her, almost in a dream, roses showered at her feet vibrant red. The neon caterpillars blew bubbles and the glowworms came out at night, as she continued to dance, a symphony of mythical creatures swaying to the beat of her Spanish Senorita fantasy.
The Cheetah Girl
An afternoon tea awaited her ravenous lips, she could barely contain her excitement, herbal tea poured into dainty china cups. Her friend smiled and bid her to speak, a catch up long awaited it had been years now. They stopped time and turned back the clock, remembering memories from years past, two university students in the big city for the first time, eyes widened at the sight that had appeared before them. Freshers necking apple sours, platforms heels dancing in clubs, hungover brunches bleary eyed, still smiling, laughter coursing through every activity. Those were different days her friend had agreed, remembering how the ‘Cheetah girl’ loved her animal prints, you were never without them she laughed in reminder. The girl, aptly dressed in a leopard print monochrome crop and matching trousers from Femme Luxe smiled. ‘I guess some things never change old friend’. The friend agreed that much was true and turned her attention to present proceedings. ‘Isn’t it funny’ she began, that you we have gone from downing dodgy £2 shots to nibbling on a dainty afternoon tea? Oh how times have changed. The lady in the animal print crossed her legs and chortled at the thought, happy that those days were far behind her, she craved a quieter life now, the partying cheetah had long come and gone. And so they drank and they ate, equisitely iced biscuits from Biscuiteers crumbling in their mouths. It was deliciousness personified.
The Tuxedo Jumpsuit
The sun grew high in the sky, street traders offering their gastronomic wares in the market, imploring you to come ever closer, taste the food on your own lips. You would head to Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner in Camden Market, sellers bemused at your Femme Luxe tuxedo jumpsuit getup, pristine white, could you handle the heat? You settled on a ‘dirty burger’ , a beef soya mince patty, with cheese, bacon, mayo, lettuce and ketchup, lettuce and pickles that touched the spot, a feast for the senses. You sat down on a bench in your red flower crown and matching accessories, taking care not to spill the sauce that was seeping out of the burger on your white tuxedo jumpsuit. You looked at the clock you had a few minutes spare before your scheduled shoot, would you be naughty and order some more? And so it came forth, Southern Fried seitan chick’n wingz, coated in spicy buffalo sauce with blue cheeze dip, finished off with a glorious serving of ‘Dirty Fries’ loaded with soya mince chilli non-carne, cashew nut cheeze sauce with a side of slaw and corn chips. The clock struck one, it was photoshoot time, as you wandered the streets of Camden in search of vibrant art, reds, greens, blacks and purples too, murals, graffiti scrawls, artist portraits there was something for everyone.
The Floral Maxi Skirt
Summer had reared its fashionable head and the Femme Luxe Girl decided that she would go lemon picking to celebrate . And where else but in the heart of Belgravia would she find her lemon tree, a postcard beauty plucked straight out of an Italian fantasy. She felt at home here in her blue and orange floral blue maxi skirt and matching crop top, as she lay under the lemon trees, sunglasses radiating heating, flowers strewn in her hair one by one, luscious locks cascading down her back. The sun grew hotter, she was parched, squeezing imaginary lemon from the trees, pouring the milky liquid into her mouth, sharpness gliding down her throat. Later she would craft a picnic, fresh raspberries, homemade bread, a bottle of champers, bubbles coursing in a fizzy wave round her rasping tongue. And of course who could forget the lemon treats that were tucked away in her straw basket of fancies, lemon tarts dusted with cinnamon, fresh lemonade and vegan gummies. As for the lemon sponge cake that was a treat and a half, and don’t forget the lemon and ricotta pasta parcels, freshly cooked, wrapped in sage and marojam, a fragrant spread. Comfortably full, she closed her eyes and dreamed of a lemon ever after, where ripe lemons would float across blue cloudless skies, and adults would embrace their inner child riding inflatable lemon floats, where was their lime filled Prince?
The Colourful Minimalist
At last it was the minimalists turn to take centre stage, pink ruched dress, pale pink courts, a simple midi dress from Femme Luxe that was sophisticated, as it was trend led, she would be a wedding guest one day, and a date night extraordinaire the other, her plans were filed in motion. But for now she craved a sweeter surprise, a visit to the Instagram haven that they called Peggy Porschen’s, oh what a glorious sight it was. Pale ceramic pink, nestled with muted flowers, it spelled out love, she couldn’t have picked a better moment. For this was the first year where she would spend Valentines Day with someone who she had considered a soul mate, a Viking Prince whose eyes would shine with adoration for her. She would revel in his sweet kisses, scattered all over her body as he wrapped her in his arms. She would gaze back at him with puppy eyes, never thought that she would be a sentimental sappy girl, used to keeping her feelings under lock and key, he brought out the best in her, she softened under his caring gaze. They fed each other cupcakes with animated faces, sipping on hot chocolates, the air was chillier that Valentines Day, the wind snaked its way around her hair in rebellion. Noses tinged with red from the boistorius breeze, they cared little, as they ate and drank holding hands, forgoing the world around them once last time.
What Summer Trend Will You Be Wearing This Summer?