How To Wear Spring's Biggest Trends Using Clothes You Already Own

Designed by Meg O'Donnell
We're wishing winter away (and with it our uniform of puffer coats and stomping boots) and instead dreaming of spring's most thrilling trends. Last September's shows threw up a plethora of sartorial ideas, but three that caught our eye don't necessarily require purchasing new pieces. From sweet-as-anything bows to punked-up bleached denim, it's time to embrace a DIY ethos and craft your own wardrobe.

Take a Bow

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
With the past few years celebrating all things hyperfeminine – think Molly Goddard's billowing tulle, Batsheva's prairie dresses and, of course, saccharine millennial pink – it was only a matter of time before the prettiest of details cropped up on the catwalk. Bows were everywhere at SS19, from dainty brooches to focus-pulling sashes.
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From Valentino's heavenly red dress (arguably the look of the season) with its puffed-up sleeves and off-centre waist bow, to Erdem's romantic collection, which had tiny bows strewn throughout, via Preen by Thornton Bregazzi's blush step-hemmed satin number, complete with virginal white bow, there was inspiration aplenty on the catwalks.
Bows were a theme at this year's Golden Globe awards, too, with the likes of Julianne Moore in Givenchy, Alison Brie in Vera Wang, and Gemma Chan in Valentino all featuring showstopping bow detailing.
So how are we recreating the look? As well as adorning our ponytails with ribbons just like Millie Bobbie Brown, we're wrapping black velvet around empire line dresses and tying in a bow at the front, plus adding safety pins to smaller bows and pinning to our favourite blazer.

Reach for the Bleach

Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Photo: Yanshan Zhang/Getty Images
At the other end of the spectrum – and more closely aligned with spring's most wavy trend, tie-dye – is bleached denim, which has woven its way in and out of fashion since its punk inception back in the '70s. In such turbulent political, economic and environmental times, designers have been reflecting and rebelling – and what's more rebellious than home-dyed bleached denim?
While Stella McCartney elevated the fabric dyeing technique with a boiler suit (teamed with heels), Proenza Schouler (who has long been a champion of experimental fabric manipulation) mashed up black and blue tie-dye with an oversized bleached denim holdall. Ashley Williams stuck to her punk roots for SS19 and made a black denim knee-length short and jacket combo all the more rock'n'roll. All you need is some cleaning bleach and an old pair of trusty blues. Don't forget to wear rubber gloves!
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Not sure where to start? Watch our video guide on how to tie-dye at home for inspiration.

A Splash of Colour

Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho /Getty Images
Photo: Francois Durand/Getty Images
Photo: Estrop/Contributor/Getty Images
Abstract expressionism but make it fashion. Jackson Pollock's signature painting style hit the catwalks this spring in a cacophony of colour. At Vivienne Westwood, a classic workman's boiler suit was given the painter-decorator treatment with an array of splatters, while Mugler's collection took a more high art approach with seeping paint splodges on patent coats, silk dresses and body-con co-ords.
Sacai's show treated its pieces like a paintbox, with primary colours dashed across white flak jackets and pleated dresses. Reinvigorate your pieces by marbling paint in the sink or bathtub and laying your clothes flat on the surface, or go wild with urgent flicks of colour on a canvas backdrop.
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