Hot Trend: Chinoiserie

Oriental dragon

It’s spring, almost summer in fact (and apparently there’s a three-month heatwave heading our way which is basically the best news ever), so you need to think about what street wear trends you’ll be hitting this season and what you’ll be relegating to the back of the wardrobe for a few months.

Expect to see the usual floral patterns springing up over the next few weeks but if you want a really cool springtime look that doesn’t make it quite so obvious, then it’s got to be chinoiserie or bust for you, really.

But wait! What exactly is this and how can you tie it into your street wear look? Basically, chinoiserie is the interpretation and imitation of artistic traditions from China and East Asia. Back in the 18th century, silk, porcelain and lacquerware from both China and Japan were incredibly fashionable, inspiring British designers and craftsmen to incorporate motifs and symbols from these designs and come up with their own versions.

These days, if you want to hit the trend nail bang on the head, look out for silk shirts and trousers in navy blues and deep reds, with a bit of pattern thrown in for good measure here and there. Silk trousers may sound a bit off-putting but they’re perfect for spring/summer because they’re so lightweight. Don’t worry if you feel like you should go up a size – your trousers need to flow and move over your skin freely, so a bigger size may feel more comfortable for you.

Want a bit of style inspiration for chinoiserie? Look to the catwalks of Marc Jacobs and Gucci if you need a bit of help.