Fashion gongs for floral

Springtime is rolling round once again and this season models at Belfast Fashionweek and Hollywood actresses swapped the autumn winter brocades for floral prints.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013
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Floral prints always remind me of Thomas Gradgrind in Hard Times, who chastised a pupil for approving of flowers on a carpet, but who could be annoyed at these pretty prints?

From big bold flowers to subtle spring colours - or my personal favourite of mixed fabrics - floral designs were seen on the Spring/Summer runways around the world, and now it's Belfast's turn.

The upcoming Belfast Fashionweek is for the shopper, not the retailer - that means what you see on the catwalk is what's on trend at that time.

But before next month's shows, big screen actresses embraced flowers in their own red carpet dresses.

With Nicole Kidman and Sally Field donning prints and embellishments, at this week's Screen Actors Guild awards, actresses showed peonies and petal blossoms are not just a young woman's game.

Bridesmaids star Rose Byrne opted for a pastel gown from the Valentino Resort 2013 collection.

Paired with a statement cocktail ring and bright pink lipstick, the floor-length ruffled dress was one of the most feminine gowns at the awards show.

Rose Byrne at the Screen Actors Guild award.

Byrne's dress has divided critics and if you're not quite ready to go all out in florals, Sally Field's look could be more up your street.

The 66-year-old actress, who appeared on the red carpet with her Lincoln co-star Daniel Day Lewis, looked beautiful in a lilac J Mendel number with floral appliqué on the waistband. Her choice was age appropriate and really on trend.

Sally is absolutely timeless, I don't think she's aged at all past the early 1990s and I'm dying to find out how she got time to stand still.

Some of Hollywood's younger actresses got in on the floral game too, with Modern Family's Ariel Winter looking every inch a princess in her peach Alex Perry dress. It's a really youthful gown that definitely has a cut-off age, but if you're 14 and at the SAGs, why not?

If you shy away from pastels, monochrome petals, such as the Chanel Haute Couture number worn by Julianne Moore, may be a better option.

Julianne Moore at the Screen Actors Guild awards.

There may have been questions over the fit of her gown, but Moore's simply cut dress was beautifully embellished from the waist down with flowers. And what better accessory than diamonds and the Best Actress gong...

Nicole Kidman went all out in navy sparkles with as she handed out an award to Tommy Lee Jones at the LA event.

Her Vivienne Westwood Couture gown was extremely form-fitting and not for the faint of heart - especially with its illusion netting.

But florals are not just for fancy awards show, as the models at the spring/summer launch of Belfast Fashionweek showed.

They tapped into this season's key trends of floral and there were neon accents, as bright blouses were teamed with printed trousers.

Spring Summer 2013 trends at Belfast Fashionweek launch.

"Key looks this season include pretty pastels, striking stripes, flirty florals and eye catching graphic prints," said Cathy Martin, director of Belfast Fashionweek.

"In terms of colours it's all about the bright neons, monochrome and also white and neutrals are big for spring/summer too."

The launch gave a preview of what's to come this Fashionweek, which kicks off on 21 March. Shows will range from local designers and chic boutiques to high street fashion, so there's something on trend at every price. This year it's moved to the Ulster Museum at Belfast's Botanic Gardens, where the minimalist interior will be transformed into fashionista heaven.

For now, I've got my money on a pair of ankle-length tapered trousers - in floral print, of course!