There is something amazingly magnificent about these incredibly simple, contrasting vertical lines that anyone and everyone seems to be adorning their upper bodies with, whether it be dresses, jumpers, t-shirts, cardigans or blazers – the Breton stripe is determined to make this season the stripiest one ever.
What is so fascinating about the Breton stripe is its inconspicuous and understated minimalism that has the power to do something very unique for each individual, with complete and utter clarity. The stripe can create an Olivia Palermo Parisian chic ensemble, complimented with gold buttons and chinos the stripes can be worn classically casual, sexy with black skinny jeans and heels Balmain style, a trendy Alexa like style with cut off shorts and pumps or can complete a rocky biker look with clumpy boots, and faded jeans. The Breton stripe is so versatile and chic it won’t deter you from joining the stripy masses. Nevertheless, originality and innovation can always put you in a stripe of your own.
Jean Charles de Castelbajac’s store twinkles like a diamond reflecting a sun lit sparkling sea at the end of Saville Row. Although the red, blue and white and monochrome stripes of the seafaring refined sailor is still referenced at JCDC, the sea is choppier, and the voyage far more adventurous – for Breton stripe innovation JCDC’s spring summer collection is aptly titled Pirates, Parrots and Paradise. The collection is unremarkably intricate, inventive and yet still so on trend – its high street style with a high fashion finish; accessible but dazzling, practical but fantastical. Amongst the collection are sequin shift dresses, some with thick naval coloured stripes, others with Donald Duck or skull and cross bones emblazoned on the front. Gold rope chains with dangling gold anchors hang from t-shirts, parrots sit erect on the straps of white peasant rah-rah dresses and Breton striped blue and white t-shirt dresses feature tropical coloured parrots on each sleeve. From skull and cross bones, to eye patches, top handled bags with the Union Jack flags, parrots on shoulders and Donald Duck the sailor himself; every pirate, captain, naval and paradise box has been ticked, creating a coherent and linear story that threads its way enchantingly through the collection. This is an incredibly intelligent piece of art, created by a true artist, his vision is most certainly magical and truly jolted me, waking me up to an excitement about clothes that I may have sadly lost, following populist designers too literally. This Breton striped ship most certainly hasn’t sailed, in fact has anchored itself for the next few months, giving fashionistas ample time to play around with the vertical lines. Instead of going cookie cutter chic, why not funk it up and go JCDC on Brittany?