Hard to believe I know, but there’s an omerta observed by fashion editors (well, the newspaper-we’re-too-busy-filing-copy-to-care ones at any rate) that you should never try too hard at the shows. Why? Because nothing looks more row 5, than rocking up, head to toe in the season’s latest trends. Architectural ruffles or this spring’s off the shoulder top? As if. More like, which of my many, many navy sweaters will I be digging out today?
But change is afoot: cream, once associated with bad British teeth, bad Kim Kardashian or the sort of Russian limo dressing suggestive of a life of wall to wall gophers and a devil may care attitude to your dry-cleaning bill is out in force on the frow.
If I’m being truthful, it’s the decadence of wearing cream that makes it so very appealing: it’s a two finger salute to my three year old’s grubby hands. I know that my Harris Wharf coat is constantly dicing with a chocolate smeared fate but it’s worth it for the ‘ta-dah’ factor that wearing cream – even on pale, pasty complexions bestows.
For yes, cream is a challenge: when wearing the aforementioned coat, I do not actually take a seat on the tube, and for obvious reasons it never comes with me to the playground. It is for meetings, dinners and the odd fashion show. If all this sounds neurotic, it is mostly worth it. In my layered up cream ensemble, I feel snappy, fresh and effortless – no matter that I may have have rolled out of bed five minutes before hand. My favourite roll neck in cream (rather than navy versions) elicits three times the number of compliments at the school gates.On a drab February morning, nothing zings as subtly without you resorting to an overload of print, embroidery or Anna Dello Russo excess. It makes a welcome alternative to draining black, ‘groutfits’ or other somber neutrals. It is also more forgiving, less stark than head to toe white. By all means layer it up with white though – in fact, that is exactly how Rachael Proud, creative director at Raey whose spring/ summer collection is peppered with cream agrees that it looks most modern and impactful.Ivory, white and what fashion folk like to call ‘linen’ (as in the shade rather than the fabric) looks particularly fresh with its nod to a minimal 90s, New York aesthetic when it is layered all together. Steph Stevens, a fashion stylist with flawless taste, believes it can look fresh and expensive especially when combining cashmere, wool and silks but counsels against chiffon and cotton.Try a crisp Victoriana blouse (we’re waiting for Alexa Chung’s M&S collaboration, out on the 10th April) worn under Mulberry’s Carrick Aran sweater or one of & daughter’s assortment of ‘linen’ coloured sweaters. Shoulder robe with a white Crombie-style coat and team with mannish navy, grey or black trousers or Vetements-style cropped jeans. Should you happen to be in the eye line of a Paris fashion pap, you will stand out among a sea of black. Simply perfect your middle distance stare. Another favourite is a shearling coat from J&M Davidson, which is all I’ve worn for the past four winters. When wearing something this shaggy though, there are certain things to remember: round necks and cropped sleeves are the way to go if you don’t want to look engulfed. The rest of your outfit should ideally include trousers and flats. Do not even think about a miniskirt or a pair of thigh-high boots. You’ll look like a prostitute. Or worse still, a civilian.