Call it global warming, climate change or just plain summer – whatever the explanation, this past week has brought unbearable heat to many corners of our world. When it’s this hot, there is only one thing to wear – white, from head to toe.

Fortunately, there are many inspiring white-hot looks from the Spring Summer 2010 collections and beyond, to choose from.

Hussein Chalayan’s collection was one of my favourites this season. Usually, it’s too conceptual for even me – but along with those wonderful hand detail white gowns, there were many unexpected classic day looks. The man who once gave us mechanical dresses opted for Capri glamour, with a bit of edge thrown in.

I know many shun the Capri pant but it will never leave my closet. Here, it is perfect – a slim leg, a curvaceous jodhpur-esque quality and cinched flatteringly with a black belt to accentuate the waist. Plus, the sweep of that chapeau will protect you from the molto caldo Med sun.

Can you see the view from the cliffs in the distance, bella?

Chalayan does classic capris for SS10

For the second day on the Italian isle, you might as well wear Italian. Another favourite collection this season was Bottega Veneta. The detailing and splashes of colour remind us why Bottega is true luxury – it’s in a class all its own. The boning in the corset and the tailoring is impeccable here.  [I’ll share more of my Bottega faves in an upcoming post.]

corsets at bottega ss10
Cool, through to the bone.

And while I’m not ready to wear a jumpsuit, they have grown on me. Especially, this one by Stella McCartney. But Stella, please do feed the models, ya?

One piece and you are dressed – for a city walk or an evening out.

I’m also loving the return of the wide pant. I have been silly over skinnies for seasons and seasons, but swishing wide pants make you feel six feet tall. The long and lean effect of the pants is only increased by the symphony of  a single colour from head to toe.

Naeem Khan embellished his version with beading, while Francisco Costa contrasted sheer pants with platform wedges.

Naeem Khan SS10 chalk chic
Sheer genius at Calvin Klein SS10
The dramatic swish of a dress at Bottega SS10

Whether it was a transparent layer of waves on a dress, a pouf of a sleeve or a sweet kiss of colour, there was drama to be had one way or another.

Vanessa Paradis in a backless, frayed number in Vs. Magazine, Spring Summer 2010 issue. Love the simple hair and those unfinished edges.
Who says you can only be sexy in a little black dress? L’Wren Scott’s signature silhouette for SS10.
Tiered ruffles at Givenchy SS10

When I was looking through hundreds of images, I was amazed at the flow of shapes amongst such diverse designers. The ruffles above, echoed those in the Margiela Couture collection and that asymmetry was picked up by Amit Agarwal and Gauri and Nainika Karan.

Maison Martin Margiela Couture SS10
Amit Agarwal’s sari-esque toga dress for SS10
Perfect asymmetry at Gauri and Nainika SS10

Whether you like soft and sheer, dramatic or structured, there was an all-white look to suit you. The jacket options alone, were pristine. The zippered, cropped biker jacket at Akris is a great option for those lacking in curves. It gives good shoulder, too.

Crop to it. Akris SS10.

The play of ruffles versus tailoring works well in this ensemble by Hermes, as worked by Chanel Iman for Vogue China’s June issue.

Chanel Iman photographed by Thomas Schenk
Tiers of joy by Edward Fong, FW09.
Lauren Graham at the Parenthood premiere earlier this year.
Jeremy Laing’s flap jacket for SS10.

I first noticed the structured white in Todd Lynn’s FW09 collection. Was Lynn, a fellow Canadian, designing the perfect outfit for cocktails in Quebec’s Ice Hotel?

Todd Lynn’s FW09 ice capades.

That tuft of fur showed up in Ungaro’s collection for SS10 – for those cool evenings by the sea, perhaps? [Fur was also in scads of FW10 collections – blame marketing for that one. More to follow as the weather cools down enough to talk fur.]

“Who stole my heart? You did, you did…”
“…Bow to the target. Blame cupid, cupid.”

There were interesting bits and pieces thrown into Spring collections – otherwise normally reserved for cooler temperatures. ‘Summer’ boots are everywhere, but I am not about to deprive my painted toes from seeing daylight for these few short months.

Summer boots from Margiela?

One thing that I know for sure is the impact a glorious blanc dress can make for a glam evening out. Diane Kruger confirmed that, didn’t she?

A couple of other simple options beyond Kruger’s Calvin Klein gown include a column from Yigal and a daring slit and slinky gown from Chalayan.

Dreamy white column dress at Yigal Azrouël SS10.
Slink or swim. Hussein Chalayan SS10.

The ones that made me gasp out loud, however, were these… Tarun Tahiliani mixed chiffon, silk and fringe for a goddess-worthy gown.

Tarun Tahiliani’s white chiffon shimmy from FW09. Photo by Vinod Kumar.

This regal option from Givenchy’s FW09 Couture collection still makes me dream of other worlds.

Queen-worthy couture.

But my favourite whites?

Nothing – absolutely nothing touches the grace and presence of Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda – in a classic white sari and polki set. Yes, those are diamonds. [I’ll tell you her story one of these days, too – a fascinating tale of gems.]

Maharanis are no match for us mere mortals.

Sonam Kapoor was surely inspired by this photo for her Mediterranean Maharani look, no?

Ah, to live the maharani dream. In another life, perhaps…

Photos: Agarwal, Gauri & Nainika, Tahiliani images courtesy of Vogue India. Vs. Mag, Edward Fong, Lauren Graham and Chanel Iman images courtesy of TFS. Maharani image source. MMM boot image source. All others from Style.com and WWD. Song lyrics from Poison Arrow, by ABC.

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  1. Jyotika Malhotra
    July 12, 2010

    Thanks so much for the comment…ah yes, simple beauty is what we are all after, isn’t it? I love the return of white for evening. Years ago, I had the loveliest 3-pc white evening suit from Club Monaco – wide flowy pants, a short fitted vest and soft shoulder single-button jacket. I felt like a 1940s movie star every time I wore it. Sigh…

  2. July 11, 2010

    All stunning, although Maison Martin Margiela Couture SS10 does remind me of something I saw on Project Catwalk a few years back. I love all the white though, so fresh, stylish and simply beautiful.

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