Glamorous sophistication is in abundance at French Connection this summer, with exquisite pieces giving you the inspiration to be creative and individual.
A combination of solid, sheer and metallic fabrics are striped, printed and polka dotted and layered with soft twills and fluid jersey to create a very modern collection.
Soft ties are used instead of buttons on delicate silk chiffon tops that drape the body and ribbons wrap just under the bust.
Sashes draw attention to the waist and pretty buttons add the finishing touch to a simple linen shirtdress.
An offbeat colour palette adds a visionary twist to the collection. A floor-length jersey dress has a flash of rainbow stripe in horizon blue, desert yellow and paprika. Dusty sun bleached shades of honey and mocha are reminiscent of summers past and are brightened with shiny metallic gold.
Beautiful pieces are abundant throughout, giving you the inspiration to be as creative as you like and discover a look you can make your very own.
Forties inspired shapes are worn with subtle embroidery. Cute swing tops are teamed with cropped trousers, and cotton shirts with a vintage feel are layered with unbuttoned soft tailoring. Whether your preferred look is that of a young Audrey Hepburn cycling along the French Riviera, a very sexy Brigitte Bardot or a smouldering Sophie Loren, glamorous sophistication is in abundance this summer.
Moving through the decades you can achieve 50s' pin-up glamour with a modern twist. Moody dusty colours worn with a feminine garden print have a faded kind of grandeur. Beautiful hand-embroidery and English blanket crochet in tone-on-tone colours sit happily together and detailed casual pieces are layered for a look that oozes elegance.
It wouldn't be true summer without an electric injection of feel-good colour. Express yourself by confidently mixing rainbow brights with graphic jersey prints and Aztec embroidery. Clashing stripes are mixed with soft florals and some traditional embellishment is added for a look that is truly individual.
Going poolside in summer 2006 means mismatching flowers, stripes and dots A sexy triangle bikini dotted with silver circles sits alongside a splashy print of candy coral and chocolate. A simple one- piece costume cut ultra low and baring the back in a chic colour palette of brown and green compliments sun kissed skin.
Hippy-inspired printed kaftans, headscarves and floppy hats are destined to become summer's essential cover-ups.
Bags are either nautical in navy and white stripes or vibrant in pink and orange straw for a real resort feel. Belts are braided or plaited and should be worn tight around the waist.
The menswear collection
The menswear collection for high summer sets out to challenge the modern man with his pre-conceptions on colour. Strong contrasting neon bright electric blue, flash orange, shocking pink and basketball yellow are daring and adventurous.
Funky stripes, bleached trims and graphic prints feature throughout, with new embellishment on shirts and t-shirts in the form of spray-can blotching, paint rollering and rusting.
Alternatively, crisp white shirts are teamed with baggy creased denims for a preppy look that is completed by mixing soft-brushed cotton super-wide slacks with striped polo shirts.
A new slim silhouette and the use of exciting new fabrics such as a blended metal and cotton yarn, faded textured checks and specially developed linen and cotton stripes challenge any new boundaries being set.
Customised worker denim looks hand finished and unique, with fit and function a main consideration. Unconventional washes, authentic trimming and finishing, buckle back details and hand applied staining all work to create a real lived-in look. Denim shirts make a return, referencing the 70s in their slim cut, soft washes and longer collars.
An element of nostalgic Eastern Bloc graphics runs throughout, where the feeling of dark prints on softer background is harsh, like controlled graffiti. This new embellishment is seen on jackets, sweats and T-shirts, taking the form of blotching, paint rollering, spray can and rusting.
Working alongside this constructivist edginess is a more organic, global element. Hooded shirts in five-colour dusty travellers'checks sit alongside Madras checks, indigo dyed checks and western checks. Accidental finishing, raw edges and heavy stitch embroidery give continuity and bring this group of checks together.
This retro sports look emphasises the slimmer silhouette and takes its core from traditional jersey and woven sports garments and reinterprets them as finely knitted, washed cotton sweaters. Stripes are printed instead of knitted to add forward colour and trickery. Overall the knitwear evokes a type of team uniform, enhanced by colours such as cadet blue, greens accented by lilac, orchid pink and an array of yellows.
Belts are either brightly striped canvas or tooled leather with stud detailing. Bags are sack styles with heavily stitched embroidery. Bermuda bright printed swim shorts, straw trilbies and funky flip-flops are the key summer accessories.