Now that spring is really here, the season’s most pressing fashion dilemma is no longer avoidable: what are we going to be wearing on our bottom half?
The options are varied and mainly “difficult”, particularly if you do not have the legs of a ’90s supermodel, and include shorts, harem trousers; peg-top trousers; crop-trousers; playsuits (technically, a top and bottom half, I know) and leggings, of course, to wear under a tunic or dress when temperatures dip.
The progress of the maxi — ubiquitous on the high street this summer — is a textbook example of planet fashion’s “trickle down” syndrome: a look that makes a huge impact on the catwalk but takes several seasons to hit the high street.
Cast your mind back to September 2007 when the spring/summer 2008 collections were being unveiled. That was the moment when a slew of designers, including Pucci, Cavalli, Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen and other hot designers, put maxis on the runway.
As one third of the iconic mid-20th century style triumvirate including Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, the model-turned-actress-turned-real life princess made her mark on the way women across Europe and the USA dressed for most of the 1950s and 1960s. But while Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn have become bywords in the last decade for a polished style of timeless, restrained, retro chic comprising little shift dresses, big sunnies and low-heel courts, Grace Kelly with her cool, blonde, debutante style was less copied.
It is the style dilemma du jour: is it possible to do double denim without looking like an extra from a Spaghetti Western, a nerdy student from a mechanical engineering course at a Midlands university or the epitome of Estuary chavness?
Remember how simple life was when there were just a handful of It Bags - the Fendi Baguette, Dior's Lady Di, anything quilted post-1983 by Chanel (ironically, the most covetable Chanel now is the classic 55, designed 30 years earlier) or a cylindrical tote by Louis Vuitton in the classic monogram fabric?
It would be mildly tragic and certainly ironic if Victoria Beckham, one half of Brand Beckham, former Spice Girl and recently reinvented as a designer of unexpectedly fabulous frocks, should be remembered for, er, bunions.
Yet the revelation that VB has experienced a podiatric meltdown as a result of years of wearing absurd, sky-scraper heels ensured that a debate about style versus comfort - or, more accurately, style versus borderline wearability, since "comfort" is an imprecise concept on planet fashion - got the profile it deserved.
It is hard to believe that the boxy, edge-to-edge jacket in knobbly wool bouclé, originally created by Coco Chanel in 1955, is enjoying yet another fashion moment.
It became a wardrobe classic for a decade after its creation, then lost its style supremacy for two decades when mini-skirts, flower-power, Biba and Mary Quant made anything as formal as a tailored jacket horribly passé.
Our excuse to photograph a confection of gorgeous hats is that it is Pesach in a couple of weeks, when Jewish women traditionally think about acquiring a new spring hat.
We have been looking at the prettiest and most stylish hats, some appropriate for synagogue, some for weddings or other special occasions.
If the pictures have a slightly vintage feel, it is because hats — the decorative kind, as opposed to the practical kind we wear for cold weather, skiing or sun protection — are, sadly, an anachronism in 2010.
It started, appropriately enough, with the Greek-born designer Sophia Kokosalaki. Then a slew of stellar designers, including Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, Jill Sander, Dries van Noten, Christopher Bailey at Burberry Prorsum and Donna Karan, were captivated by the way draped fabric flowed around the body, flattering curves, lengthening the torso and endowing androgynous bodies with the curves nature had neglected to give them. And so draping began to pop up on catwalks in New York, Paris, Milan and London.