Keep the name Dahkla written on a post-it note and stick it in your travel wallet, you’ll be needing it in a couple of years when friends ask you for new holiday destinations. Look out Marrakesh, you could soon have some competition! Last month, along with a lovely group, I was treated to an exclusive look at Morocco’s latest destination offering.
Previously reserved for hoards of Kitesurfers who head to the tiny spit right in the middle of the Atlantic to train and watch the annual championships, Dakhla showed us just how much potential a small pastel coloured city could offer. In the middle it really is, this is the closest I’ve come to the equator and I can at last claim that I’ve been to THE Sahara desert! Sand and sun later, let me first show you the pretty palm-tree lined town.
This is real Morocco at it’s best, along with daily markets, a small but jewel-like souk (my friends and I watched a young boy fashion a stone into a gold ring for us), secret beach-side oyster farms and incredibly friendly locals. I tasted Camel (yep, sorry Humpy) and what must be every type of crustacean, plus devoured many a nutty patisserie that could well have been jewellery.
Whilst the area is certainly in need of gentrification to accommodate any mass number of tourists, we had a lovely peaceful stay in our hotel where we fell asleep to the sounds of the sea lapping the shore. Note it down!
Welcome back to Cologne! The city where I spent a neat 24 hours exploring in the hunt for colour. On our second day, Rosie and I tucked into a lovely breakfast at the Courtyard Hotel we stayed in (we had a little party there the night before to celebrate their 1000th opening!) and headed off out to the colourful cafes by the river front that we’d spotted the day before.
It’s the perfect area to dine al fresco and watch the world go by. I made the most out of the empty chairs and made myself at home in my matching bomber jacket outfit – a get-up that I can only describe as a mixture between Sailor Moon, a Tesco cashier and a patriotic American (from Boston, apparently) on a school trip. Seeing as we found ourselves in sweet shops and were talking photos everywhere we went, we may as well have been!
I’ve gathered together pieces from my wardrobe that are future fashion fodder and, coupled with my wish-list suggestions, will make your outfits the top of the trends. Here are my SS15 key pieces…
There’s no hiding that the next big thing for SS15 fashion is the seventies trend. Just look to Saint Laurent SS15 for your how-to-style masterclass on this one. Oh yes, those wide jean hems are coming for ya along with fedoras, scarves and more chunky footwear (yess!)
I’m not often seen in brown tones but I’m sure glad that I kept a tan silk shirt throughout those seasons of neons! Matched with a cropped jacket that says ‘I’ve had an epic gap year’ and a worn-in bucket bag, it’ll give off a perfect balance of sophisticated-yet-free vibes.
I’m digging around for skinny scarves to drape around my shoulders and tie around my bag. Take note – they’re toted to be the accessory of the festival season!
The New Blue
A major player in the seventies trend is denim and it’s time to clean up! We’re all a little over the ran-through–the-brambles-then-the-cat-mauled-my-jeans look and are instead detoxing with straight lines and mono-hued denim.
Key shapes include frilled shorts (and frills in general girls!), boxy culottes (they’ll be your wardrobe staple this spring), midi skirts, and the all-important flared jean. Top of my shopping list is a pair of indigo flares to wear with a denim shirt and snakeskin boots. You’ll be denimed if you don’t!
Blue really is the hue this SS15. If not indigo then it’s got to be turquoise. Minty-blue tones are some of my favourite colours so I’m glad to be integrating these back into my summer looks. Look out for embellished party pieces, sheer and lace, and shimmering fabrics for a futuristic look.
Pair with even more shiny pieces (my fave!) like iridescent blouses and chunky sandals then grab your apple watch and step straight into the future!
Unplug and Hippie Out
Trend forecasters predict that SS15 will be the apex of the see-saw for us tech-addicts so if the Apple watch sounds like a right lol and you’re scared you’ve become part of the checking-your-phone-40-times-a-day statistic then it might just be time to switch off.
Luckily there’s a whole trend to see you through this return to the simple life. Start by finding yourself a pretty paisley sundress and desert sandals. You’ll be wearing these every day so make them practical in sturdy leather.
Tip: You’ll need a sensible but chic rucksack to carry all your adventuring essentials and a couple of good books in. Choose a rope belt and knit yourself a crochet cardigan and you’ve got your authentic off-grid look down. “Omm”.
Sassy A-line Skirts
So you’ve got your head around seventies, futuristic and back-to-nature trends but what SS15 key pieces should we be looking out for now? For me, it’s all about mini-skirts! Whether floral print, metallic, textured or embellished, they’re the best break from flares your pins will get.
THE BUTTON SKIRT: This Spring, fabrics are all about weightiness so keep an eye out for suede and denim button-down skirts. My latest purchase was a corduroy version from the Urban Outfitters sale. Get yourself one now!
THE FEDORA: I’ve got a lot of wear out of my black fedora hat but it’s time to find a weathered looking brown one to pair with those seventies and off-grid ensembles.
JACKETS: The teenie-tinier the better! There are many to choose from this Spring: Sweeten-up in a lilac suede jacket, man-up in a fitted black and satin number or hit the road in a brown patched leather version. Full-on tassels optional.
Lastly don’t forget those culottes, shearling sleeveless jackets to see you into the warmer months, platform boots, authentic style kimonos, tennis style separates for when you’re feeling active, and anything small and suede. SS15, bring it on!
What would you do with 24 hours in a new city? For me, it’s all about maximising my feet and getting exploring. Of course, when I’m discovering somewhere new, I’m colour-hunting all the way. Remember my colourful trip to Amsterdam? Following in the footsteps of ultimate colour-lover and traveller Will, having something to look for and find makes the discovery process all the more worthwhile. What would you be on the look out for?
The results of a quick Google of Cologne were very promising indeed; bright pastel-coloured houses in front of a church, a triple arching bridge that looked spectacular at night and of course the famous Rhine river. So when, on my first venture out of my Courtyard Hotel room with travel buddy Rosie, I didn’t find much beyond a huge outdoor play area, I knew there was more to find. Time to turn the other way!
Navigating a new city without internet required a bit of unexpected brain power but in hindsight that was no bad thing! It reminded me that my sense of direction is a trait worth patting myself on the back for, plus nearly getting run over by a lorry and loosing half the group in the Cathedral it made for an even more interesting adventure!
Here’s what I discovered when colour hunting in Cologne, Germany last week!
Hey 2015, we’re well overdue a Take10 challenge, so lets steam into it! We’re kick starting the year with a bit of a new crew including the babin’ Megan from Pages by Megan (and ASOS personal stylist extraordinaire) and the Beaut Anoushka from Anoushka Probyn who looks dreamy in anything tasseled.
For this challenge we’re repping Timberland – the guys that do those tough gal boots borrowed from the boys. I decided to stick to their best sellers but snatch them firmly away from men in hi-vis by going for pink. Like, PINK pink.
I did have to think fairly carefully about how to style these little monsters. They’re pretty chunky so you have to take proportions into consideration. (Btw, go a size down as they’re very roomy.) To prevent twig leg, I went for a roomy boyfriend jean and the massive flamingo jacket stops you being too bottom heavy. I’ve added a touch of sportiness with a classic logo T and shiny shiny rucksack. Take a look below to see how Caroline and Anoushka styled their boots and the other girls show you what other lovely shoes Timberland have to offer. Peep toes? Who knew?!