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This Spring, designers have sought inspiration in the depths of the deep blue, delving into the oceans and overturning the pebbles to discover pearlescent beauties that will adorn our wardrobes.

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The Chanel catwalk was an underwater paradise; models sauntered down a runway complete with giant coral and seaweed, and held seashells as clutch bags. Pearl details adorned the signature tweed while chiffon and iridescent sequins draped and gathered over the body like the rise and fall of a restless tide. This theme was later seen at the Stella McCartney show (images below), where the crest of a wave curved softly over the contours of the body and raised hemlines. Elsewhere, Mary Katrantzou presented us with an assemblage of ideas translating her sea theme into bold prints, embellished with seed pearl outlines and jewels.

Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos (images below) went back to nature for their collection, presenting their bestselling dresses in an explosion of prints and hues of blue, whilst Versace still managed to exude sex appeal with a palette of fresh whites and pastels complete with seashell prints and studded starfish; Donatella’s vision of a modern day mermaid perhaps. Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen wowed with her creation of this mythical underwater woman; from clustered shell masks, to lines of beads and mother of pearl that crawled across peplums and gathered chiffon.

It seems that it is not just the fashion world caught up in a love affair with the beautiful briny sea; North Carolina artist Heather Knight has created ceramics inspired by scallops, clams and coral, so exquisite you almost expect them to feel wet at the touch. Or for a real taste of the water world, make a trip to St. Ives, Cornwall and visit the Tate gallery where you can see works by Barbara Hepworth whose sculptural masterpieces were inspired by the movement of sand and the rhythm of the tides. Take heed of the catwalks this Spring and dip your feet into the unknown.

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Written by Camilla Harrison

Camilla is currently in her final year studying BA Fashion History and Theory at Central St Martins and is a freelance writer for a range of publications and websites, writing fashion, arts and culture. In the last year, Camilla has been archiving the garments and history of Margaret Howell.

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