Spring/Summer'12 Trend Watch: Say Aloha To The Hawaiian Shirt!

11 April 2012

Maarten Van Der Horst's collection for Topshop. Shot by Topshop's Creative Director Kate Phelan.

Aloha fashion friends! Ever fancied an idyllic slice of island life? Us too. Well, even if you’re stuck in the city this spring, a little escapism isn’t far away when Hawaiian shirts are surfing a wave of stylish shop floors. Yes, we’re not joking when we say that this garish men’s shirt, first designed by Alfred Shaheen in the late 1940s and so famously beloved of big camera-wielding Bermuda-short wearing tourists and Elvis Presley in seminal ‘50s movie Blue Hawaii have hit the runway…. For girls!

The combined force of Stella McCartney’s Hawaii-bound resort range (rendered in silk and completed with matchy-matchy pajama pants) along with the under-the-radar cred of LFW’s NEWGEN newbie Maarten Van Der Horst and his eye-catching hula hula shirts, jackets and shorts has put this old-fashioned item back on the map. We've even spotted it on the streets in the form of a midi skirt!

[Related feature: Could you rock white jeans this summer?]

“I don’t really know where the idea came from!” Maarten told us of his spring/summer print-fest, “I don’t like engineered prints, so I wanted something genuine and authentic, something that was a clear reference to holiday and easy living, but at the same time dirty old men... it was a great set of references to work with!” That it is. Talk-of-the-town Maarten has just teamed up with Topshop, as part of their ongoing designer collaboration projects, to create an eight piece collection that revolves around his Polynesian patterns, but also includes a fluoro pink tee, easy-peasy hibiscus drawstring dresses and (perhaps even more controversial than said shirts) some cycling shorts!

We’ve selected the best Honolulu hotcakes on the market for your perusal. So, is it a high five for Hawaiian fashion or a case of wish you weren’t here…?

L-R: ASOS, Maarten Van Der Horst mainline, Stella McCartney at Liberty, Maison Scotch and Tara Starlet

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