How do you lilac me now?

Lorde has almost single-handedly launched lilac as the trend du jour. How? Take a glance at her Instagram, and you’ll find a string of lilac outfits befitting her Melodrama tour. At the same time, social media has begun influencing fashion trends, and zesty hues and unexpected colour combinations are firmly trending - due to their eye-catching Instagram appeal. These trend-making effects have combined, the beautiful shade crept into runway shows and is poised to take hold of the mass market this summer and later in 2018. According to some trend forecasting websites; lilac is usually tough with consumers, but we’re willing to bet with the backing of a style guru like Lorde, consumers will be on board to jump right into the lilac wave. Let’s just say it’s the new Millennial Pink.

Missoni’s extravagant Spring/Summer 18 collection celebrated Angela Missoni’s twentieth year as Creative Director of the famed knitwear brand. With a festive 80’s surfer vibe and pop–art inspired overtones the collection was unmissable; new season aesthetics mixed with retro influences. Layers of sheer, metallic knits with intricate patterns floated effortlessly over equally as sheer socks and strappy stilettos. The ultimate accessory was Missoni’s floppy, oversized sunhats which gave the show a summer night disco feel. Featuring almost the entire colour wheel (as usual) Missoni’s collection was particularly heavy on yellow, sky blue and sheer lilac close to Resene Blue Haze. Prints meshed all three hues, although a hefty helping of black patterned knits brought a more practical feel to the fantasy collection.

Hillier Bartley drew heavily on colour-blocking, with their two-tone collection consisting of a soothing combination of camel and iris – similar to Resene Biloba Flower. A trouser suit complete with matching waistcoat and turtleneck in this deep tone had impeccable, curvilinear tailoring and a distinct menswear as womenswear feel. An unexpected element was the use of fishnet stockings, which were layered over suits and gave the collection a dishevelled, marine feeling.

Fresh and youthful was the overarching atmosphere at Peter Pilotto this season. Pilotto ticked off the unexpected colour combination prerequisite by pairing bold pastels. Lilac (near to Resene Lavender) was matched with a crisp minty green, and lustrous pink layers of lace were layered over marigold. Fabrics were shiny with Japanese-style floral prints, and ruching with string ties and toggles was a detail on almost every garment. Exposed shoulders are still going strong, although asymmetric designs and barely-there spaghetti straps have largely overtaken the off-the-shoulder look.

Pamella Roland’s Monaco-inspired collection was extra, to say the least, and featured red carpet gowns simply overflowing with sequins and tulle. The vintage designs had an unmistakable royal feel – the kind of statement gown that Kate Middleton might slip on for a state ball or movie premier if she wanted to steal the show. Ostrich feathers were Roland’s trim of choice, on both gowns and shawls, and gave the collection an extra touch of luxury. Sheer layers of tulle in a soft lilac hue close to Resene Blue Chalk made up a gauzy confection of a gown.

Handmaid’s Tale is the subtle trend you didn’t see coming. While modesty dressing has been gaining momentum for a while, a more puritanical, dramatic aesthetic has caught on  – a trend epitomised by Joseph’s collection. Long, pointed collars were the order of the day; alongside slouchy jumpsuits and oversized suiting. Leather mixed with lightweight summer fabrics, and the colours evolved from stark monochromes to a variety of soft colours; reds, turquoises and a lilac close to Resene Zappo.

Rocker grunge was back on trend at Zadig & Voltaire, mixed with a dishevelled Little House On The Prairie influence and hints of military utilitarianism. Sound confused? It wasn’t – the monochrome hues simplified the looks, blending them with a smooth cohesion. When a more varied colour palette did appear, it was dusty and soft – with gentle, muted hues. A deep royal purple was the standout tone close to Resene Boogie Wonderland was present in silky, billowing dresses which evoked 70’s disco glamour. Camo was another polarising element in the collection, which 2000’s revivalists have yet to embrace fully.

Creatures Of Comfort’s collection was whimsical and yet minimalist, an unusual balance brought to life through the juxtaposition of Japanese–inspired tailoring and fabrics straight from the wardrobe of a French Instagram influencer. Très chic. While ruffles tend to look overtly feminine, in the midst of this subtle collection they fully evoked the innocence and naïveté which catapulted them into favour in the first place. The palette was light with oatmeals and white aplenty. Hints of blue and purple peeked through in a subtle shade akin to Resene Divine.

In a collection heavy on the safari-inspired suiting looks, a group of lilac hued garments stood out as a salute to the new season. Roberto Cavalli’s typical wafty bohemia was eschewed for Spring/Summer 2018 in favour of power dressing. Strong shoulders, heavy accessories and sharp tailoring were perhaps a reaction to the fourth-wave of the feminist movement, which has elicited artistic responses from a variety of high profile designers.  The lilac (similar to Resene Fog) was a pop of colour amongst a mostly earth-toned and animal printed collection and was undoubtedly the standout look of the collection.