Some fashion staples are timeless investments and some fashion themes change with time but never really go away. Over the past year, florals have been on trend, both in summer and in sombre, dramatic hues over the winter, so where to go from there? Why, menswear, of course. Boys, James May is your muse for this season. Your mileage may vary as to whether his distinctive taste in sartorial motifs was always ahead of its time or just 'right twice a day.' Word has it that the trend has blossomed more recently, in the light of Givenchy's summer 2012 collection. Since then, Tinie Tempah, Nick Grimshaw and Kanye West have all jumped on board the blooming bandwagon; Fashion data analysts Editd estimated an increase of 130% in the sale of floral pieces over the past year; Topman's Hawaiian Toucan shirt has become the brand's current bestseller and Gucci's floral paisley espadrilles have almost sold out completely at Matches Fashion. The shift in paradigm has cornered a young market, with the juxtaposition of floral prints in conventionally 'tough' garments, such as bomber jackets - well, if real men can wear pink then what's a bit of floral pattern amongst trendy urban professional friends?
Luke Day, GQ Style's fashion director, recently said that "the sun brings out something a bit more adventurous in us Brits." Presumably, he wasn't referring to our inexplicable urge to change into shorts and sandals as soon as temperatures reach double figures. From the Liberty-style paisley designs to Hawaiian prints and 1960s vintage psychedelia (pictured here in a design by John Pearse of Granny Takes A Trip), the pool of references is wide and set to be a key fashion influencer this summer. It's also being trailblazed by a new type of man in town - the Yummie, or young urban male with a taste for fine grooming and keeping abreast of catwalk trends. This status-conscious demographic is on the up, along with the value of the UK menswear market, which stands at around £10.4bn this year with a projected rise of 11% until 2017. According to Esquire's fashion director, Catherine Hayward, "Colourful florals tap into our spring time plans for summer travel in foreign climes." Designers have cottoned on and the results have been blooming marvellous!