Making waves in time for summer

Damsel in a Dress Santorini pleated maxi skirt, �139 (0207 697 2735/www.damselinadress.co.uk).
Damsel in a Dress Santorini pleated maxi skirt, �139 (0207 697 2735/www.damselinadress.co.uk).
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Sounds fishy... Summer fashion is taking inspiration from the sea...

The weather may have been wet, wet, wet recently but don’t let that put you off summer’s standout aquatic trend.

Model on the catwalk at the Mary Katrantzou Spring/Summer 2012 show at the Old Eurostar Terminal, Waterloo Station during London Fashion Week.

Model on the catwalk at the Mary Katrantzou Spring/Summer 2012 show at the Old Eurostar Terminal, Waterloo Station during London Fashion Week.

From shimmering fish scale prints to aquamarine colours, this season belongs to the underwater world. Think starfish, coral, seashells and vibrant fish aplenty.

The spring/summer catwalks were full of sea-inspired prints, ranging from exotic fish at Mary Katrantzou to iridescent mother-of-pearl shimmer at Chanel. And as always, the high street designers have followed in shoals.

Our scaly friends may not seem like the most obvious fashion inspiration but don’t be afraid to take the plunge...

Fishy Chic

Primark under-the-sea dress, �17 (0118 9606 300/www.primark.co.uk).

Primark under-the-sea dress, �17 (0118 9606 300/www.primark.co.uk).

Photographic-style prints are hot this summer and Primark’s £17 under-the-sea dress looks like a magical snapshot with an underwater camera.

At Topshop the photo print transforms the humble tee. Experience the tropical delights of Tee And Cake’s Fish Tank print tee for £25.

For a more subtle nod to the underwater world, head to online fashion store Asos for The Rodnik Band’s fish scale print jacket, £160, which features a sea-inspired scallop print design.

Maxi-Mum Sealife

LS Schmidt blue swimsuit, �85 (www.peterhahn.co.uk).

LS Schmidt blue swimsuit, �85 (www.peterhahn.co.uk).

Long, flowing dresses and skirts are now a summer staple. And this year, the maxi gets its dip into the seaworld trend.

Hit the beach in Marisota’s Sea Shells print maxi dress, £60, featuring coral, shells and starfish all on an oceanic blue backdrop. And echo the aquamarine colours of the sea with Damsel in a Dress’s Pucci-esque Santorini pleated maxi skirt, £139.

In The Swim

Whether it’s ocean, pool or sunlounger, make a splash this summer in swimwear that will feel right at home by the water’s edge. Sea-inspired one pieces and bikinis will be embellished with shimmering scale-style sequins and bead-work or will bear bold and fun sea-life prints. Matalan have a cool little Under the Sea print bandeau bikini top at £6, with matching briefs at £5.

All that design and bright colour acts as a distraction to the onlooker’s eye – so you will appear more svelte.

Seashell Chic

Remember the souvenir shop seashell necklaces you used to love?

Gorgeous, grown-up summer versions are now yours for the picking.

Costume jewellery fashioned into shell shapes are set to rule the waves.

Print queen designer Olivia Rubin has used deep blue sea references for her collaboration with Dorothy Perkins. A stand-out piece is the gold shell stretch cuff, £12.50.

Guess’s starfish necklace, £175, with dazzling aqua crystals, is one to treasure, but you’ll have to splash out – it’s £175.