WITH each fashion season there are mainstream looks, and then there are niche trends. The latter start off small, with individual pieces becoming so popular they can end up like collectors' items.

Which is rather apt, as the burgeoning china blue trend is inspired by expensive things.

Fashioned in porcelain-esque chinoiserie designs, these intricate prints look like something out of your gran's prized crockery collection, or even a museum of fine art.

It's not the first time fashion has flirted with porcelain. Victoria Beckham grabbed the red carpet headlines back in 2005 by wearing a Roberto Cavalli gown that resembled a Ming vase for Elton John's summer ball.

Thankfully, this season's blue and white tributes are more understated in contemporary silhouettes - see Alesha Dixon for a modern-day masterclass.

Pretty florals, farmhouse motifs or Oriental style prints - anything goes as long as it's blue accents set against an ivory backdrop.


It's a blue and white takeover for high summer at Miss Selfridge. Achieve a laid-back summer vibe in blue vintage floral jeans, £40, or embroidered summer dress, £65, available May (www.missselfridge.com).


A statement take on porcelain prints requires a simple shape. See ASOS's embroidered dress, which lets the 3D blue embroidery take centre stage, £45, available May (www.asos.com).


For a daintier design, Hobbs' Dorset dress is 'white' on trend with a delicate china blue floral print. Add matching shoes and belt for true blue finishing touches, £159, available May (www.hobbs.co.uk).


If you haven't already ditched your winter cover-ups, Monsoon's Heidi summer coat might just persuade you. The collarless design has graduated shades of blue and white - perfect if you prefer plainer stripes to fussy prints, £99, available late May (08448 110 068/uk.monsoon.co.uk).


Baroque and florals expertly clash for a captivating print on Phase Eight's Delphine dress. Keep accessories to a minimum to let the cobalt print do all the talking, £120, available May (020 7471 4422/www.phase-eight.co.uk).


Accessories haven't escaped the china blue craze. Step up to the plate in L.K. Bennett's Flora point toe courts featuring china print in cotton and patent leather, £185 (www.lkbennett.com).


Look for a faded print for a subtle take on porcelain. Try Primark's Vintage Fields prom dress for a frock that's fit for vacations and sun-soaked days, £13 (0118 960 6300).


Your casualwear wardrobe requires a blouse with a print that packs a punch. There'll be hours of entertainment studying Marks & Spencer's action-packed china blue knot front floral shirt, £20 (www.marksandspencer.com).


If you prefer lace to prints, reverse the blue on white look with Topshop's China Blue lace skater dress with placement bodice design, £65 (www.topshop.com).


Flaunt some ankle in fancy style with Joules' Hepburn floral print capri pants. Versatile enough for pairing with daytime flats or evening heels, £49.95 (www.joules.com).