Lauren Laverne on grown-up neons

Smiley Faces

Now, more than ever, we live on screen.

Not in a Jordan-and-her-latest-husband's-new-ITV2-series type way. I mean screens are how we experience the world. This idea was brought home to me when I interviewed film critic David Thomson about his wonderful book The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies. It's the story of "us", really. How we became "the audience" and how self-identifying as such has changed individual behaviour, and the world.

The fashion industry's transition to screen has changed it, too. Today's shop window – the entire shop, where retailers showcase goods and we buy them – is a computer screen. It's strange and pleasing that British retail's biggest recent success story is Asos, which stands for As Seen On Screen: a name that referred to the fact that in its early days the site specialised in knock-off versions of designer looks sported by TV starlets. Not so now. The screen is its customer's and the Asos template is the one to which the industry aspires.

The switch from magazines and mannequins to backlit tablet has also changed what manufacturers are selling. The recurrent neon trend is a case in point: these tones can be tricky in real life, but look eye-poppingly appealing on the pale, pixelated page of your favourite fashion blog – which, I daresay, explains their annual reappearance in the spring/summer collections. But wait! Before you eschew the entire trend as a cynically constructed, lurid fishing fly, a flash of fluoro is an easy wardrobe update, and can breathe new life into a few classics you probably already own. So this week I thought I'd pick a few of my favourite pieces, currently available online and (if you insist on being like that about it) in the actual shops.

There's a lot of great, grown-up neon around. I'll be steering clear of anything bright and short and tight. The colour is doing enough work on its own. How about a bit of old-school bouclé livened up with neon piping? Try Asos. For a midi skirt in a vibrant hue, head to Oui at House of Fraser. If you're keen to dabble but a bit wary of in-your-face shades, you can calm zesty colours down by teaming them with their opposite. Flouro contrasts beautifully with neutral tones and well-worn denim. A stunning Folk shirt would look great with your favourite jeans and this pretty MSGM frock is perfect for a summer wedding. I love the vibrant print of a Whistles dress (on a base of black, so it will work with opaques on cold days) and Zara has done a great homage to Stella McCartney's eminently wearable jacquard florals – my favourite look of the season.

See? Fluorescent: not just for adolescents – and it looks great on screen, too.

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Powered by article was written by Lauren Laverne, for The Observer on Sunday 2nd June 2013 06.59 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010