Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 - Wildest Fantasies says national newspaper

spotted by a uk reader who sent in the link;

Ten style commandments for 2009

Forget the austerity look – for spring 2009, fashion designers have unleashed their wildest fantasies. Susannah Frankel previews the trends

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Giles Deacon: If intergalactic travel is unlikely to be on most mere mortal's agenda, escaping to another universe or indeed time zone might be more than a little appealing just now

It's that time again. Just when it has never seemed frostier outside, and the fashion follower has never felt fuller (read: unfashionably fatter following the requisite excess of Christmas), the spring/summer collections are dutifully arriving in store. And if the economic climate might naturally dictate play-safe tactics on the part of the world's most accomplished designers just now, it may come as something of a relief to any fashion peacock out there that the opposite is, in fact, the case.

Dark, distressed and displaying at least a modicum of sobriety to reflect the times is simply so last season, it's not even to be tolerated. Instead, the message is loud, proud and possibly even dangerous: there will be shoulder-pads out there so sharply pointed they might cause physical damage to any unsuspecting passer-by who inadvertently brushes past them.

Fashion is a risky business, you see – and what business isn't under threat at the moment – but it's the risk-takers who are currently shining more brightly than those with more obviously commercial concerns.

That is not a bad thing. The point of designer fashion should surely be that it makes its wearer stand out in a crowd, that it is individual, innovative and creative on its own terms – the more uncompromising the better. Leave it to the high street to translate such excess into everyday clothing. The international collections drove this message home: on the catwalks, the emphasis is firmly back on design over and above styling or superfluous surface embellishment. Radical pattern-cutting, pioneering fabric development, and ever-stranger trouser shapes – with suitably bizarre footwear to match – are all on the agenda, and they are not for the faint-hearted.

Escapism, too, is a buzzword. "In these hard times, dress up," read the notes to Vivienne Westwood's Paris show, and that could be the mantra for the season as a whole. Dressing to impress may entail investing in garments that can seem extreme to the point of madness. Their idiosyncratic character might lie in the silhouette (the more experimental the better), the colour (vivid, and sometimes violent), or in designer's use of materials (PVC or other polyvinyls, and enough sequins to make a showgirl blush might not seem like the most obvious summer staples, but they are all present and correct). Or they might be evocative of faraway and exotic climes – they might speak of Africa, India or even, well, the Moon.

The single thing that unites a disparate season is designers' return to their core values – the Italians like to call it a brand's "DNA". So, if a label is known in particular for more overt status and sparkle than might, to our Northern European sensibilities, seems strictly seemly, then its collection this time around will be even more status-driven and sparkly than ever. Conversely, if a designer name is famed for a conceptual approach to fashion, its output will now be more unashamedly ideas-based.

Whichever way one chooses to look at it, while this summer will present something of a challenge to the minimally minded, it will be anything but dull, fashionwise at least. So, sit back and marvel at the bravura of these designs, safe in the knowledge that the world is about to become a bolder, brighter place to be – if only in our dreams.


the rest of the article with specific breakdowns is here.

do make sure you click on the photo to see the full gallery that accompanies the feature.


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