Fashion Show Designers Autumn 2004 & Winter 2005
Designer Trends From Milan, Paris, New
York and London Affecting Fashion for Fall 2004
Earlier this year in spring 2004 in terms of
styling and pizzazz, the Milan fashion shows exhibiting for autumn/winter
2004 were as confident as ever, featuring the common theme of vintage, all
with layering, leather and fur. The Milan shows used the best of
vintage 20th century styles for inspiration. Fur trimmed
just about everything. Fake fur, now fashionably called faux fur and real
fur will be everywhere this autumn. Look out too for similarities in shops to the shaved fur capes that hit the
catwalks, fur gilets, fur
stoles and fur trapper hats. Funnel necks on swing jackets will have a
Milanese footwear was elevated with stack, wedge,
clumpy and wooden heels. Toes were round or oval and the two tone shoe is
sure to a be hit, because even though it is an oft repeated revival, it looked new
Skirt lengths in Milan mostly showed a modest
hemline covering the knee or at mid calf or longer. Skirts that covered the
knees were also a trend at the New York shows. Perhaps some of the
various box pleated skirts some houses have been putting on the catwalks
might best be avoided.
Miuccia Prada continued her 1950's
revival and she designed square necked dresses and pert grey flannel suits
perfect for those who aspire to be ladylike.
Using contemporary touches such as the use of
computer generated digitally distorted old master landscape or tapestry
style prints her
Miu Miu range harked back to the romantic New Look with sweeping skirts and evidence
of cutting in tune with both the late greats, Ossie Clark and Jean Muir.
Her military inspiration from historical
costuming with a modern twist that used both velvet and brocade to make
swaggering splendid coats all captured the culture of a long ago European
heritage. Her coats featured jewel encrusted collars and belts, also
made in tweed and checks. Interesting use was made of nylon in ski jackets
covered in digital prints.
Prada also favoured alligator and snakeskin stilettos, so right now these
would be a great summer sale fashion purchases that will remain fashionable
for 2005. Other items to find in the sales are brooches. Prada
used them to great effect as trims particularly on cashmere knits and
wherever else she fancied. Brooches will be everywhere this winter, but worn
not only on a lapel, but also on bags, the pockets of jeans and even beanie
hats. Brooches will replace the fake silk organza flower corsage.
On the catwalk there were also gorgeous
circle skirts that vied with pencil straight skirts and exceptionally
feminine tailored garments from costume suits to sexy coats. The
fitted and shaped waist styling really suits hour glass figures and can only
be welcomed by women who are not stick thin and have voluptuous curves to
Prada is the best place to look for
inspiration for this fifties styling, taking many of the ideas you find
there with you to the high street where fast JIT (just in time) fashion companies
like Zara and those mentioned above, interpret new and fresh ideas so fast,
that designers complain their ideas are pirated and in other suppliers shops, before
they are showcased in the original designer's ready to wear outlet.
Dolce&Gabbana looked to the 20th century
for ideas from every decade. In particular the 1970s produced
translatable ideas and they wove their magic to give
their very own D & G touch to Yves St. Laurent 70's inspired styled suits.
D & G full length evening dresses for autumn winter 2004/5 were made for
goddesses from another planet with their futuristic lustrous sparkling
copper and bronze metallic fabrics and semi opaque sexy inset fabric panels
that emphasised body contours.
Dolce Gabbana Vintage is the new buzz phrase
and enables designers to remake past winners their customers adore by
calling them vintage, even if the style is only a few years old.
Designers have always turned to fashion history for inspiration and this
show proved that La Belle Époque beading and lace sat happily with
1930s tea dresses and more contemporary 60s inspired T tops and jeans.
Their long coat to lust after, had a half belt at the back making it sensible and wearable with a
great fashion aspect.
Armani also favoured the woman of
tremendous curves reminiscent of the clothes of Edwardian beauties. Flared
skirts with an organic feel that swept like an opening bell flower form,
the art nouveau styling of La Belle Époque of 1900, vied with fluid trousers
and fluted coats all emphasising a nipped in waist. Waffle textured jackets,
cut velvet gowns and rich velvets added a feeling of sumptuousness.
Rifat Ozbek was back after an absence of a
years. Ozbek used braids to detail the hemlines of skirts and the
edges of jackets, infusing them with both colour and fashion savvy aplomb. His use of
polychromatic tassels was a nice touch on scarves and cuffs and was Tibetan
and Ottoman empire influenced. Shops that usually translate similar themes
well, include Monsoon.
Look out for similar ideas in the shops where
tipping on knits in particular will be popular. Tipping is an edge finish of
about half to a centimetre of contrast colour. Popular schemes include
black and cream, red and black, flesh pink and cream etc.
Roberto Cavalli used crystal, silver and gold
lustre to enhance wearable coloured printed paisley fabrics in dirty plums,
sage, sharp green and navy.
Alexander McQueen went futuristic with a
sci-fi like setting for models that looked like aliens. He used draped
silk jersey to make dresses that draped from silver chokers. Leather was
used to encrust dresses of chiffon. Fur pony skins were shaved to
become even flatter to make coats.
Mc Queen has also forecast that feather
shrugs in silver black or coral worn over glamorous dresses will be big next
Karl Lagerfeld took a very unisex approach to
many of the clothes he designed for the House of Chanel. Borrowing
from the boys for daywear he focused on headwear such as trilby hats, caps
and drainpipe jeans in pinstripe materials.
The colours were often pastels and he
did not neglect classic Chanel styling and there was usual mix of cardigan suits,
this time teamed with flat boots. Patriotic colours of red, navy and
white as well as pastel tweeds were striking. The tweed cardigan suit
is classic Chanel and Lagerfeld knows just how to add a contemporary twist.
The high street has taken this look to heart
and chances are you have much better chance of buying the high street
version than even a ready to wear Chanel version at almost £3000. Just
about every collection in the stores today has a tweedy jacket inspired by
Lagerfeld and at a tenth or even thirtieth or less of the Chanel boutique price you can opt
for this high fashion look and wear it with matching or contrast trousers or
skirts, or for a more dress down look just add your favourite jeans and
a string of pearls, maybe pastel coloured pearls.
Christian Lacroix is one of the right
designers for now with his passion for colour, pattern and jewel encrusted
garments. He showed broderie anglaise trimmed tiered skirts with
masculine cut trench coats, jackets that were long and straight over
tweed culottes and eastern, oriental inspired yellow and purple patchwork
prints on jackets.
His use of ribbon woven through long
cardigans is likely to be taken up by the high street fashion stores who are
currently feeding off deconstructionist and textural techniques. His
use of lace in fine black lace shirt dresses with gold mancheron shoulder
detailing was another wave to the return of the emphasised shoulder.
Coloured tights abounded and are a real 1980s revival touch.
John Galliano brought geisha girl and
rockabilly to his collection. He used vivid shocking pink dyed furs atop
huge enveloping coats. The look was unexpected and jarred, but at the same
time captured street culture and was innovative and original. The
catwalk is where Galliano shows his fantasy vision.
Valentino produced the most beautiful evening
wear of columnar dresses of lace or chiffon layers and some in the primary
colour red with huge fabric
roses at the sides that were show stopping. His fur bomber jackets
were luscious, modern and street savvy.
New York began by turning to the 1970s for
inspiration with groomed pussy bow collar looks, popular in the late
seventies for the office look of today and tomorrow. Others turned to 1950's fashion favourites and used luxury tweeds
including herringbones, wools and ribbon enhanced polychromatic glittering
tweeds, to produce fur trimmed suits and coats tailored to the body.
Shrugs and ponchos, fringing and belted coats sum up New York's passion for
statement outer wear for fall.
effect gave clothes the aura of being effortlessly chic, feminine and
ladylike. They skimmed and tightly hugged the body with their narrow cut
silhouettes, peplums and wider, puffed shoulders. All this set amid pin tucked and frilly blouses with pie crust collars.
Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs did this best. Jacobs made prim look sexy in the 70's retro
looks that Jacobs does so well.
New York fashion shows styled clothes to be
layered from bustier to top jacket. Drainpipe jeans may set an autumn look
already half there with turned up cropped drainpipes already a high fashion
sale this summer. Kaftan tops, high waistlines, ponchos, capes, fedora hats,
wide man styled trousers and jeans and trousers pushed into boots were all
New York styles likely to become fashion favoured trends this autumn. Combinations of colours continue from those of the summer with flesh tone
peach, purple, rich brown, greens and blues still high on the list.
Look out for high throat hugging necklines as
opposed to cleavage exposure,
high waistlines, ponchos, capes and fabrics of tweed, chiffon and paisley. Mid calf or longer skirts even to ankle was the norm. Occasion
dressing was evident. The return of the brooch for fastening cardigan
knits and adorning a wide range of wardrobe items brings a return to
decoration and dressing up with costume jewels. The little green dress
may soon eclipse the LBD as next season's must have!
Caroline Herrera sought inspiration from the
ski slopes. She mixed pinstriped pants or long skirts with patterned
knitwear or sweaters consisting of fur strips or ermine. Her Audrey
Hepburn inspired boat neck black shift dress was a subtle look that women
often search for, but cannot find in the shops.
Marc Jacobs sent out primly dressed
secretarial styled models with fussy Miss Moneypenny style pussy bow blouses
with neat high waisted elegant pencil skirts, with not a low rise waistline
in sight. The look was schoolmarm prissy, but sexy and was every grown up boy's
fantasy of a saucy school mistress or strict female dominant leader like Margaret
With his closely fitting skinny cardigans,
tweed suits for day and glittering dresses for night where modest aspects
reigned supreme, Jacobs's racy style meant that the groomed and glamorous
look was back for flirting rather than over obvious display of flesh. He
used strong colours like emerald green and deepest jade that seemed new in
Michael Kors gave a show that the average
person could copy as their own look. Models sashayed the catwalk in their
jeans, textural cable knit sweaters and big fur bags. Elements of the look have been seen before,
but people like it and find it easy to follow as their own fashion. The fur
bags are likely to be a huge hit as fur will be so fashionable this coming
season. Whilst wearing fur can make you look bulky, even the fattest
woman can get away with a fur bag and feel she has her finger on the pulse.
Camel and lilac were a perfect foil for softly faded jeans.
Roland Mouret also toyed with little black
dresses that softly draped with bloused styling and jewelled necklines that
armour breast plates.
Anna Sui made a romantic pretty collection
that women who yearn for feminine styling adore in her fashion garments.
The collection included brightly dyed fox fur boleros, neat cardigans, or ribbon
decorated sweaters worn with flowered skirts teamed with dainty accessories
such as her heart shaped bag.
Rodriguez is a Cuban American and brings just
a touch of Hispanic exotica to all his designs. Colourful piping
tipped the edges of flesh toned dresses.
Oscar de la Renta
The design house of de la Renta opted for tweed suits with raw fringes.
Proenza Schouler produced tailored garments
refinement and elegance in their graceful design. Chic is a word
that easily describes their work.
Betsy Johnson highlighted some retro 80s
styling with tomahawk hairstyles and over the knee thigh boots.
The house of Ralph Lauren showed a spare colour palette
concentrating mainly on black, but uplifted some items with touches of camel
or red. Lauren showed a regard for all things of the American south
west using touches of Navajo imagery in earrings, cuffs and belts.
Zac Posen showed striped lame that shimmered
dramatically on the catwalk.
Matthew Williamson used Aztec style linear
graphic prints to make up Kaftan dresses and chiffon baby doll empire gowns.
Tweed with glitter thread made wonderful multi coloured jackets.
With about 40 fashion shows London Fashion Week
attracted only a small number of about 2000 buyers and journalists compared
to Paris which attracted 10,000 visitors. But London can still set
trends and it's clear that cleavage is out of favour with London designers
too as more
severe modest clothes were introduced. Waists are back in fashion and
the belted coat will
characterize this year's styles from last years.
Fur tippets are likely to be all the rage by
November and December as not only are they a 200 year old revived fashion item
but they are also practical in chilly windy countries in winter. The
fur might be any type from fake to sheepskin, but they will be around and
being small and less costly than a coat or jacket can help instantly update
looks. Accessories like chain mail scarves and gaiters add new touches
to old looks.
With chill ever on the mind British designers
covered up legs in interesting opaque tights. Some tights will have a
metallic sheen, with copper being fashionable colour for them.
Layering will also define looks as fur and
sheepskin and faux jackets help keep the chill off skimpy slip dresses for
evening. Slip dresses have now been around for about 10 years
but women still seem to love them.
Julian Macdonald was master of a
sophisticated show that had mink bomber jackets, leather seamed skirts and
snakeskin pants worn with fox fur shrugs.
Jasper Conran's designs were strict and
severe and showed women as the dominant sex through their dress. The
Equestrian look popped up here too with his flesh hugging breeches pushed
into leather boots. Like New York Conran revived the cloak in the style of
floor sweeping Lord of the Rings traditional sweeping versions.
Sir Paul Smith
Sir Paul Smith has a ready made clientele
world wide and is especially well liked in Japan. His catwalk show
theme was nautical and used navy, red and white focusing on skinny trousers,
cropped tops. It was predictable and quite English in the sense of county
style. There were also elements of sharp tailoring, accessorised with
traditional silk foulard snaffle scarves, cashmere striped sweaters and
plenty of bling with gilt accessories.
Read more about earlier designer ideas for
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