more below about the colours and fabrics to look
out for during 2003. Read more fully about
If you love feminine clothes
you are in for a real treat this spring/summer.
It has been years since the shops have been
flooded with such pretty clothes in an array of
so many attractive colours and mixtures.
Colours for Spring and Summer
2003 include taupe, beige, chocolate, agate
slices, peach, nude, soft rose, antique pink,
dusty pink, deeper rose, ochre, gold, pale olive
green, deeper tones of olive, apple green,
chartreuse green, whitened aniseed green, safari
shades, misty khaki, military green, soft blue
grey, light blue, lapis blue, poppy red, Chinese
red and of course the ever present great mixers
black, white and cream.
Pastels, sherbet and ice cream
sorbet colours will help fix the quality of some
of these colours in your mind. Think of pretty
soft colour mixtures in fabrics like pastel pink
with a very soft creamy lemon. The mood it
creates is soft, feminine and ethereal.
In addition there will also be
some fluorescent colours such as hot pinks,
electric blue, sea green, peachy orange and
canary yellow reminiscent of exotic tropical
floral prints, birds of paradise and butterfly
With such a range of colours
there really is something to suit most
complexions and tastes. For this range think of
the strength of colour used in both Indian and
Chinese traditional ceremonial dress. But
remember you make the choice so if neon colours
are something you hate just leave the items in
If some ordinary, but bright
colours shock you too much when you see them in
the shops, yet you want to dare to wear really
bright colours, but are not old enough to have
experienced them in the 1980s then it really is
a good idea to mix and soften some of these
stronger colour schemes with safer tones like
taupe or grey.
Colours to expect to see in the
shops Autumn 2003 include those same soft ice
cream looks that may well be described by then
as fondant colours.
The range includes some of these
such as pistachio green, ecru, pale gold,
buttercup yellow, camel, tea rose, raspberry
pink, pink, dusty pink, bright pink, hot pink,
cranberry, orchid pink, aqua, carbon blue, rust
browns, brick, havana, tortoiseshell, grey,
gunmetal grey, mole, taupe, and khaki. Other
interesting schemes include some strong colours
with fruit shades which show 60's influence.
Colours for Autumn/ Winter
2003-2004 follow on well from summer 2003. But
many of the winter's important colours will have
a metallic cast or gunmetal sheen making for
exciting dimensions in clothing. The grey range
travels from blonde to all tones of grey through
to deepest black.
For Autumn-Winter 2003/4 the top
colours will be truffle, cigar and a blued
charcoal, but with red and the metallic shimmer
of gunmetal, silver, gilt and copper bringing a
dynamic note to these neutral tones.
For Spring and Summer 2003 the
season's biggest looks will be mist like
chiffons and satin in abundance. Movie star
glamour will be evident from not just the dance
floor as pretty feminine elegant ladylike
dresses, but also at the sports field. Satin
fabrics are already on the high street made up
into bomber jackets, off the shoulder tops, mini
skirts, Chinese jackets, cargo pants, wrap
skirts and satin dresses.
This satin look can work if you
are realistic about your size. If you are
slender you can slink in satin with ease, but if
you have larger areas best kept covered, then
choose satin items such as little tops or shirts
to be worn under jackets or other layers. Don't
dismiss satin as a fad that won't catch on for
daywear. Satin was hugely popular as a day
fabric in the early seventies.
These satin looks will be
enhanced by a resurgence in the use of pearls
and diamante as accessories. The satin combined
with other fabrics such as suede, chiffon,
parachute silk and cashmere that heighten the
sense of luxury and richness, will contrast
beautifully with these light reflective fabrics
making them appear even more lustrous and
glamorous. When worn with gold or silver
sandals and other metallic shoes about to hit
the market the movie star image will be
By Autumn Winter 2003/4 expect
to see embroidered chiffons, plaids, tapestry
style jacquard fabrics with rich embossed
textures of coppery or other metallic yarns as
well as metallic brocades, gunmetal silks,
pastel suede lined with patterned soft fine
fleeces, macramé style lace knits, laser cut
work and diamante and contrast fabric bonding.
There is a look for everyone.
You can find anything this season from floaty
tea dresses, satin sportswear, Chinese/Japanese
styling to techno sporty.
Begin to look now for items with
cinched waists and if you are a young young girl
you can cope with the latest mini skirt and mini
In the UK Topshop are already
selling a great line in mini skirts and gold
satin bomber jackets (Feb 2003). These items
are also forecast as heavy sellers for the
autumn when worn with solid block coloured
tights and flat boots. See this kind of look in
the UK in shops like Zara as well as among hot
If older and your legs are good
and you have the confidence go for it. But do
remember you do need really good legs to wear a
mini skirt and a lined face may not quite match
the overall effect the designers intended. One
way most can wear the mini is the way it has
been presented at some shows with trousers worn
Summer trends include laser cut
work and Broderie Anglaise effects in materials
and floating chiffon fabrics often with a pale
tea coloured background and overprinted in
vintage rose patterns.
Look out for details in both
clothing and accessories of crochet trims,
sequins, lacing, coiled leather disc decoration,
metal zips, studs/grommets or punched silver
Fabrics with spots, stripes,
tropical and rose prints will vie with sporty
looks including combat pants of every style and
description. In contrast watch for V necks that
plunge deeply and fabrics that fold and drape in
the style of gown folds of Grecian women.
The Oriental look will be seen
typically in satin, but also as dragons
embroidered on the back of T shirts. Chinese
ball buttons made of soutache braid and little
braid loops will feature with mandarin style
necklines and embroidered oriental bags and
accessories. Chiffon embroidered long scarves
are a simple way to add this look.
In footwear, imitation of a pair
of Manolos has reached a pinnacle. Look out for
thin heeled, thin strappy sandals, T bar shoes,
lots of Grecian ankle wrapping straps on elegant
high heeled shoes as well as absolutely flat
shoes in many colours from acid lemon,
chartreuse green to orchid pink and more. Some
shoes will appear to float under the foot,
because the strap or upper is in a clear quality
plastic. Gucci for example have shoes made this
An old favourite the paisley
pattern will reappear made up in just about
every fabric available from wool to chiffon. By
total contrast to chiffon, next winter will see
fur continue to be used as both a trim and
fabric. In particular cropped fur bomber
jackets teamed with tight velvet trousers will
translate to the high street well and will suit
many in need of a fresh look.
Luxury will still continue as
old favoured yarns of recent years like cashmere
and alpaca, sometimes silk are brushed to make
them airy, whilst boiled wools become softer.
Everyone will be on the look out for soft
clothes to cocoon in and manufacturers sensing
this demand will be meeting it with innovations
in softer sportswear and housewear.
Italian influences in clothes
take the form of some forties styles tailored
short wool suits, tweed skirts. Similarly the
USA team Proenza Schouler have opted for spick
and span tailoring and sophisticated 50s
inspired cocktail frocks. Groomed ladies are
here to stay this year whether in a summer tea
dress or a winter fitted suit.
The most exclusive and elusive
fashion will be getting the right bag before
it's out of favour.
Start to avoid all over tans and
over doing the fake tan look that really is so
obvious. Remember this year it's block colour
tights, not tans on legs. Avoid too dresses with
long thigh splits, now passé rigid bustiers,
dungarees, tassels, frilly skirts, and Capri
Keep all your denim items and
try distressing what you have even more. Get a
great scrubbing or wire brush and work up a
sweat abrading the surface of the fabric. If
you bought into military items from Russian
style winter coats to combats hang onto them
wearing them with pretty high heels.
Chiffon will be everywhere this
year so save every chiffon item you have as they
are great worn over another item or as stand
alone garments. The forthcoming season will
have even more floating gauze like fabrics.
As February draws to a close and hints of
fashion predictions for Autumn/Winter 2003/2004
are flooding our newspapers and television
screens, now is the time to start thinking
seriously about this season's must have items to
add a little zest to your wardrobe.
In the sections How to Assess a Fashion Look
Parts 1 and 2 I give advice on the preparation you
need to make before you hurtle through the shops
buying everything that catches your eye. I'll
just remind you that the basic advice that works
well every time, simply involves a little self
1. Before buying clothes for a new season
get half a dozen fashion magazines, settle down
for the evening and scour them for details of
new looks that keep cropping up. Check the
colours, silhouette shapes, footwear,
hairstyles, jewellery, accessories and fabrics
2. Spend 15 minutes putting your own
wardrobe into apple pie colour order. Seriously
check it for colours and styles you already have
as you work on it. Absorb mentally the
information within the existing wardrobe and
remove items you hate whilst thinking about new
items to update and bridge the gaps.
3. If your busy schedule permits time
wise, go shopping not to buy, but just to look.
The following week go shopping knowing what you
really want to purchase. If you have to shop and
buy on the first visit, take cash so you only
buy what you really need rather than fancy on a
whim with a credit card. That way you won't
waste money on some useless garment and you
really may be able to afford the designer item
you lust after.
4. Keep in mind a mental or written note
of the colours of the new season that you know
suit you and may well already mix well with your
So before you go shopping you need to be
familiar with the basic colours to look out for
and shown above. It's a good idea to also be
aware of the autumn/winter colours at the same
time so you can make decisions that carry well
through seasons. Initially you need to be self
disciplined about this and first bridge those
gaps that will make outfits hang together whilst
updating your look. Only then should you splash
out on that frivolous item that keeps you awake
at night because you must just have it.
Remember that fabric manufacturers usually
move through tonal families from lighter summer
shades to heavier tones of a near colour for
winter. Similarly if you buy within a particular
garment brand you will find that colour ranges
move the same way every 6 to 8 weeks as stock is
added to and refreshed.
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