There is now a major shift in designer inspired fashion
trends. That new look implies more serious grown-up fashion trends of
elegant womanly dressing. This in turn moves toward a streamlined,
disciplined, figure defining glamour or minimal space age look. In the spring of 2006, the shift is leading away from the eclectic ethnic roots of the
first half of this decade toward a less casual, more classically establishment
appearance. This new look is cleaner and more ordered than the
fussiness of the Boho trend.
I see this desire for
groomed orderliness as a reflection of our mental assimilation of a world in
chaos. There is a sense of high speed change which we cannot control. But in the
western world, we are fortunate to have choice in the way we dress and groom ourselves
and in what fashion trends we decide to follow.
This new gracefulness in dress will also suit those tired of the concept
of fashion racing.
Dissemination of information via the internet, emails and mobile phones
means that fashion is too often racing
ahead of itself, the result is some fads survive for no more than a weekly cycle.
100 years ago in Edwardian Britain, fashion had speeded to an almost yearly
cycle, by comparison we are bombarded with new fashion ideas daily, with
many fads or ways of wearing an item living no more than a week. A return to a more classic way
of dressing will suit many who feel as if they are constantly striving to
get it right. Some will think it far more beautiful and timeless.
The looks actually focus more on garment types themselves, such as dresses,
coats and the silhouette, rather than the global mood of ethnic styling
and pile-it-on embellishment, which was so popular in the first half of the millennium.
For several noughties seasons the more classic ladylike look has been progressing very slowly
to a new trend of refinement.
It has brought with it a gradual acceptance of softer more feminine tops, fuller skirts
and lush higher quality fabrics. The fashion eye has become tired of flesh exposure and yearns for ladylike
polish. The trend toward decorum has firmed up into more elegant
seasonal look has been morphing into another. We move through masculine tomboy looks of
tailored shorts and cropped trousers to equally functional practical groomed preppy
Russe looks are still around in the way of the
Herrick poem'A sweet
disorder in the dress kindles in clothes a wantoness' and this carefree look that women have loved is slowly morphing into softer more feminine,
but neater lines. Those lines are of ruffled graceful
blouses, softer styles of easy wear dresses, fuller skirts, modern snappy duster coats, ultra feminine whitework goods and brocade jackets. All are in my picture of Spring Summer 2006 fashion trends.
Dresses, Duster Coats, Draping, Drainpipes and
Debutante inspired designs are part of the line up for the latest fashion
trends for 2006.
noughties opulence will require
your investment in the very richest materials. Choose
thick luxurious fabrics such as duchesse satin, complex jacquards, richly
textured brocades and gorgeous heavy, but sheer silk gazar fabrics. Translucent shimmering Organza moirι, silk jersey, taffeta,
mother-of-pearl luminescent finishes, all play a part in developing the 2006 look.
(Image courtesy Debenhams
plc, thumbnail enlarges)
The rich fabrics lend themselves to simple lines as shown in this feminine
Debut Lurex brocade shift dress £70 (tbc). There is also a Debut Lurex brocade shrug £40
(tbc) with waistline bow from Spring/Summer '06 Womenswear at
Designers at Debenhams.
It looks perfect for a special event.
Most designers featured white, neutrals and pink nude buff tones in their
fashion catwalk collections. These barely there tones indicate a new path toward
expensive colourations, where tonal values play an important nuance in separating
the chic from the cheap. White will move many women into more girly looks
especially with lace effect and eyelet fabrics. After the silver finishes and
the new millennium, as opulence continues to define fashion in both clothing and interiors, the mid and later noughties will be remembered for its golden and copper shimmer.
Unlike the darkness of the 90s minimal look, women are confident enough in
their own self for the new direction to have colour. It is a modern,
but quirky look where order and grooming rules gain importance along with
the desire to dress up again and to experience luxury. This noughties look aspires to having a couture feel and
uses more luxurious fabrics combined with good cutting to create shape, form
Designers send new ideas down the catwalk every season, yet only a few main
looks make it to the wardrobes of most of us. Those looks we hone in
on have often been influenced by celebrity choices. Currently celebrity
led cowgirl looks are hot on the heels of Boho as a style of mass casual
dress. But there
is only one look to follow and that is the look that flatters you enough to
make you feel like a celebrity yourself.
Volume fullness has been slowly gaining acceptance during the past season. Now
the noughties trend is for even more volume in skirts, dresses, duster coats, boxy
loose jackets and wide full sailor trousers. Some dresses are being
worn with leggings or cropped trousers, such as the red dress in the image
to the left, courtesy of Dorothy Perkins. Note that 'volume' as a
mass fashion trend
has the potential to increase still further.
Image left is a GS by Gharani Strok red Grecian dress £55,
Pineapple black leggings £18 all from the Spring/Summer '06 Womenswear at
Designers at Debenhams. Stockist telephone number in UK: 08445 616161.
The uncluttered, clean, space age, Sixties-style silhouette of simple
clean necklines will ensure an easy and
transforming fashion update.
Sixties style clothing and haircuts are inspired by Sienna Miller as Edie
Sedgwick in Factory Girl. Look out for Mod influenced swinging
mini dresses and short skirts
the modern, crisp, space age fashion silhouette, shapes of Andrι Courrθges
and Paco Rabanne. These simple designs make up well in opulent, rich, fashion fabrics
that have a surface quality, which is destroyed when cut with too many seams.
The shorter A line dresses all help focus on the legs as a statement.
This is a minimal, barely there, modern look, where graceful dressing is an
art. No fuss, no frills, no clutter, just an elegant 60s silhouette
with good design and top quality fabrics. The materials should be
opulent and rich combined with good well cut tailoring without trim or
Brocade is a trend to watch.
I estimate that by this autumn, brocade, brocatelle and damask jacquard
textures will seriously rival tweed and makes this material a good choice
for carry through investment pieces.
Acquire this minimal fashion look with ease when you concentrate on combining
gracious coats in straight or A-line duster shape, simple A-line skirts and easy shift dresses.
Strong graphic prints and baby doll looks are part of
60's Mods look, all moving toward a new fashion direction and a new sartorial mood.
The duster coat looks ultra modern and is the perfect cover-all coat for
spring dresses. The duster coat was a 1950s and 1960s fashion mainstay. It was a
perfect lightweight, easy wear cover-up for not only spring, but also for a chilly
summer evening. In effect a coat tidies everything up and helps create
a clean and groomed finish.
This fashion look owes much to Burberry and Dior. House of Dior created double breasted 60's coats with a wide set collar in pure Jackie Kennedy style. Many of the new style coats shaped with a 60s
cut, have the fashionable three quarter or seven eighths sleeves. Some styles are a little more fitted, but the fabrics are the trademark of a good duster coat.
Sleeves are a strong fashion statement again in other looks too.
Fashion designer Christopher Bailey, captured for Burberry the nostalgia of
Princess Margaret. In her hey day she looked youthful, worldly and
sophisticated. To cap this, she also owned a
couture wardrobe and it is
elements of this that have crept into his range for Burberry Prorsum shown
last September. Left a look from Burberry.
Fabulous print duster coats were also shown at Dries Van Noten, sumptuous silk
dusters at Alberta Ferretti and Burberry opted to go with brocade coats.
Duster coats soon became a strong directional trend. Burberry's princess/debutante coat was magnificent in both silhouette and
lush gold brocade fabric. The overall fashion look means swishing full skirts, wide shoulder
enhancing collars and bertha necklines, all in marvellous fabrics.
The looser comfy duster style sat easily over fuller skirts and fuller
dresses and is about to do the
same again as the more voluminous lower silhouette needs a fuller, easier
elegantly cut coat. Simple in cut and often edge to edge and with three quarter sleeves,
these coats easily lend themselves to lavish sumptuous fabrics such as rich
gold brocade, duchess satin, tapestry style brocade,
ribbed ottoman silks, cloque, twilled silks, plisse and textured cotton
Debutante dresses worn under the duster coats have clean lines, but it is
rich materials that create the princess/ royal/debutante/real lady effect.
So to achieve this look make sure the garments you select are in interesting
A fashion staple, the belted trench coat comes in many lengths and acts
as a versatile easy throw on coat or Mac suitable for many occasions. The
trench coat is a practical cover up fashion garment for the season.
Other trenches are more voluminous in the lower skirt.
Jackets are short and skimming with modern clean boxy, sixties lines.
sketches and here) They are easy to
team with wide cut leg trousers creating an overall effect of snappy
Look out for more bolero versions, matador jackets and Kimono wrap looser line jackets. There are also short belted trench coats and wrap style jacket coats with
turn back lower lapels, but no back collar stand. Many of these
styles are easy to make and customise yourself.
Annabel dress in cornflower blue £75 Monsoon Women
Spring/Summer 2006. Image courtesy of
dress is back and is one of the most the dominant fashion stories.
The dress is an all solution item
and with such variety may get adopted with as much gusto as the
skirt did last year. There are many different styles. Some dresses have fuller dropped waist skirts and empire bra shaped slip
could easily be teamed with a shrug or denim shirt or jacket to make it more
casual, for example, this pretty dress from
Monsoon, (See Annabel dress to the left.)
Look out for shirtwaisters. Note the shift, empire lines, baby doll dresses,
tent dresses, wrap
dresses, gentle puffball skirt dresses, slip dresses, dropped waist dresses. Watch out for draped gowns
with a touch of the goddess about them.
Cap sleeves of all lengths, including cuffed bloused sleeves have re-emerged. Sleeves will be most welcome to those who hate strappy dresses that reveal less than model toned arms and chicken wings of
flesh. The dress has become functional daywear again rather than
just the wispy bare-all strappy slip of
the past decade. Think dresses, think pretty dresses.
wrap dress has been popular for years, but now many wrap dresses have a much higher waistline, making them look more
up to date than the standard on-the-waist wrap dress. Regard the wrap
dress as a classic basic piece rather than high fashion. They also look
acceptable over jeans or leggings and make those skinny items easier for all
In contrast to comfortable easy wrap and baby doll, loose empire and tent
dresses, think about the tightly cinched waists of Roland Mouret pencil slim dresses
the Galaxy and the Titanium lines at around £950 as above or choose the high
street alternatives at £40 -£90.
A much sought after fashion look by those slender enough to wear it, is the slinky, figure
designer Roland Mouret hour glass style sheath dress left. There is
a waiting list for the original dress at stores like Browns and Harvey
Nichols, but no doubt imitations of the Mouret Galaxy and Titanium dress will soon be on the high street.
I know Marks and Spencer has an interesting black finely
pinstriped fully lined version in the Autograph range (01714050) at £89, as I bought one
recently - shown right. I acknowledge it is not identical, but it it
shows that manufacturers and retailers are influenced by celebrity dressing
in their design choices and they are aware the consumer will seek similar
items. Tesco has a similar dress for much less at about £35.
Wherever you are in the world, I am sure some manufacturer will be working
hard to create their own versions. For evening the neckline, corners
are ripe for dressing with quality decorative earring clips in the style of
1940's Rita Hayworth or Wallis Simpson glamour.
This slinky black fitted dress £40/60 dress below is from the
Spring Summer 2006 range. It also pays homage to
the dress left. The Green bow bag is £12/17. Note
those bows are everywhere this year.
here and in header courtesy of Dorothy Perkins
The original Mouret designs had strong
mesh tummy support panels, but you may have to adopt the appropriate underwear instead.
Imagine too, wonderful knee length full skirted 1950s dresses as the
dress pictured above, alongside the elegant
pencil slim dresses and suits.
You will soon be looking for a
frothy net 50s petticoat and for comfort under a net petticoat you will need the
tailored figure hugging petticoat slip -
see below. These full skirted dresses are real summer
dresses that make women feel like girls again and girls feel like women.
You are reading an original fashion article by Pauline Weston Thomas at
Spring Summer 2006 image right courtesy of
Dorothy Perkins - White
shirt with black polka dots £25/40, Black pencil skirt £25 / 40, Red bow
Enlarge thumbnail to view the waist detail.
Belts have moved up from the hip and are now on the waist. These belts
are waist cinching almost like waspies and help create the handspan look.
As an area of interest, the belts are statement pieces too. Belts often
seem to be one deep belt overlaid with another buckled and fastened belt.
Satin ribbon bows
will emphasise waists and will appear on dresses, jackets
and knitwear as cardigan belts or as jacket trims. Vibrant contrasting
colour belts in zingy fruit colours can add a new interest to practical
beiges and taupe coats.
Shiny belts in patent capture the mood. Waists are high making it the
new erogenous zone. Whereas in previous seasons highlighting the waist
was dropped in favour of the pelvic line, now women have become more used to the idea of waist importance again.
Fitted jackets teamed with fitted pencil skirts or fuller skirts reinforce
the ladylike feminine 1950s feel.
Handbag hardware and styling appears to have moved onto belts. Wide
belts with deep cuffs or made of one belt on top of another
Think of a bygone era - can you recall old films like Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or
in Butterfield 8. In these films she wears beautifully cut lace slips which cover her totally,
yet reveal enough to make her doubly alluring as a woman. A new
generation is about to discover the slip which will be major trend this
summer especially as the dress returns. The film King Kong shows
its female lead spending much of her time half dressed in an attractive lace
trimmed silk slip just like your great aunt may have worn.
A slip is an excellent under foundation base for
dresses and fairly diaphanous top layers such as organdie blouses and semi
sheer dresses. It is a much better foundation for a dress than a
separate camisole and separate half slip or waist petticoat that may ride
A crochet dress is almost impossible to wear with decency without a good slip. Without a slip it may be fine for clubbing, but no one in their right mind would consider wearing a crochet dress to the
office without a slip. But with an underslip it is an acceptable item of non clubbing clothing.
Image above courtesy of River Island Tulip Dress£49.99 / 84.00, Platform T-Bar Sandals £39.99 / 67.00, Beaded
Necklaces from £12.99 to £14.99 / 22.00 to 25.00
The tulip shape
has already been seen at catwalk collections for next autumn. I
really like this dress shown left from
River Island Spring 2006 Womenswear collection.
According to retailers women are snapping up the tulip style.
Only the other day I thought how fresh a fashion look it is when you see it
on a clothes rail. It can be difficult for some figures to wear, so
try on many versions of it, as good fit and line is crucial to how it looks.
For the more adventurous the puffball and other full skirted voluminous shapes are gaining customer approval.
Many summer skirt shapes are A-line or set on a hip yoke with full gored or pleated
Whilst countless skirts are plain, just as many will be patterned or in lace
eyelet broderie fabrics.
Also look out for
bold wallpaper prints, oriental fusion Geisha influenced prints, patchwork prints, oversized
stencil styles prints.
Note that fashion skirt lengths are
so very varied
that they are minis to maxis, but many skirt lengths settle for
the knee line. The pencil skirt will also be seen in
elegant slim line dresses and is best around the knee.
Several fashion designers showed crisp clean white shirts and whitework
looks. For this look concentrate on very fine delicate soft fabrics such as lawn whitework goods.
Eyelet white cotton is well stocked in all the shops and will be everywhere, especially as the little pretty
white dress (LWD) or in a pretty summer skirt. To use an old
chestnut - White becomes the new black.
Muslin ladylike Victoriana, often combined with areas of guipure lace, laser
cut-out lace or crochet panels, applied ribbon braids and trims, pin tucks,
tiny frills, big flounces and lace inlays, smock shirts and dress shirts in the purest
whites all speak of another age. This white is a clean sharp white,
rather than creamy ivory tones.
The blush nude range refers to a range of colours in the whole pink-toned, nude spectrum. Blush
takes in tones from creamy buff, frappe through to rose. Often this look uses
semi transparent layers of barely there pink tones to create multi-layer effects.
Pleats are exploited in innovative ways. Pleats are also
invoked in standard ways such as in skirts and Alexander
McQueen used sunray pleats in his fashion collection. Sunray pleats are
a good choice for fuller late fifties early sixties inspired skirts and can also be found
layered or used as fan insertions from the side waist.
Pleats are revived in ways not seen for decades. Pleats are used as ruffle and flounce trims or as textured fabric panels; from the finest Fortuny style pleats found in ruffle edgings, to slightly
larger pleats, which are in effect tucks.
The pleat tucks are often used
running in panels on garment sleeves and as whole panels of
garments. Giorgio Armani created finely tucked collars and whole jackets are made of pleat textured fabrics.
Designers want to put women in ruffled chiffon blouses with shorts.
Playful billowing ruffles that flow down dress fronts, hiplines and necklines all lend
themselves to swishing on the dance floor as Britain becomes even more
wrapped up in the ballroom revival.
tiers of the Boho skirt live on in ruffled blouses or billowing bell sleeves and necklines all trimmed with
ruffles that puff and flounce. Watch for Lord Byron Poet Blouses, note the shoulder width increasing with the fullness of billowing flounces.
These rows of falling ruffles and quite
OTT frou frou frills, are in total contrast to the quieter pared-down minimalism that is
on the horizon as a reaction to Boho.
This flounce, ruffle and puff concept is a look to add cautiously. Just add the right touch, paying heed to the trend without
being swamped by it. Little touches rather than big overwhelming
statements will speak volumes.
Bows are everywhere and if they are not on your garment add a bow
yourself if it will update your look with a new twist.
Ribbons are used instead of belts. Try ribbons
and sash belts with either waist or under bust emphasis. Ribbons
finishing off knitwear with a bow at the waist. Bows as belts are made in richly dyed double sided thick satin ribbons,
grosgrain ribbon, crisp silk taffeta and soft metallic leathers
Ribbons used instead of neck chains for pendants. Bows decorate
If you are over 25, think twice about wearing dresses with bows that tie at the back like a little girl might wear.
These practical knee
shorts above are from NEXT UK. It consists of a practical cool summer shorts suit. Ecru cotton
Ecru cotton shorts £26.99,
Black stretch shirt £26.99, Metallic lattice shoes £39.99.
those young enough to carry off the high fashion look, super short tailored and cuffed
and hot pants are a thought to ponder for spring.
Other main styles are
cropped trousers, cropped turn back cuff jeans, tailored knee
shorts and buccaneer pants with side
Of the various types I
believe tailored knee shorts will be popular as those shown left from NEXT
short shorts look right is perfect for young women and great tanned legs.
- River Island Spring
2006 - Womens wear Floral Chiffon Blouse £29.99/50.50, White Vest
£6.99/11.50, Lemon Denim Shorts £19.99/33.50, Platform T-bar Sandals
£39.99/67.00, Corsage £4.99/8.00
River Island Spring 2006 Womenswear Rock vest £19.99 / 33.50, Stripe
trousers £29.99 / 50.50, Patent peep toe shoes £49.99 / 84.00, Fabric
beads £14.99 / 25.00,
Chain and pearl necklace £19.99 / 33.50.
Skinny jeans have been around for
a while and are at last in most high street shops. As they have gained
mass accessibility so they start to lose 'latest' fashion credibility.
They fashion race against now against baggier boyfriend jeans for those who
feel too curvy for skinnies.
Watch out for very narrow trousers
and cigarette pants like these striped trousers shown left and from River Island
Clothing Co. Ltd.
The skinnies are also leading to
many fashionistas adopting not only skinny jeans, but also leggings
If you want
to wear skinnies whether leggings, legwarmers or sprayed on zipped side leg skinny
jeans, but are alarmed by your thunder thighs in the mirror, adapt
the skinnies by adding a cover all to knee dress as a top layer as in the
About 2% Lycra is the optimum amount of stretch fans prefer otherwise skinny
jeans can lose shape if they are too stretchy. Ankle zips are not only
a fashion feature, but also help large feet pass through small openings.
Read more about
how to wear skinnies to flatter your figure
Utility is a functional fashion look that focuses on
belts, bibs and braces worn with no end of cropped trouser or shorts
variations or as dungarees and pinafores. This look often has plenty
of hardware with kilt pins and the like.
This is traditional variation of the preppy look. Neat and tidy
shirts, pleated knee length skirts and ties or cropped trousers make for a
sporty college girl look. Colours are traditionally nautical - red and
navy with white and maybe some teal and tan.
Marc Jacobs is a reliable predictor of trends and, for spring, he focused
on a wholesome, American preppy look of slouchy trouser, tailored shirts
and streamlined blazers. The feel is one of preppy campus, preppy
sailor, boho buccaneer and sophisticated schoolgirl.
The preppy nautical
look has cropped trousers worn with flat shoes and short
waist-length/cropped jackets. Expect to see pinafore dresses, 'V' neck primary
coloured sweaters. His orange satchel bag or any other satchel bag can
easily help bring this look together.
Kenzo touched on this nautical pirate
look too. It would hardly be spring without someone addressing the
Over 21? 15/50 - Fifteen from
the back, 50 from the front. Are you well over the odds for thigh-high, preppy,
schoolgirl pleated, mini skirts, yet your legs are race horse fit. The shortest of mini skirts is a look that women
giving themselves a personal fashion makeover should just say a silent no to themselves. However, there may be other elements of preppy you can easily wear.
Military has moved right through to majorette with patriotic bandstand
appearance combining white with areas of red and blue. Military
carries on from last season. Linea have a wonderful bandstand
look cream summer jacket in their range.
Call it what you wish, Chinoiserie, Oriental or Geisha; fashion trends this
spring summer 2006 will reveal that east meets west or China meets Japan
in Oriental Fusion. Fortunately, the all
embracing term Oriental comes to our rescue and defines a look that will see
us into next year as brocade becomes the fashion fabric of fall 2006.
The film 'Memoirs of a Geisha' is a movie that opened in
Britain in January 2006. The scenes are set with lavish silk Kimonos revered
in the film for their artistry and value.
The Oriental elements in fashion now have a freshness and
elegance which has been missing from Boho. Boho has never been
elegant, but it was well accepted because it was comfortable and not
pile on the items to get the mish-mash look.
Oriental Fusion is such a refreshing change from the
Boho ethnic Indian,
Mongolian, Peruvian and
Russian influences seen in recent seasons, that high street designers are pursuing it as a fashion theme.
Think cherry blossom prints, chrysanthemums flora prints, obi
belts, butterfly sleeves and rich brocades. Like any look don't do the
whole show, but team it with softeners like jeans or dresses. If you
feel the wrong colouring for this look if you are very blonde and pale just add a very
minimal directional amount as an oriental inspired bag. You will pay homage to the
look and capture the essence of the fabric in one flamboyant gesture.
Hermθs, Dries Van Noten, Alber Elba at Lanvin have all played homage to
Oriental Fusion Fashion. At Lanvin there were obi belts and this is
one piece of drama in dress easy to translate without adopting too much of a
look. By autumn expect to see handbags with oriental embroidered
Studs are everywhere on both accessories and now on garments. The jangle of metal and hanging objects is on Kilt pins with charms used to tie knitwear and other ties or ribbons with bells that
Oversized buttons and decorated charm kilt pins give a youthful look as so often they are in funky
off-the-wall edgy designs.
Straps as in bar shoes such as Mary Jane pumps and buckles and 3D flowers,
are a feature of footwear and bags. Corsage flowers, ribbon flowers,
barrettes and hair sticks go Oriental
Fusion with Geisha.
Bags grow larger and larger as more and more focus is placed by designers on
these high profit items that don't require a diet, a good figure or youthful
face. Think every colour and texture under the sun, but for summer
think especially of bags that are white or textured, have a metallic sheen, have studs or textured weave areas or chain insertions. Spring Summer 2006 Bags are busy, busy, busy. Read more about bags
and by using the side menu.
A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness:
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction-
An erring lace which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher-
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly-
A winning wave, deserving note
In a tempestuous petticoat-
A careless shoe string in whose tie
I see a wild civility-
Do more bewitch me then when thou art
Is too precise in every part.
at the main FEMALE trends/looks. Colours, fabrics, wardrobe tips etc., are on other pages.
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