Fashion Trends for Spring & Summer 2009
Key Fashion Looks
By Pauline Weston Thomas for Fashion-Era.com
Latest Fashion Trends for Spring & Summer 2009
Key Trends & Looks, the Essence of Fashion
Even with world in recession, people
still have to wear clothes, so why not choose fashionable
garments? The secret of today's recessionista is to tune into the best fashion
trends whilst keeping an eye on value and quality for money.
For many people, the 2009 fashion season will be
one not of 'flaunt
it', but of 'savour it.' Spring and Summer 2009 is a season for ownership of
carefully selected fashion garments and
accessories at a cost conscious price point, but where quality
By all means have your garment, but do wear it. It is more
important than ever to make sure that your purchase is right at the till point, as one more
unworn 'brand new
with tags' garment six months later, is not an option for a tightly pulled
The subtle, but
futuristic refinements that are emerging have given a fresh
impetus to fashion styles and trends, whilst embracing the
need to abandon conspicuous consumption in the subdued economy
of 2009. Observe how worthy fashion elements have been given the ultimate
polish by designers and manufacturers.
In the credit squeezed world of 2009 the most noticeable fashion
trend is of individuals grasping the fashion essence. The
zeitgeist reaction to the recession economy has been to tune
into the very best fashion trends which took hold in 2008.
The one-shoulder dress is already the hot style of early
Right - A photo of the radiant and proudly beautiful Michelle
Obama, a C21st
woman, wearing her Jason Wu white
Swarovski embellished CRYSTALLIZED evening gown for the
Inauguration Evening Ball of the President of USA. Jason
Wu is also the designer of the fuchsia pink dress Mrs Obama
wears on the cover of Vogue. Fuchsia, a top spring colour
is featured several times on this page.
Michelle Obama has shown a clear eye for
the newest of fashion colours. Take for example her choice
of dress and coat for the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony on
21 January 2009. Mrs Obama's lemongrass wool coat and dress of wool guipure lace, reflected
yellow hues in the play of light on the wool guipure raised surface.
The true colour of her coat is hotly debated
amongst the fashionistas, because in some images the colour looks
citron green and in others lemon yellow. In yet different
photographs (there were plenty) the tone appears an almost
creamy yellow. The respected Isabel Toledo confirmed the colour was lemongrass.
And everyone who has bought a stick of lemongrass or a lemon fruit, knows that
colour shading well. To my way
of thinking Mrs Obama's
coat has several tints that meet each other.
Those familiar with textile yarns know that quality
wool yarns are often
made of fibres dyed to be several different related colours. When carded, blended and spun together, this creates a
more mesmerizing lively effect to the yarn, and in turn to the end material. The
play of light on the helical wool fibre will also affect the
colour tones reflected when viewed from different angles.
Super lemon and citron are two of Pantones'
hip fashion colour predictions for Spring 2009. Clearly this is
a First Lady with her eye on the fashion ball, and it
marked-out Mrs Obama as a
confident fashion dresser, fully aware that texture in dress is
very in vogue. Near right - The detail of texture on Michelle
Obama's Inauguration wool guipure lace coat. Far right - The
citrus tones of spring.
the statement-making looks of last season have drawn us into the
concept of boldness in all areas of fashion. Dynamic garments like
the one shoulder asymmetric dress give the designer ample
opportunity to enhance the one shoulder with braids, bows,
ruffles and fringes. This asymmetric look also extends to
swimwear with pretty add-on floral forms. To the right
you can see an inexpensive Matalan top. Observe how fabric roses,
and surface texture
like bows are a repeating ornament used in many areas of
Right - Et Vous rose embellished top £16
- Matalan Spring 2009 Collection.
For evening wear and special occasions, the one shoulder dress is already a
winner and destined to take over from bandeau bustline prom styles. I discussed this
earlier trend pages, when I predicted that the one shoulder
Grecian style was a fashion fad to watch. Each
season it has grown in strength as a viable alternative to the
bustier strapless bodice. Now, having been given the
ultimate seal of approval by Michelle Obama, it's likely to be
the hottest evening glam for a year, and possibly a good portion
of the twenty-teens decade. Also look out for this one shoulder
design amongst bridal fashion collections.
Grown up glamorous fashion focuses
on dresses, ornate jackets and knee length easy coats, sleeve/shoulder and hemline interest.
Fashion looks are becoming LESS careless,
more ordered, more statement making with futuristic glamour at
importance of the following:-
Vibrant colour block mixing
Lemon yellow gold tones
Overall interpretation of drapery
Ornate or trophy jackets
Surface texture and sheen in fabrics
Texture in jewellery with chunky costume and
Note now that 2009 is the year of UPBEAT SELF
STYLING where costume jewellery or vintage jewellery play a
part as the ultimate 'it' accessory.
Adamant fashion designers trod the path of soft
fondant tints. For Spring 2009 they favour blushing pink beiges, neutrals, creamy
whites, and tones of slate blue. Such softer dusty tones are easy
tints to mix and match with existing black, navy or other
neutrals, the result is a new more ladylike wardrobe.
Top Tip - Colour Blocking
Richard Nicoll was a prime example of a designer
using colour blocking. However, many other fashion
designers have injected statement colour into Spring 2009
clothes by using bright bold hues. While a few other
creators played to the neutral palette.
Left - The pink way, striking colour blocking with
blushing pink beige, rose to hot pink. All three pant variations
Richard Nicoll. Note how we have two looks working here - the
mixing of fondant tones in large colour blocks, and also the mixing
of vibrant brights. Observe also the important boyfriend blazer
Colour blocking with strong brights
of hot pinks, orange, mango, tangerine and lime are popular.
You will also see other brights such as
lapis, Yves Klein blue, Santorini
blue, lemon yellow, lime, orange and aqua jade tones. These
garments can be worn alone or blocked together with the enthusiasm
of the Dutch designer Mondrian.
In conclusion, expect bright
colours that pop, shock and electrify to cheer up dull days. Mix and match bold colours
in the latest silhouettes to add zest and a
new tang to your existing wardrobe.
Black and white has always been a winning colour
scheme, and this year it combines animal prints with Mondrian
style colour blocking. In particular look for monochrome
effects based on zebra or giraffe prints with
stripes and spots. The recent
Spring 2009 Chanel Couture, show by Karl Lagerfeld, was an endless
stream of white, and then black and white ensembles The
high street has paid homage to the monochrome scheme as a foil
for those who will never adopt neon bright colours. The monochrome
look also translates well into the nautical / yachting / maritime
themes which designers celebrate every year. This black
and white fashion look is
classic, and easy to develop on a budget, or by adapting existing wardrobe
All three pant variations above are by
Wide legs, or
narrow pants mean each silhouette
can be equally fashionable on the right body shape. As
usual, fashion is accommodating every purse. Some trousers
may have more edge than others, but whether a wide, or narrow
leg pant, 2009 is the ultimate year to wear the women's trouser
style that suits you most. For many this will be the pair
of previously unworn wide pants already hanging in their closet,
especially so if they are already in a strong colour. One
trouser fashion to steer clear of is the nappy style pant.
Read more about the latest new styles of pants
Peek-a-Boo Sheers -
More Modesty and Less Skin Coverage
In Spring 2009 you will see a trend developing for greater skin coverage.
The bare-all too exposed fashions of previous seasons are now considered
What we are now seeing are peek-a-boo sheers, sleeves and more modest,
less revealing cuts. Many women protested at the bare-all
fashion and went for self-styling where they covered up those
bare arms with shrugs. Designers have finally taken notice of
consumer mood and are reworking sleeves with new vigour, adding
sheer fabrics to décolletage and bringing hemlines down.
Ladylike cover up is in fashion. It is a signal
of the more self assured woman. Even the latest
are cut in many lengths from
playsuit length, mid calf to ankle length.
The new trophy jacket is the timeless alternative.
Left - Peek-a-boo sheers and texture are a big
trend for 2009. The dress is a
CRYSTALLIZED Jason Wu Spring
2009 catwalk dress and has textured sheer fabric to
Images courtesy Swarovski.
Now that the orange glow, and fake mahogany tans, are truly dead in the water
there is less desire to show flesh; instead there is a new desire to
simply display the natural skin tones of birthright.
Indeed, natural skin is the
most acceptable. Women like Michelle Obama and Dita Von
Teese are very different, but each is beautiful and very
fashionable in their own skin. You may have noticed a
trend in this year's publicity shots - all the models are showing their own glowing skin base
colour, whatever their race. Whether honey, brown, black,
pink or milky white, living in your own skin is the biggest
fashion trend of all.
Big bold chain-store costume jewellery is the easiest most
achievable must-have fashion of Spring and Summer 2009. Think -
huge chain store necklaces with texture and scale contrasts, big
textural rings, stacked bangles - thin or thick cuffs. Mix and
match clothes and jewellery with bold colours. For evening
looks finish your outfits off with chandelier or elongated
earrings. Right - Bangles
from £5 and from a selection all at New Look in UK.
Wear sweet lozenge resin, or Venetian glass
bumper beads that gleam and shine, and you will soon tune into
the 2009 zeitgeist as you inexpensively self style your fashion
Smokey quartz gemstones are one of the hot
jewellery sellers of the moment, and the Accessorize necklace
right emulates this at an affordable price.
Right - Byzantine Bronze Gem Necklace £25/€42
from Accessorize Spring Summer 2009.
Revive a garment you have worn before with a clutch bag, small hard box
(minaudière), or totes with surface beads and embroidery.
The advantage of an ornate clutch bags
is that they can accessorise a plain dress beautifully,
elevating it into the glamour style of red carpet Oscar winners.
Every woman needs her lipstick and mobile phone at hand!
This crystal bead decorated high street version
of the box clutch (near left) is a fraction of the cost of
designer minaudière. The golden tone is perfect for spring. Right -
Box Clutch Accessorize.
Accessories mean an outfit can soon be in style
and up to date with fashion trends of 2009. These
jewellery looks are from the high street, but for luxury
jewellery trends see my page on
Jewels of Ocean or
Van Cleef and Arpels.
1. DRESSES - Must-haves - Easy A-line 60's shifts, dynamic Grecian
drapery, asymmetric off the one shoulder styles. New tier volume
tulip skirt shapes over straight longer skirts. Strapless full
ethereal fairy prom
skirts/dresses. Maxi dresses. Kimono sleeve dresses that
morph into tunics when worn over trousers.
2. STRONG INTEREST IN SHOULDER/SLEEVE - Sleeves are truly back.
Puff sleeve volume, cap sleeves, 80s
batwing draped sleeves. There also kaftan drape
kimono sleeves, arm-warmers
and chiffon sleeves. The length of the sleeves varies,
you will see cropped fuller sleeves, full-length tailored sleeves,
furthermore they can be
pushed or rolled to elbow. As for the shoulder line,
it's expanding with a softened shoulder line, one shoulder looks
and halter collier lines.
3. COLOUR - Vibrant popping electric brights compete
with soft sorbet tints.
In the red range popular tones are: blush beige, warm rose, lavender, fuchsia, magenta,
rust red and hot shocking pink. While in the aqua
spectrum we have deep cardamom green,
citron green, vibrant green, jade aqua, Santorini blue and royal
lapis blue. Monochromes are represented by, slate grey, black, navy, hessian, cream and white.
Last, but not least, are the key colours of, lemon yellows,
tangerine, orange and antique gold.
4. GOLDEN GIRLS - Think golden days with yellow, golden
buttercup, citrus, lemongrass, burnished bronze and copper and
all with metallic shine and the gleam of liquid gold shimmer.
5. EXOTIC TRIBAL - Note Amer-African transcontinental tribal references
in pattern, print and
fabrics. Navajo rust-red/turquoise/brown beadwork southwest colourations.
Fringe on bags, fringed boots, sandals and garments.
Above Left to Right. Spring/Summer 2009 - Ladies & Accessories.
Bag Richness, £85/€115 by Dune.
Accessorize Spring/Summer 2009 Sanguine - Patterned Apache
Bangle £10 (€17 Eire) Dakota range and Dakota multi Pocahontas
Earring £8 (€13.5 Eire) both Accessorize. NEXT Spring
Summer 2009 - Fringe Shoe Boots, £25/€37.
6. WATERCOLOUR PRINTS - Ditzy garden floral print mixes,
Ikebana and exotic flora prints in a painterly manner. Animal
fashion print materials also worked in non-animal bright colourways.
7. SHEER FABRICS - See through sheer areas create
modest cover up looks that add intrigue.
9. TROUSERS - Harem dhoti carrot peg top style trousers with skinny ankles.
leg pants and boot cut jeans.
DENIM - Distressed looks with acid and
stonewashing, ripping and fraying. Skinnies, baggies, boot
cut, dark denim, pale denim, credit crunch chic of any and every
denim style. Designer prices or recessionista fashion.
11. KNITS - Chunky cable knits in summer yarns, origami
knits and extra long front wraps, superfine longer line
cardigans as this blue version right at Monsoon Fusion - no
price details yet.
12. THE ORNATE JACKET, TROPHY JACKET OR COAT - Sublime fabrics and
workmanship; piping, inlay, beading, raised lace, Fortuny
pleating, statement making sleeves. Texture and great cut.
13. GEOMETRY - Circles and origami folds. Drapes and
pleats creating new lines and futuristic silhouettes.
14. ACCESSORIES - SHOES - Demanding high teetering taxi
heels. Mixed colours and materials. Texture on
shoes. GLADIATOR STRAP SANDALS - Gladiator Sandals in natural tones
or bold colours, as open strappy fronts on shoes and high leg
15. BAGS - LEATHER, PATENT - Classic bags that shine or non sheen
with raffia, wood, natural beads. Cornelli, crewel embroidery or blackwork
style imagery on bags. Bags smothered in roses.
16. WIDE BELTS - Embellished buckles on gold
embossed snake and lizard 'skin' belts.
17.JEWELLERY - Huge necklaces, big costume jewellery, retro and real vintage gem looks, tribal necklaces, stacked cuff bangles,
massive cocktail dress rings and
luxury pieces. Right - Dune Costume
Jewellery Spring 2009 Collection. Seek exotic brooches
that reference nature. Near Left - Large wide
enamel and diamond dragonfly brooch pique-de-jour style by
Nicole Barr in the
fashionable citrus green and yellow tones of 2009.
18. HABERDASHERY ATTACHMENTS - ROSES/ FLOWERS - Flowers
in 3D forms on necklaces, as accessories for dress necklines,
waistlines and as hair adornment. Dress hems with roses.
Rose print fabrics. BOWS - from small to mammoth adorn
garments and bags. Necklaces with tie ribbon closures.
19. NAUTICAL STRIPES - Red, white and blue combinations
with a European slant that suits the notion of Saucy Sailor Girls,
Breton Babes, Maritime Club Med. Reinvented cruise wear.
20. TAN NO MORE - Live in your own skin whatever
ethnicity. Drop fake tans or whitening options. For summer
sunshine days use no more than a barely kissed gradual build sun
shimmer look cream. Mahogany and orange glow tans are OUT.
Now is the time to embrace wearable glamour in
the form of texture with crunchy lace fabrics, guipure lace, crinkled
chiffons, raised brocades and tucked raised pleating trims.
Folkloric, blackwork and ikat embroidery, fringe and feathers are other textures to
Add drama with silk foulard satin fabrics with
surface sheen which glisten and gleam.
Texture, sheen and print is found
on everything from dresses to earrings and belts to shoes,
bangles and bags.
Left - Asos.com SS09 evening dresses - Textured
ribbon lace Oriental Embellished Dress £65.
Right - Prize winning black feather frill dress from the Royal
College of Art in association with Oasis collection.
Far Right - Erdem simple 20's inspired shift dress with
Crystallized Swarovski decoration and pleated raised fabric appliqué areas to hem.
that lemon grass colour again.
This year exotic,
and Amer-Afro tribal prints will also continue to be seen across
women's fashion and accessories and giving options to those who
are more minimalist in outlook and never wear florals.
Important Trend for Shoulders
Shoulders have been gaining considerable
attention from designers.
The importance of the changing
sleeve and now the widening/wavering shoulder line has been growing over the past few
years, first with three quarter and elbow lengths and blouson
or ruffle flounce frill effects. Now the clear development
is toward puff, leg of mutton, batwing fullness and kimono
drapery. Kimono sleeves grace dresses, tunic tops and coats.
Right - Erdem dress with Crystallized Swarovski
surface raise decorated sleeves
creating fuller shoulders.
There is a continued love affair with the dress,
in particular the simple shift and now the A-line shift dress has gained a following.
Women have always loved the way a dress is so easy to wear, but the newest
lines transform it swathes of fabric that twist and wrap.
The result is to make a Grecian goddess out of the most ordinary woman whether
the dress is cocktail occasion or maxi style.
Even two shoulder dresses are given the
asymmetric look, as this pink cocktail dress left by Vera Mont shows.
The first impression is of the dress being one shoulder,
yet it firmly covers both shoulders. Look out for innovative
dresses that are inspired by the one-shoulder look.
Right - Vera Mont Spring Summer 2009 'Fatal Attraction' sheath
dress £360/IRL €410.00 - Material: 63% polyester, 33% polyamide,
4% Elastane. Dress Style No: 2163/3130.
The feminine styling of this figure-hugging
dress in stretch taffeta enhances the natural silhouette.
Unusual gathering, an asymmetrical neckline and the
brooch as an
extra highlight, reinterpret the classic sheath dress.
The full prom skirt has become a norm for
special occasion wear. The bare shoulder prom look
dress is making way for the ladylike silhouette of the one
shoulder dress. The bandeau bustier bare shoulder look has been
in vogue for bridal and evening dresses for over a decade. Time
to move those occasion dresses and prom gowns on into the next fashion decade of the twenty-teens.
2010 will be here before you know it.
newer dress styles favour more interesting one-shoulder detail or
attention-grabbing skirt layers. Tops, swimsuits and floor length
maxi gowns are all a sign of the
strength of this trend.
Left and near left printed blue dresses worn by guests at
Swarovski sponsored function.
Bright Blue 'Hare Place' dress by Aquascutum. Far right print dress - River Island Clothing Co. Ltd Spring
2009 - 80s Paint splash dress £59.99.
For this summer 2009 the dress fashion trend
most likely to win over every age group is the 60s A-line shift
dress like the central blue dress below. The A-line styles
are often embellished at the jewel
neckline. This is such a
wearable silhouette whatever the age group - no wonder
Obama selected the style for her lemongrass coat and matching
Inauguration dress. It is a silhouette that helps the wearer
feel at ease, and that A-line is much more forgiving of creasing
and crumpling. It is also a good disguise over heavier
hips and thighs, smoothing and flowing over lumps, bumps and
Another great disguise for lumps and bumps is
drapery and this is evident in a gradually widening skirt
silhouette. This style is achieved through designers employing
double layer skirts.
Drapery focusing on the waist or side waist was
a catwalk special in Autumn/Winter 2008/9. Now this
fashion style has been taken up by retailers everywhere.
Along with the one shoulder dresses observe how
the dresses show more modest bodice lines offering plenty of
coverage. Note too, the use of a
gradually wider A-line silhouette, side or centre drapery in the
form of gathers, tucks pleats and bow ties. The changes
are subtle but the inclination toward more modest looks is
Left - Wallis Spring Summer 09 - Metallic
One-shoulder dress £55/€90.
Centre Left - Matalan Dresses - Et Vous ruffle
asymmetric shoulder dress £25 - Matalan SS09 Women's Apparel.
Centre - Wallis Spring Summer 09 - Beaded neck shift dress
Centre Right - Wallis Spring Summer 09 - Draped deep
v-neck dress £40/€60.
Far Right - Dorothy Perkins Spring Summer 09 - Pink bubble hem
dress with bow £45 €70.
Dresses of various styles and colour types are a
continuing important fashion trend for 2009 and you can see many
more on the dress page. Hot colours include lapis, shocking neon
pink and flesh tones as above.
It's worth noting how this draping is affecting
every silhouette not just the dress. These tops and skirts
are all defined by architectural draping and the newer peg top
trousers make use of the same swathe and folding qualities.
Kaftan silhouette tunics with easy batwing flowing sleeves,
or dropped shoulder 1980s style tops and kimono sleeves are
relaxed and easy to wear. All are ideal fashions for summer
wear, perfect with jeans, shorts or other trousers. They are
especially utilitarian as beach and spa wear worn over swimwear.
The rose printed floral materials or exotic tribal prints are
such strong patterns that they can easily compete with the bold
brights. There is a fabric and colour suit every woman.
Above Left - River Island Clothing Co. Ltd.
Floral sculpture dress £34.99. SS09 WW Hero Pieces
Centre Left - Principles Spring Summer 2009 Asymmetric draped
top in orange.
Centre Right - Next Spring Summer 2009 - Womenswear Ruched Skirt
Far Right - Littlewoods Direct Spring Summer 2009 - Seam
detail jersey top £22.
Tapered narrow pants first edged their way into fashion with
skinny jeans. Last Autumn/ Winter 2008/9 saw the rising popularity of coloured and textured tights. Hosiery
looks became more popular than since the 1980s and the fashion
history progression is proving to be very similar.
If you have loved wearing dark coloured tights for winter
consider pastel hosiery options for spring. White tights
were a big look in the 1960s and their time may well have come
again as a transitional fad for cool spring days.
ankle length narrow pants or jeans rolled up for an edgier look
are beating a path to a retailer near you. Worn with a full
skirted dress or top, cropped leggings or calf length trousers
and jeans are still one of summer's fun ways of wearing the pants.
Narrow pants can be made extra snug fitting at the ankle with zip
or button trims. Multiple haberdashery on clothing is big news
this summer. Many of these styles also have peg-top waist
styling and button closures without zip.
Left - Principles Spring Summer 2009 - Grey
printed hook up skirt dress £75.00/ €115 Grey multi strand waist
belt £32.00/€49 Pewter peep toe shoes, all from a selection at
Above Right - Principles Spring Summer 2009 -
wears a Neutral hook up shirt £55.00 with a Chocolate suede all over
cross body bag £45.00 and Chocolate silk washed trousers
£55.00; Pink paisley print silk scarf £29.00. Shoes and jewellery selection
Jumpsuits were an enormously popular fashion trend of the late
60s/early 1970s, and then again in the 1980s as flying suits.
There are so many variations that I have separate details page
on jumpsuits. Leg style is not so important as the fact the
garment is a jumpsuit.
Jumpsuits are available in every leg
width and every fabric type imaginable, but silk, satin and
crepe all hit the 2009 mark.
Right - J by Jasper Conran silk jumpsuit £80/€124, mock croc
clutch £25/€39 from Debenhams Spring/Summer 2009 Womenswear.
In recent years it has been possible to pinpoint 20 to 30
mini fashion trends every season. Globalized communication has
encouraged us to run ahead of ourselves, as a result people
become tired of fashion offerings
within a few days of seeing them.
This year is very different because of
the downturn in the global economy. Overriding signs in
2009 suggest that
people will always follow fashion trends, but we may be back to the days when
a few main
trends set the tone for a proper fashion season. Whatever
clothing trend you follow, remember you will at some point need
to consider replacement purchases, thus there is every reason to
make them fashionable. Add colour to your wardrobe may be the
hottest trend tip to give.
Copyright of images courtesy of prshots, Swarovski,
Aquascutum, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Oasis, New Look,
River Island, Marks & Spencer, Accessorize Monsoon, Matalan,
Vera Mont, Principles, Hobbs, Benetton, ASOS,
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