Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Arty farty and geometric craze

Contrasting trends and fabulous and wearable clothes mark the Spring/Summer 2008 collections. Over the next weeks, we look at the season’s key trends. We start off with art-inspired and prints.


WHAT: Literally, art work or paintings on your clothes.

Diane Von Furstenberg — Reuters

The Look: Think splashes of fantastical brushstrokes, gorgeous saturated colours, surrealist paintings and the watercolour effect.

This season, something new turned up, in what the fashion world calls “art-inspired”. Literally, material inspired by works of art or the process of creating art.

The most beautiful example, I think, can be found in Dolce & Gabbana’s collection, where it looks like they painted directly onto the material itself.

The duo was inspired by American artist Julian Schanbel’s work (he was one of the most famous artists in the 1980s), and they translated it to their collection by using pale brushstrokes on parchment canvas.

Then there is the current trend towards what I call saturated colours, a gradual diminishing of colours, from light bleeding to dark.

This is also known as tie-dye, (though that might make you think of the 70s hippie tie-dye look which is nothing like the 2008 version) or the more sophisticated name for it, ombre.

It makes for an amazing effect, and some of you might have noticed the ombre effect appearing last season.

There is also watercolour; think pale, washed out colours with some striking overtones such as the collection from Zac Posen, who sent out some fantastical creations, gowns with gathers, drapes and pleats in gorgeous washed out shades of blue, green and dabs of yellow and brown.

Dolce & Gabbana — AFP.

It might take some getting used too, but it’s definitely one of the more interesting looks of the season.


What: Zig-zags, strange looking patterns and abstract in bold colours.

The Look: Go for simple silhouettes as these prints will take center stage.

Prints, always a major splash, has been around way back in the 50s with the “The Prince of Prints”, Emilio Pucci, who created a revolution in the 1950s with his bold, new designs and radical approach to fashion of the time.

And of course, Missoni, with their art- deco-inspired dresses in the late 60s.

And of course, we have the favourite, Diane Von Furstenberg with her wrap dresses in beautiful prints.

Nowadays, we see prints everywhere in a myriad of patterns and designs.

This season, it’s gone graphic and ethnic, and while those two prints are radically different, they make for very striking pieces this season as seen from Fendi and Emilio Pucci. (We will look at ethnic/tribal in the coming weeks.)

What’s interesting is the play of colours and patterns, the abstract designs and the way it can totally change an outfit or if it’s too bold for you, pair it with a single block colour for contrast.