SS10 Runway Trends by Sarah Leigh

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In the second of our monthly contributions from blogger, magazine editor and friend of the Fold Sarah Leigh, Sarah looks at the recent runway season and picks out several key looks that will be big this coming spring/summer. You heard it here first!

I love fashion month, it’s a time of serious celebrity spotting, new trends, devouring the reviews and wishing you were just that little bit richer. It’s such a self-indulgent, frivolous, pretty ridiculous time; London’s cool kids wander from show to show in their craziest ensembles, Rihanna tries to ‘out-style’ everyone and the bloggers (like me) go in to caffeine-and-Sauvignon-Blanc-fuelled posting frenzies.

Of course, for us mere mortals, that are not Rihanna, it also marks a very important fashion shift. We can observe the latest, reoccurring trends, and then sit and wait for the Great British High Street to rip them all off. Cynical yes, handy for the wallet yes, shameful, no!

So, a few trends have popped up across the fashion weeks this season, of course NYC, London, Milan and Paris all have their own takes on each. New York tend to be a little more commercial and preppy, London goes a little wild, Milan plays it safe (so the multi-million Euro housewives buy in to it) and Paris… well, what you see in Paris will actually change the way people dress.

Colour Blocking
Colour blocking just keeps on coming as a seasonal staple. This summer’s key colours include sage or mint tones of green and hot orange. My looks-to-watch include Jean Paul Gaultier’s eighties take, complete with wide leg harem pants and Dr Martens, and Burberry’s candy-sweet chiffon and jersey ensemble; offset with taupe accessories. Mixing same-colour textures is also big news this season.

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Future Warrior
Think William Wallace meets the year 2100, as seen at Rodarte in New York and Todd Lynn in London. Each fashion house combine earthen elements with chaotic styling and a truck load of attitude. Meanwhile, Balenciaga and Cheap & Chic take things more futuristically with straps, buckles and a whole load of leather. A key detail to note is the use of hoods and snoods – giving a mysterious, otherworldly edge.

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Underwear as Outerwear
Underwear inspired garments have been a huge talking point this season, with Marc Jacobs kicking things off in shimmering style in New York. His satin balconette bras (worn over the blouses) and panelled pants accumulated an almost instant waiting list, while over in London Louise Goldin channelled Madonna circa 1990. Petite conical bras created eye-catching (!) features amongst her intricately constructed mini dresses.

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Eclectic Styling
Marc Jacobs (or at least his stylist) must have spent a while in Harajuku this summer, because the styling for his collections for Marc by MJ and Louis Vuitton were definitely verging on the eccentric. ‘Mix and match’ also made its way to Milan in one of my favourite collections. D Squared 2’s Dean and Dan Caten successfully sent out a collection of models laden in all manner of hillbilly, trucker and camp trip paraphernalia – resulting in a rural mishmash of trashy splendour.

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All White
Many designers decided to ‘wipe the slate clean’ this season – many remark as a sign of cleansing after recession. In my opinion the most successful were those who accompanied all white looks with minimal silhouettes and styling. In Paris, Jil Sander went for unusual pattern cutting and layered looks, while in New York Calvin Klein stuck with what they know best with plain low-neck singlets and oversized blazers.

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Digital All-over Prints
2009 and 2010 have to be the years all over prints seriously made an impact on fashion. And there’s not many who do ‘digital’ as well as Alexander McQueen. Following on intermittently from his s/s 09 collection of fractal art prints, he returns with animalistic and ethereal symmetric designs. Symmetry is the winning formula for s/s 10, while florals are a front runner to be ‘digitalised’.

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Grungy Knits
Thanks to the likes of fashion wonder kid Alexander Wang and his BFF Erin Wasson, grunge isn’t going anywhere fast. From spider web knits to downright tatty jumpers, 2010 will be the year of looking a little dishevelled. Worn and unfinished textures will also be big news – let’s hope for their price tag these knits don’t wear further.

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