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Fresh Themes for Spring Fashions

Not that you would have guessed it by looking outside, but spring is definitely on its way, so it's time to take a peak into the future

Published on February 8th 2006.

Fresh Themes for Spring Fashions

Not that you would have guessed it by looking outside, but spring is definitely on its way, so it's time to take a peak into the future and see what we will be wearing this Spring/ Summer.

Now that the tired looking sales rails are being banished from shop floors across the country, we can look forward to the new season trends gracing our high streets in the coming months. For the next few weeks we will be looking at the must haves for Spring/ Summer 06, kicking off with the key themes for the coming season.

The Overall Mood:

Womenswear is heading towards a trend of elegant femininity and flattering silhouettes.

The focus shifts from trousers to skirts, with hemlines hovering just below the knee and more casual tailoring with shorter jackets and softened structure.

Even dresses become an increasingly casual option but with a general move away from cotton vests and jersey tops towards more embellished designs.

However, jeans are smarter with tailored cutting and uniform-style details.

The popularity of the shrug helps knitwear stay in demand, along with crochet and textured lace knits, and wrap shapes.


Colour remains vital in Spring and Summer 2006.White continues its trend as a base colour, either on its own or as an offset to the brights or pastel tones.

Brights will be strong for high Summer casual wear, with tones of clashing turquoise, burnt orange and fuchsia.

There will be cool, chalky neutrals mixed with the lightest of pastels just tinged with colour. Lavender and aqua tones will dominate the pastel colours with brighter pastels being toned down with indigo denim or white jeans.

The current 'black is back' continues into summer. Darker tones will be a combination of earthy chocolate, brown and khaki tones worn in layers together.

Key Themes:

African Safari

Africa provides inspiration with bold ethnic prints and a chic safari style. This is a much richer and more sophisticated approach than recent safari looks with many prints and decoration taken from traditional African textiles. These fabrics reflect handcrafting techniques such as crochet, batik, metallic embroidery, and animal and graphic prints. Colours are dark and continental with chocolate, sand, orange, black and dull metallic shines such as old gold and copper. Styling is sophisticated and feminine rather than a more casual sportswear approach, with long tailored shorts, button-thru shirt dresses, kaftan necklines, sleeveless pocket-detail shirts, and slim-fit, multi-pocketed jeans.

Retro Sport:

The trend for clean and sophisticated sports-inspired casual wear continues with fabrics and colours that are crisp and fresh with generous helpings of cotton in poplin, piqué, denim and twill. White is a base for colour, along with bright pastel tones. The styling is influenced by the classic sports of the fifties, with the knee-length shorts of polo, the cropped blazers of sailing, the shirt dresses and pastel-striped shirts of tennis, and the V-neck sweaters and slim-fit trousers of cricket.


Inspired by the up-market Riveria resorts of the fifties, this trend takes its cue from sophisticated, nautical styles and classic maritime white and blue. This inspiration is clear in sailors' blazers and striped navy and white T-shirts. Other items include poplin short-sleeve and polo shirts, knee-length tailored shorts, trench coats and nautical-style accessories.


This romantic style with decadent frills, ruffles and lace work is fused with a `70s hippy influence to create an eclectic and individual look.

Colours feature soft washed-out pastels and chalky neutrals with a styling that focuses on pretty summer layering, inspired by lingerie. This is contrasted with: military details taken from historical costume, pin-tucked blouses, lingerie-inspired camisole tops, knee-length tiered skirts, broderie anglaise skirts and blouses, soft knitted shrugs, waistcoats, cropped military style jackets, crochet scarves and bold beads accessories.

So there you go, your run down for the key themes gracing our high streets this spring/ summer. Next time we will look at how to wear them and the key pieces to hunt down for your oh so trendy summer wardrobe.

Kathryn Whittaker

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